Monday, June 15, 2009

Do you sometimes wonder why you do what you do?

I made this tag as for a friend on her birthday. She is one of those incredible people that always knows exactly what to say to make you feel better. She is a very special lady and has everything her heart desires, so giving her a gift is very hard.

She recently discovered Amarula ( a drink made from African fruit called Maroelas, The elephants love eating the fruit that has fallen from the maroela tree and it is a well known fact that when they eat the fruit that has fermented, they become intoxicated. ) it is really tasty, but hard to describe if you haven't tasted maroelas. She puts a drop in her coffee when she sits waiting for her children next to the sportsfield in the bitter cold. So this is why she got a bottle of Amarula for her birthday. The little frog is adorable and the bubbles (brads) the colour of the drink.

Getting back to the title of this post. Do you also sometimes wonder why you do what you do, or is it just me? Lately I have been wondering why I am a teacher and whether this is really what I am supposed to be doing. I have been teaching foe almost 30 years and have always seen teaching not so much as a job, but as a calling. Suddenly I am questioning myself all the time. I have just finished marking grade 11 exam papers and feel like I have spent the last six months wasting my time and energy, because these children have learnt absolutely nothing in my class! For goodness sake, they can not even do the simplest of tasks, let alone any that are a little bit challenging! It seems that children are becoming more and more illiterate as we speak, in spite of educators trying to change that.
As the head of the grade, I spend hours on the phone or in consultation with parents about their childrens' work, or lack there of and the behaviour that is often displayed at school. The parents make excuses for their children. They never seem to expect their children to take responsibility for their actions any more. One of my fellow teachers commented the other day, that the only thing we do not do for parents these days is to incubate their children for 9 months! Everything else has become our responsibility. We have to educate them, teach them manners, morals and everything else. Harsh words, but true in a lot of cases.
Ok, Rant over! Feeling better and remembering that there was one child that got 93% for the exam, so maybe I am not totally useless after all!


  1. Lovely gift and your insight into the elephants getting tipsy has given me the biggest of smiles! I love elephants but didn't know this about them.

    Don't worry too much about the job, stick with it and follow your heart. The answer will come to you in time. I had to wait to be made redundant a few years ago before I realised I wasn't doing what I wanted to do, I think it was a case of waiting for the security blanket to be gone to go ahead and set up my own business.


  2. Dear Tertia,
    Thank you for the beautiful post you left on my blog about your precious quilt. I love it. Thank you.

    I think you sound like a fantastic teacher. The fact that you are worrying about your children is the key. There are so many people who do a job and go home and don't give it a second thought.

    You are worrying and caring about your children which makes me believe you were meant to teach all along.

    You might just be feeling a little disheartened, but out of a bunch of children, some are listening - believe me. I went to a rough school and out of a class of 30 kids, 5 of us did something with our life. The teachers didn't give up on the 5 of us and I became a law librarian because they persevered.