"We start each day by saying hello to each other": Read Kristen's interview with teacher Mphumulo Banda!

Mphumulo Banda is a new teacher at Impact Network and over the course of his first term has shown great initiative, a passion for education, and truly impressive classroom management skills. He teaches Grade Three at Joel Community School – enjoy!

Thank you for letting me ask you some questions, Mphumulo. Do you live in the community or nearby? Where are you from?

Yes, I do. I live in Joel, very near to the school. My parents live in Chipata but this is our family’s community. I have many family members here in Joel. I found out about Impact Network when I visited my grandmother. I was still in Secondary school then and was very interested in applying.

How do you greet your students in the morning?

We start each day by saying hello to each other. I have my students stand and sing a song for about one minute. They sing a different song each day. Then, we revise what we covered during previous lessons.

Do you like using the tablet and projector?   Was it hard to learn?

I like using the tablet and especially the projector. The students are very interested when we use the projector. It wasn’t hard to learn to use the tablet, no.

Do you like the curriculum?

 I do, very much. The learners enjoy the curriculum on the tablet and they easily understand concepts when I introduce them. The stories on the tablet are in English and Cinyanja so the students are able to follow along. Their favorite lesson so far was Thomas Tuber and his vegetable friends. The lesson was fun and the students will not forget it!

How do you get the students to listen and behave?

I have a very large class so we have rules and the students keep to them. We created our class rules together on the first day of the term and we follow them every day. If a pupil breaks a rule, I ask them to show which rule they didn’t follow and I remind them of what we agreed on.

How are the training sessions?  Do they help with your teaching? Are you close with other teachers?

I love the monthly training sessions. They are a great time to meet teachers from the other schools. It is very helpful to talk to other Grade Three teachers and to learn from them. The presentations are very helpful, especially for the new teachers. I have a close relationship with Joseph Banda, a Grade Six teacher here. He gives me good advice when I need help. He teaches extra book lessons with his students because he teaches the upper grade. I usually watch those lessons so I can learn from him. We usually plan our lessons together.

What is the most meaningful thing about teaching?

It has been my dream to teach and to help the young ones. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have with my students. I share everything I can with them! That is the most meaningful thing about teaching for me.

How do you help the kids who need extra help?

I work closely with students who need extra help and we also have daily tutoring sessions. I use government books to help the learners during our tutoring sessions.

Do you have much contact with the parents?

Just two weeks ago I phoned the parents from our tutoring sessions. I wanted them to see what our lessons look like and what our students learn. I get along very well with the parents.

How is school different today than it was for you growing up?  Give examples.

I went to a government school for primary school and then to Secondary school at a boarding school in Mambo district. When I went to primary school we didn’t have electricity so Impact schools are very different. We didn’t have many books. I think the lessons learners have today are easier, especially because of the projector.

What is your favorite thing you’ve done this year?

I would say the garden we planted. We did that as a class and every student was involved. We dug areas for the bricks and arranged them. I had students bring plants to school and we all worked together!

Learning more about Mphumulo and his drive to be an excellent teacher really brightened my day. Mphumulo’s is a story of a young teacher with a passion for education and an Impact Network community school in his community. Talking with him today was a reminder of the positive impact these schools have for so many different people here in Katete District. I’m sure he will continue to put his heart into teaching as the year progresses!

Thanks for reading,