Sun International sponsors personal mastery workshop for Tembisa High teachers

 Twenty-five teachers from Tembisa High School of Specialisation gathered at The Maslow, Sandton, for a personal mastery workshop to recharge their resilience and give them the tools to help both themselves and their learners.

The workshop, sponsored by Sun International, was hosted by Ashnie Muthusamy, Transformation Manager at the hospitality group, who authored “Smile, Shimmer, Shine,” a referene guide to help teenagers ideal with challenges such as body shaming, bullying, and procrastination.

The day’s purpose was to help teachers create balance in their lives, manage stress, understand and break self-limiting beliefs, reconnect to their purpose understand key components of health. The day, especially designed for female teachers, was held by special request of the school after Muthusamy launched her book at an event for girl learners recently.

“Teachers need to be resilient no matter what challenges they are experiencing in their personal lives or at school,” saidMuthusamy. “Women also lack of support systems in their personal lives, having to juggle work and family responsibilities. They often don’t have the time to check in with themselves and connect with their own emotional state.”

One exercise, looking at emotional dimensions, saw teachers choosing a picture with which they resonated, from a selection of photographs depicting different emotions such as frustration, happiness, or tiredness. They were asked to write a sentence explaining how the picture made them feel, and then asked to read other’s pictures and respond with words of affirmation.

They were also asked to write down their frustrations privately, using the stress relieving exercise as an opportunity to download worries and anxiety. They also learnt the ‘Butterfly hug’ a grounding technique which helps connect to the calmer side of one’s nervous system, relaxing emotionally and physically. “These techniques can be used both on themselves and also on their learners.”

The event took place a day after World Teacher’s Day, which highlighted worldwide concerns about the growing teacher shortage. “Supporting education forms the backbone of our corporate social responsibility programmes, understanding that our children are our country’s future,” said Heidi Edson, Sun International SED Manager.

Sun International has sponsored Tembisa High since it was identified as a School of Specialisation in Consumer Studies, Hospitality and Tourism. “There is a natural fit for Sun international and the school as these learners can further their studies in hospitality management and one day take up career opportunities in our organisation,” Edson said.

Sun International has been involved in numerous projects across the country, focused on the upgrading of schools in communities that are directly and indirectly affected by its operations.

Gladys Ndlangamandla, Acting Principal of Tembisa High School, said she could already see a change in the teachers who attended the one-day workshop. “We have many life orientation teachers here who will take these skills back to their learners, and we will also share the skills learnt today with other teachers. I’m going to open our teacher briefing sessions with the butterfly hug, to help us to take on the day. Thank you so much to Sun International for helping us hold the fort in our daily lives, I am feeling very positive and the workshop is just beyond my expectations.”

Darling Tshabalala, Chief Education Specialist at the Department of Education’s Ekurhuleni North District, who attended the workshop, said Sun International’s partnership with the school empowered female teachers and learners and brought back a sense of self-confidence. “The area of Tembisa has many challenges and these skills will give teachers coping mechanisms as they return to their classrooms to prepare learners for their matric exams. They will be able to teach with confidence and transmit the knowledge that is needed to help the learners perform better.”

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