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.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt: possible)
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