Showing posts from July, 2012


This is a piece I read recently at a youth conference hosted by Re-think Leadership, Unconventional. I was part of Sacred Slam

I watch them when they think no one is watching

I eavesdrop into their conversations when they think no one is listening

Mostly I hear questions, wrapped, hidden, neatly tied with jokes and frivolous talk like ribbons and bows on Christmas presents

So when he walks into my classroom

Shuffling his feet

Bag slung over his shoulder

Shoulders slumped and lost in his over-sized blazer

He has a quizzical look on his face.

I greet him with a smile even though I’ve been warned not to smile as a new teacher, it gives too much away.

I smile to hide my own anxiety about being in this space.

He ambles to the back of the classroom, dramatically drops his bag on the floor with a bang

Slumps into his chair, stares at nothing in particular while waiting for the class to fill up

He doesn’t return my smile and slowly I avert my eyes back to the paperwork on my desk.

Finally the question behi…

where are the teachers?

I’ve been following the Limpopo textbook (and now workbook) saga with half an ear. The furore unfolded while my learners and I were undergoing the arduous and exhausting process of mid year exams. The debacle has been yet another crude reminder of the compromise of a constitutional right as well as the incompetence of the Department of Basic Education which has placed the education of many children in jeopardy. Without the simple resource of textbooks, I think it’s safe to assume that little (if any) teaching and learning took place in schools in Limpopo.

Most of the commentary on the furore has focused on the Department’s failures, the corruption and the tragedy of burning books (I shudder at the thought of books being burnt as it highlights the dismal education in our country where books have no value) and lately, the conspiracy theories about what really led to this demise. As a teacher, I couldn’t help but wonder where are the teachers? Are the teachers in Limpopo so disempowered…