Lockdown helped me to introspect and I realized that I needed to develop my skills as a coach to interact confidently in my occupation. I experienced fear from the thought of starting something new, but soon realized that courage is the answer to continuous development.
I was excited on 21 March 2020, as it was two days before my birthday. My twin sister and I had plans to celebrate it in a special way, but on that day President Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown due to COVID-19.
Sit still Thobani! Stop turning around Phindi… Young man if you don’t start writing that work is going to write by itself… Aahh the famous lines of teachers in the moments when we are almost at our wit’s end…
I am a teacher. I owe my being to the beautiful children I am entrusted to educate. The year 2020 began with endless possibilities. I was to teach grade 1 for the first time. I was filled with motivation to mould the minds of my highly impressionable learners. I wanted to teach them skills that would last them a lifetime.
Change is inevitable but how you react to it matters the most. Covid-19 has brought about the greatest changes of our lifetime. Mentors and mentees had to work on platforms they never faced before. I had to now provide the skills and support to my mentees virtually using various methods of technology.
Shaun’s team accumulated and packed groceries and ventured out into the deep, rural areas to distribute these hampers. During level 5 of lockdown, 2000 families were assisted, but this number increased to 5000 and more donations were sought.
I have always been inspired by Mrs Zungu, a mentee of mine who before lockdown would regularly use her own money to buy books for learners or food when they were hungry. I will never forget when she excused herself from a mentoring session, as she had to rush to the nearest supermarket to buy something for her whole class as they had not been fed by the feeding scheme on the day.