Day 6: Anything is Possible

The high school students I taught at Qhakaza were often discouraged. Many had written, and failed, their grade 12 external exam. They had previously attended schools where teachers were continously on strike, or were not interested in teaching them. School riots were common in the townships at that time and often students’ education was interrupted.

I began each school year by helping my students believe that improvement in English is possible, that hard work can help them pass and improve their grade. Each student had a small glimmer of hope inside of them (which is why they attended school so far from their homes) and I set to fanning it so that their belief in themselves and their desire to receive the School Leaving Certificate grew.

Anything is possible. And I saw it many times. Children who had failed their English exam entered my classroom each year. Dedication and hard work on my part as well as that of the boys and girls in my class, led to children passing my subject – and sometimes surpassing all expectations. When scanning the results in the papers after Christmas, I always felt a sense of satisfaction that a goal had been achieved.

photo (52)© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt: possible)

Missed a post? Click here to read all my memoirs for the series titled Blackboard Scribbles.

21 thoughts on “Day 6: Anything is Possible

  1. It takes a true teacher to work on building morale and confidence before plunging in with trying to impart learning.
    Were those teachers really continuously on strike, or only continually?


        1. I agree! I felt bad for those children who went to school and learned nothing. The effects were seen soon after in SA with unskilled workers and people who could hardly read and write.


  2. It’s interesting that then you were helping your students see that improvement in English was possible. Now you are helping students see that improvement in French is possible.


  3. So much of a student’s learning and progress is teacher-dependent. As the previous commenter stated, your students were lucky to have you at the front of the class.


    1. I agree John. I have seen so many children lose their way because there is no connection with the teacher, or the teacher is not passionate about their work.


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