Building supportive and trusting relationships

Building trust becomes the mentor’s primary objective during the first few weeks, as without trust there can be no relationship and no mentoring.

Edufundi’s Foundation Phase mentor Tandiwe Mguli explains: “There is no formula for building trust and relationships. We start by asking about challenges, then saying, ‘How can we work together to solve the challenge?’ The most important thing, the main key, is to listen to what people have to say. If you go to a class, don’t go with your powers saying, ‘I know this’. “Always dig,” he adds. “‘What do you need? How can I help you? How can we help each other?’ There’s always an ‘us’ in whatever we say.” Once mentees begin to experience the benefits of having this kind of support, their perspective changes. They realise this is not about policing or inspecting, but rather partnering and empowering.

“I started gaining more confidence since my mentor showed me that she was here to help me. Now our relationship is perfect – we get along very well,” says Mrs B. Mkhize from KwaZulu-Natal.

This sentiment is echoed by Mr D. Naidu: “It makes a big difference having someone to turn to. You know you are being valued. Someone is interested in you – interested in what you are offering, what you are achieving and trying to achieve in the classroom.”

“I work hand-in-hand with my mentor. We’re like family.”

While teaching and learning can be transformed by the Teach Like a Champion techniques, the true success of the Edufundi Programme lies in its human element – the quality of the mentors, the willingness of the mentees and the strength of the relationship between them. “I work hand-in-hand with my mentor. We’re like family,” says Mrs B. Gumede from KwaZulu-Natal.

“I love her so much because she helps me when I need help. Even when she’s not around, I don’t hesitate to call her. My mentor is my greatest resource.”