“Sit still Thobani! Stop turning around Phindi… Young man if you don’t start writing that work is going to write by itself!" – ahhh the famous lines of teachers in the moments where we are almost at our wit's end…
You see some people call it Jurassic Park, it’s made up of tons of different species, others call it magic – they think we’ve spellbound the children and some just drop their jaws and wonder why they cannot get one child to listen, but we can get it done with 30, 40, or even 50. Well to me it's simply a gift from God.
I’ve always wanted one of those holidays where I would have so many days that I would not know what to do and boy did I not expect this in the 21st century to get the longest holiday ever. I have to secretly admit when the announcement was made I was super excited! Finally my big break away from tons of red pens, mountain piles, classwork books and dozens of test papers to get through! But FOUR months into my big break I started to get insomnia, like a crazy lady I suddenly didn’t want this big break anymore. Sleepless nights wondering, thinking, walking to and fro, what on earth was going on!?
I started to think about the true reasons that brought real joy to my days and like a huge ocean wave it covered me up! Every name of every child that would make my day a nugget of true happiness. It’s funny how I thought I was always going to find these things on my own yet in my very own classroom, I had it all. For happiness: Phindi’s great big smile; for encouragement: Jerry’s will to strive despite his difficult upbringing; for a bit of fun: Thobani’s playful jokes and Dee’s funny quotes; and just for that professional moment: we all need Jasmine’s smart comments; and if ever I’m in need of a holiday treat I just have to take a trip with Kayden on one of his crazy, imagined adventures. I absolutely cannot forget those cheeky little ones who would sneak in a snack, which reminds me that eating alone at lockdown was rather lonely!
Back to School
The days went on by and I just could not wait for the grand announcement we’re going back to school! It’s a place where dreams are written, stories are told and love is shown, it’s the place that becomes home when we trying to get away and there’s no escape, it’s the place that becomes their favourite restaurant, their favourite outing and their favourite playground and it’s the place where friends are made, trust is built and learning lives on in that place they call the 6 letter word: SCHOOL!
Walking back into those doors was walking back to everything I have truly known. The wind rustling in the trees, the coolness in the breeze, the walls that have seen me at my best and my worst, but never told another soul! And then the ultimate joy of having each child pass me by and despite having their mask on and a shield and being ready to get screened, they looked me in the eyes and all that was felt was deep love inside! The joy of seeing those little human beings words won’t describe, truly it's felt by the heart, and to think I’ve spent so many times trying to cut conversations short, well never again! Child, please do talk!
I find a little piece of home in each one of these kids! And teaching them… It’s kind of like a root that gives life to a stem that will grow and bring beautiful fruit. Then I would have to say that the legendary wish of every true and passionate teacher is to see each and every child bloom in his or her beauty. It’s to see the countless smiles down through the years that lets you know there is love in this heart for every child that passes through a teachers' path, it’s the wish that I need you just as much as you need me and in this world, there may be tons of things in between the life we live, but deep down in a teachers heart, you will always be the student that gave her more meaning to the reason why she chose the teaching path.
A New View on School
So I won’t be packing my bags to rush off, I won’t be complaining about all the faults the system may have, I won’t be complaining why Thuli is late for school or that I’m having late nights from tons of school work because all of that is insignificant compared to thinking about what’s going on with my dear child! In the time of crisis, my country faced a microscopic germ that forced us to hide, NOT seeing each child that makes up my life was the biggest crisis of my life… So here’s to every one of my little golden jewels who truly defines my time in this life…
My tiny little nuggets of treasure in my chest!