Feedback from John Gilmour


Things are going very well with the Teach With Africa delegation. Only good things are coming from this and we are very excited by all the input and all of the ideas and the support and the help that is flowing from the Teach With Africa delegation. The delegation are working hard in various fields:

The Green MBA’s are making a huge impact on the small communities in which we work, working with entrepreneurs programme, training programmes and even one to one as individual mentors to young entrepreneurs. They’re also working within the school helping us to integrate the Green issues and the Values issues into our curriculum in such a way that the messages and the process are fully integrated. This is very exciting and very timely as we are working with some national partners to set up a model for how this could be done in other schools so their input is extremely valuable.

The psychology students have also played a variety of roles. For the next two or three days they are attending a course with the Healing Memories Centre and I think that’s going to be a very personally enriching course and will also help them to gain perspective on some of the issues that we are dealing with on a daily basis. Individually, each of them is engaging and working in specific areas that have been targeted and it is my sense that they are really taking ownership of their individual tasks. Realistic; Kalkfontein; LEAP – busy psyche spaces!

Teachers Crissy and Alison have really just thrown themselves into our classrooms, thrown themselves into the community classrooms and they are fully immersed in working with our teachers and with our students and also helping to create big ideas for our national framework.

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Mike today but he has probably completed his work here as he has really helped us to focus our academic programmes, he has challenged us appropriately, he has brought ideas in, he has thought with the big picture in mind and he, as a teacher, works very much with the child in mind. We are very grateful for the time he has spent with us and very excited about the changes that will come about as a result of his visit with us.

Laura brings multiple intelligences and learning styles into living reality at LEAP. She addressed all of our staff on this issue yesterday. I dragged her into a community old age home planning meeting as the minute secretary – I was the chairperson. She is a very valuable part of the whole team.

Jack is a man with a great soul and with great warmth and a good listening ear and I think is a great addition to the team that is helping to balance some of the issues that arise when people are together in close quarters under some degree of pressure.

Kelly has arrived with a big camera and lots of ideas and we have put him to task in many areas and I think his big challenge will be what to do with all the footage that he is going to bring back to America. He came with an idea of putting together one small movie and I think he is going back with enough footage to put together 10 small movies. Maybe he should!

You wanted some feedback on our involvement in the national ideas creation for the new government coming in next year. All I can say is that we are fully imbedded in the process. [LEAP School has its] own voice and we have Teach With Africa voices contributing to creating proposals, ideas, structures, frameworks for the think tank, the kind of brains trust of the African National Congress’s health portfolio. We are really on the cusp of a social movement focussing on education and I think the timing of Teach With Africa bringing ideas into this space could just not be better.

So, with that feedback, I just want to say again thank you very much for all the work that you have done on the ground to set up this possibility, to create funding for it and to just stay connected at an emotional level to make sure that this project goes from a concept to a reality, growing to something that we can’t even envisage at this stage. I think it has already done that.

Thank you again —

Stay well

LEAP Schools founder and headmaster

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