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“Workaholic Teachers” – Should teachers carry the load alone?

16 January 2014, 09:14

Teachers should become the workhorses of South African Schools, says The SA Democratic Teachers' Union.

That statement sounds not only too good to be true but also seem skewed from reality. Mugwena Maluleke also said: “…the year had begun on a positive note following the best matric pass in 10 years. The country owed the good results to teachers.”

The country owed the good news to teachers? I do agree that teachers play a major role in developing the youth and seeing to it that they get schooled. Motivated teachers inevitably influences learners and help them to be successful. I think however that there are other contributing factors as well.

Motivated Teachers

Teachers can be motivated by money. Although, and I hope I am right, there are teachers that are intrinsically driven by either their need to influence and help others or the fulfilment a life of service offers. These educators feel that they are accomplishing their life’s work or destiny. This group of teachers does not get swayed by the tornados or hurricanes of strikes, money and peer pressure. They are the true leaders, frontrunners, flame carriers and workaholics of our school system.

Motivated Parents

Parents also play a crucial role in developing learners. Like the old saying goes: “it starts at home.”

With the weight of our economy pushing down on our parents it becomes necessary for both mom and dad to work. This gives us less time to think about homework, development and other school related issues. All the parents out there trying hard to keep everything balanced deserve a high five and maybe a hug.

The truth is this: Parents need to be motivated influences in their children’s lives. They should be the mentors and examples children should turn to.

Motivated Learners/Students

One of the most important things learners should be made aware of is that they are ultimately responsible for their own learning. If a learner can be held responsible for his/her own learning early on in school they will become motivated. How do we keep learners motivated? Help them set goals for their life. Celebrate achievements. Beware of demeaning language.


I do not believe that teachers are the only people that we owe our praises to when students do well. It is a team effort. That team is made up of motivated teacher, motivated parents and motivated students.

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