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.
Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she said “My kid haven’t eaten all day, they are hungry!" It is clear that she is very caring and compassionate.
When lockdown happened I was not surprised by her reaction… She started teaching learners in her area and in her house. It didn’t matter to her that they were not from her school, to Mrs Zungu, teaching is teaching, it doesn’t have to be your class. She saw the need and rose to the challenge, turning one of her rooms into a classroom, whilst also practising social distancing. As a mentor, I was able to support her with materials and give her advice on how to teach learners of different ages, even in this strange situation of lockdown.
She motivated me as much as I motivated her and showed that regardless of a situation there is always a way to work through challenges and make the best out of a difficult situation.
Mrs Zungu reminded me that teaching is not just a job, but a calling.