Teacher of the week: She taught me to look beyond my circumstances

By admin
04 November 2013

This week we share an extract from the book Great South African Teachers by Professor Jonathan Jansen.

In this book teachers are honoured by the people whose lives they’ve touched and influenced.

This extract is a tribute by Frangelina Maki Lekhanya.

When I was in Grade 12 my business economics teacher always gave me the courage to focus on what I wanted to become in future, no matter how hard and difficult life might be. She once said even if I grew up in a poverty-stricken environment I mustn’t hide behind excuses and say I can’t afford to pay for my education because I’m poor. A life of independence was something I never thought I’d have some day because I grew up in poverty. I’ve experienced what it means to go without food and had to work at 16 to get money to study further.

Being so needy made me think I wouldn’t achieve much in life but her words of encouragement made me live my dreams. She once said that if I can only believe in myself I can be someone in future. I thought I was destined for a life of begging but guess what – I was wrong! I found out that success was and still is possible. After she gave me words of encouragement I stood up and never looked back on my boring, hurting life; she always said I should spread my wings and aim high. She said humility is a strength and if I humble myself God will lift me high and even the people around me will respect me for my humility. Pride and arrogance are weaknesses which in most cases result in downfall. People of substance have humility and they always show gratitude towards others around them; they appreciate even the smallest things in their lives; they’re approachable, teachable and, most importantly, they’re good listeners, which makes them dynamic speakers. I’ve learnt to appreciate the smallest things and I am who I am today because of my teacher’s encouraging words.

It’s very painful to see a child without education nowadays. It hurt my heart the time I was volunteering at one of the farm schools as an administration clerk capturing the marks on a system to see a Grade 6 learner who was unable to read and write. I thought it might be better if I could change my career and study to become an educator so that I could also contribute to the community. As a result I intend to apply at the University of the Free State to further my studies.

Great South African Teachers

Jonathan Jansen, Nangamso Koza and Lihlumelo Toyana

Bookstorm & Pan Macmillan

R187.37 from Kalahari or R110 as an e-book

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