TEAM

Our Team

We have a core team based in Johannesburg, and regional mentors who visit and support the teams that run after school academies and libraries.  Teachers in public schools are contracted in to run after-school centres and libraries.  This year we have 177 school-based teachers on our team.

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Even with relatively modest budgets – with programmes that are strategically sound and well administered – private companies can make a big impact in public education. I have loved the journey of leading the development of  our programmes that supplement public education, and watching cohorts of learners moving onto the next part of their learning journey with confidence, independence and a positive attitude towards learning.

Kimon Phitidis

Director
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I love coming to work knowing that I am making a difference in the education system and in the lives of children.  I aspire to help grow our programmes – so that we reach more children, and to encouraging our teachers to be dedicated, passionate and loving to the children in their care.  I love seeing children who have grown in confidence, thanks to our Social Innovations programmes.

Amanda Zulu

Programme manager
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The work that I do in the background is to manage our systems to ensure that the teachers get the best possible support from our programme mentors.  The end beneficiaries of course are the learners – and we track shifts in their abilities and performance.  This is what drives me to do this work every day.  When I assess the results of our learners I’m inspired to see the impact that funding from private companies can make in the public sector.

Leigh Murray

Quality manager
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I strive to every day learn more about myself and my profession and am inspired that the work I do at Social Innovations is in service to supporting the learning gains of the learners registered in our programmes.

Jonathan McCann

Accounting
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Teaching is the world’s most important profession. It gives birth to all others.  I have been in education for thirty one years and have never imagined myself doing anything else. Through being a Social Innovations mentor, I am encouraged to share my knowledge and experience.  It makes me happy that I am changing lives and contributing to society. Children will do anything for a teacher or parent if they loved, encouraged and supported. This – combined with an enabling environment – is the secret.

Sibongile Nkosi

Programme mentor Gauteng
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I aspire to see children achieving their potential because they are taught by teachers who are skilled and who are driven by love – not compulsion. Being a mentor allows me to observe teachers improve their teaching skills as a result of my interaction with them. I see them becoming more effective and creative in the classroom as they take on new teaching strategies and methods. That’s when you see the potential of a child unfold with the support of a teacher.

Thandi Khumalo

Programme mentor Gauteng
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What I love most about teaching is watching the personal growth of learners as they overcome and develop.  Being able to track and support learners as the year progresses creates many opportunities to devise and implement new strategies. Children who know that they are noticed and feel supported do better and feel better about themselves. The influence of a teacher cannot be measured and stretches far beyond the classroom.  I aspire to continually develop my own skill set and be an effective lifelong learner.

Roger McIver

Programme mentor Gauteng
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What I love most about teaching is the opportunity to enrich children’s lives.  Irrespective of any learning barriers they may have, as a teacher I help mold children to perform to the best of their abilities.   Teachers have the power to influence how a child sees the world.  Positive thinking leads to positive results!

Jane Matthee

Programme mentor Western Cape
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I am driven to make a positive difference in every child’s life.  This is my calling.  As teachers we need to gain the trust of each and every child.  Within that framework of trust a child understands that he or she can be safe in her learning and in making mistakes.  The best part of my job is seeing the look of pure joy on a child’s face when she gets through something that was a struggle at first.  That’s what gets me to school every day!

Desiré Lottering

Programme mentor Western Cape
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As a specialist early childhood educator and mentor, it’s a privilege to share my knowledge and to have the opportunity to love and nurture so many young children.  The role of the teacher is to believe in the child before she believes in herself by encouraging her to climb higher, to paint more freely, and to listen to her as if she is the only person in the room.

Lincey van Niekerk

Programme mentor Western Cape
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Working with teachers, parents – and most especially learners – is where I find my happy space.  As a Social Innovations mentor, I aim to inspire teachers to believe in themselves and to raise their standards of lesson delivery.  As a retired principal I take an active interest in the evolving education platform and enjoy helping teachers to learn about and implement new teaching ideas.

Astra Russell

Programme mentor KwaZulu-Natal
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Teachers are the seeds of knowledge.  I am proud to be a teacher and I hope to make a lasting impression on the children I teach.  I love making a connection with the children in my classroom and helping them to become more.  The secret to unlocking the potential of each child is to raise their self-esteem, to allow them to explore opportunities, and to encourage them to be confident and to believe in themselves.

Lisle Loots

Programme mentor Free State

Sponsored copies of Where Light Shines Through are distributed to teachers and education students to inform and inspire a new generation of can-do teachers.
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