What does it mean to be an MPS #Changemaker? Or rather, what MAKES an MPS #Changemaker?  It’s a question we’ve been asked more than a couple of times, and our #Changemaker story is one we love to share.  So, here goes…

Once upon a time there stood a small, yet rather incredibly remarkable ‘farm school’, down a dusty road, surrounded by magnificent green fields. A school, deemed to be one of the best in the land (and province). A school, not just set apart by its unique setting, but by its people… Yes, it may sound like we have a ‘fairytale’ of a story. We assure you, however, that our story is based on a very solid, real foundation of Christian values, and is a tale lived out on a daily basis by a team of amazing staff and teachers. They are firmly focused on our goal of not just educating children, but rather raising and releasing them into the world as #Changemakers.

What is being a “Changemaker” all about?

The sentiment behind our #Changemaker thinking is summed up best in the first few lines of our manifesto:

“One pen, held by one student, guided by one teacher, can change the world – and it is with this belief that we raise and release “Changemakers” every single day.

Inspired and guided by the biggest Changemaker of all times; Jesus Christ – We teach and grow in the truth and boldness of a Lion, and the kindness of the Lamb…” – an idea is perfectly ‘encapsulated’ by our school’s two mascots.

The ABCs of raising and releasing #Changemakers – how do we do it?

How do we live the tale each day, and how do we each do our bit to raise these phenomenal #Changemakers-in-the-making? Who better to ask than our teachers?

Our amazing team of teachers each play ‘starring’ and pivotal roles in the MPS #Changemaker tale – from handling the ‘little nestlings’ in the Pre-Primary and Primary school phases, whose appetite for learning is voracious, to guiding our energetic ‘chicks’ in the Intermediate phase, and eventually leading our high school fledglings as they stretch their wings and prepare to fly.

Some of our teachers shared their personal insights into what it means to be a #Changemaker and how they implement the #Changemaker thinking at school each day.

Pre-Primary and Primary school (ECD and Foundation phase):

“My biggest role model for being a #Changemaker is Jesus Christ!” says Antoinette Gauche, head of ECD and Foundation phase. “Every day that I come to school, I think about all the small, incremental things that we are all working on and it makes me realise that we can make incredible changes with God by our sides.”

Antoinette adds that when it comes to the “how to raise #Changemakers” side of things, she believes that by giving learners a foundation of Christian values they can learn that it’s never too early or too late to be a #Changemaker. “We inspire our young leaders at MPS to shape the future starting with one small idea. The power to shape the future belongs not just to a few, but to all of us.”

Tamara Payne, ECD phase head and teacher – “Just using the word “Changemaker” is invigorating and gives me hope that we are striving for excellence in every part of our daily routine. To me, being a #Changemaker allows me to explore my creative side and give my learners the freedom to explore areas on their own terms with supportive guidance.”

Tarryn Simpson, ECD teacher – “For me being a #Changemaker means nurturing and enriching learners in their developing years – helping them grow and develop to the best of their ability. At MPS, we are trained and equipped with knowledge, such as the Gavin Keller methodology, which enables us to create little #Changemakers through age and stage appropriate teaching methods.”

Danielle Erasmus, ECD teacher – “What it means personally is to be someone who takes creative action to solve any problem for the greater good. As a teacher, it’s important to not only be a #Changemaker yourself, but also to develop change-making talent in the children. The process of making #Changemakers at MPS involves creating opportunities for relationships to grow and to be nurturing, loving and kind to others.”

Senior Primary and High School (Intermediate phase and FET phase):

“In a world dominated by an “I”, “me”, and “myself” mentality, it is the #Changemaker that boldly cuts against the grain and realises that in order to achieve any lasting success – collaboration and teamwork is vital,” says Intermediate phase and FET phase faculty head, Allan Norton.  

“MPS works because there are no ‘one-man shows’ or ‘lone wolves’. We are fortunate to have a staff that values and respects one another’s abilities and steps in to ‘bridge-the-gap’ where there are shortcomings. These valuable attributes are witnessed by our students on a daily basis, and while some might believe we only teach a subject or topic in the classroom, there is a lot more being taught in the unspoken messages of mutual respect, tolerance and teamwork.”

Lizelle Minnie, Intermediate phase teacher – “Our aim of raising and releasing #Changemakers into the world means we need to be open-minded, extraordinary individuals, who will not settle for mediocre goals, individuals who are ready to make a difference and are able to adapt to whatever the future holds. Not only are they able to see potential, but have the fire inside to bring about the change needed.”

“To raise children that are prepared for a world we have not yet seen, we need to teach them in ways that they have never been taught. At MPS we teach children to be independent thinkers with DEFINITE goals and extraordinary ideas, that “normal” does not always fit into a box, and that there are multiple ways to solve the same problem. In my Maths classes, I strive for exactly this, children who can work independently, who do not settle for ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’, change makers who want to solve problems differently and independently.”

Carla Lombard, Intermediate phase head and teacher – “For me the definition of a #Changemaker is that it’s more than simply ‘doing good’…” “At MPS we create opportunities to make it is easier to build shared community, create resources that can help any learner to become a #Changemaker, and measure progress towards nurturing and inspiring others like  in our outreach programmes such as our annual beach clean-up projects and feeding schemes to help underprivileged schools in our community.”

Ian Pilkington, Head of Academics and high school teacher – “I believe a #Changemaker is someone who leaves a legacy of positivity and challenges otherwise useless and worn out systems and beliefs. One who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes, regardless of the opinions of others. One who always keeps to his values and defends his beliefs against others who are swayed to agree with the multitude.”

Marjean Diener, high school teacher – “By definition a Changemaker is someone who is taking creative action to solve a social problem. Our small classes and high touch quality education creates the perfect environment for learners to not only grow in knowledge but also in character.“

“We aim to stimulate critical thinking abilities in our learners so they become independent people who are confident in expressing themselves.”

As we move into the wondrous celebrations of Easter and Pentecost, we are inspired and reminded of the biggest #Changemaker of them all – Jesus Christ. Our aim remains – for MPS graduates to bravely and boldly enter the future World, with solid principles, integrity and with the ability and drive to inspire others and leave their mark.  

We celebrate our MPS #Changemakers – staff, teachers, and learners alike – who see things differently and are courageous.