Activities, Interests, Lifestyle, Teacher Problems

Fail Better

Good evening erbody!

I’m so sorry, I didn’t show up earlier. This week was heavy and writer block came at me fast! I got my second wind just now and had checked in with you before bed!

In the spirit of focusing on the good, today, in my English class, we spoke about failing. My kids hate failing tests! I have been giving death stares and teary begging as a result of marks they were dissatisfied with. And so they struggle to wrap their heads around the idea of failing over and over before experiencing success.

This particular class happens to also comprise of my under 15 netball team. When they had a different coach last year they lost all 5 of their league matches save for 1 and this season seemed to look like it was heading in the same direction.

Today they played on astroturf with a net overhead – a complete change from an open clay court; they would be uncomfortable.We focused a great deal on short and shoulder passes to prepare for the game and their hard work paid off – they won their second game for this year’s league – one more than they did last season!

Now, we still have 2 more games so it still remains to be seen how they will perform overall, but I cannot explain to you how excited they were about today’s win! No matter how they fair in the remainder of the season, they still won a whole TWO games!

Today my girls learned the victory that lies in failing better. They are by far not the best in the league but they made progress today, and progress is triumph in itself!! I am a very proud coach!

I hope that even in the heaviness you experience in your life that there is light too. I hope you have blessings to count every day!

Thank you for popping in, even though I was late. I appreciate your continued support! Have a beautiful week and I’ll chat to you on my birthday!!!

Activities, Interests, Lifestyle, Nifty Tricks, Teacher Problems

Critical Thinking Day

Helloooo! It’s Wednesday!

Look at you, kicking butt at everything you do! You’re doing great, sweety! Keep at it!

So, yesterday was our school’s Critical Thinking day. We have one once a term. In a nutshell, Critical Thinking day is when the high school mixes up all the grades and all the teachers, splits them up into about 12 groups and we tackle something that is outside of the academic classroom. The topics are chosen by the students through a survey and the most popular topic wins!

It’s a lot of hard work, trying to convince a handful of non believers that we need to groom students that will eventually go out into the world and run it, but it’s been running for a few years and has come a long way from when we started having them.

shop till you drop

Yesterday’s theme was Consumerism and it’s impact on the world and the everyman. The vast majority was not excited at all about this one! I got a “meh” from one of the deputies and basically frowns from the others who were not riveted by this topic that seemed less interesting compared to the Identity, Gender equality topics we’ve had before. Some of the questions that were posed were very thought providing and I thought of pass them along:

What do you and your family do with your cellphones when they get old?

Have you ever thought of how your clothes are made and by whom?

How often do you buy clothes

The expensive brands that we wear are often made in another country where factory workers are paid very little to make them. How does this make you feel about paying large sums of money for the labels you wear?

What are you going to do with your Matric dance (prom) dress? Do you think you will wear it again?

what do you do with your old clothes?

What happens with your clothes when you stop wearing them or they are no longer trending?

Well, this is really just the snapshot of a snapshot of what Critical Thinking Day is all about. It would be really cool to let you tag along to the next one, alas admisssion is reserved for a select few, but the day turned out to be a success; thought was provoked! At the end of the day’s activities, that same deputy came back to me saying, ” actually, that was very very interesting. I learned a lot!” Now, this topic of discussion may not result in us steering away from that brand we now know runs factories in other countries where people get paid very little and work under dangerous conditions, but my hope is that we become more mindful of what, how and where we buy.

Guys, I am swimming in words lately! I have exam and test questions, essays and test answers coming out of my ears, but yesterday was a satisfyingly thought provoking day!

I hope that wherever you are, you are trying to make a difference in whatever form you are doing it! We are that lady on the beach picking up beached starfish and tossing them back into the safety of the sea. We are the mosquito in the room, as Thabang Thinks so fittingly shared! So go out there and do what you can where you can!

Have an awesome week! I’ll see you on Sunday!

Activities, am writing, Interests, Lifestyle, Teacher Problems

Believe

Happy Wednesday Erbody!

Yesterday was our first netball game of the season! This is the first year since I started coaching that I actually dreaded the season ahead, though. Preseason was awful, nothing was going right with the players or the practises. On most days I was low in energy and often thought I taught nothing after a practice session. I struggled to maintain my passion for it this year and as a result, I just wasn’t giving it my best at all.

I’ve always believed that coaching any sport is a fulltime job and one cannot do it well along with teaching on top of your load. I’ve always felt I was not doing enough and I felt even more so this year.

So I stood there in the moments before the game, my netball girls standing around me. “Guys, I just want your best today. If you give me your best, I will be happy no matter what the outcome.” I meant what I said, but part of me was preparing for a dismal loss, to be honest!

One of my shooters is a Nervous Nancy: she’s very quick to doubt herself and I’ve often said in frustration, “Just fake it! Pretend to take the shot and go for the rebound!” She hardly ever tried that before, until yesterday! There she was, eyes on the hoop and I caught her hesitantly sneaking a look to the side for assistance. “Fake it,” I blurt out. My girl took a chance, faked it and made the shot – and every shot that followed after that!! We won the game because she finally believed what I had been saying to her for 2 years!

I found this video on my Twitter timeline and it hit me again! Coaching a sport is so tough! Believing in a team when at times they don’t even believe in themselves is heart-wrenching. But that moment they believe you and take a step and succeed is glorious and so beautiful! I was reminded today of how much I love this aspect of what I do!

So I guess we should never stop believing: in love, in hope, in victory, in anything, because a moment will come when that belief finally comes to life! I really needed that win yesterday to remind me and to spark my own hope.

Thank you for dropping by! Have a beautiful week ahead😘

am writing, my adventures, Soul Stuff, Teacher Problems

Give

Happy Humpday Erbody!

The week has humped and it’s all downhill from here. I am so excited that in just a few days, I will be on holiday! It’s been a long term and a long year! I just wanna rest!

So anyway, today I had every intention of sharing about my favorite jam at the moment, but I’ll save that for later🙂

My favorite thing about where I teach is African diversity. I have the privilege of teaching kids from Angola to Congo. From Zimbabwe to Mozambique. It’s really amazing! So, being in such a diverse environment also means that I often know what is happening in those African countries, well, the jits of it anyway. I’ve taught children who have been put at the back of a truck and sent to an aunt in South Africa in an attempt to escape war-stricken homeland. I know kids that couldn’t come to school during the Xenophobic attacks that often take place here. What happens in Africa has never impacted me the way it has during my time at this school.

And this is why I am so proud of my friend and colleague, Viloshni, who is heading up our Interact club this year at school. Among the many projects that she oversees, she has also started to collect clothes with the club to send to Mozambique where Cyclone Idai has devastated the many parts of the country.

Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by what is happening in our neighbouring countries and even our next door neighbours that we do nothing because it seems like we have too little to offer to relieve some of the pain we see. We need to be greatful for what we have and giving to others is one way of showing that gratitude. We are fortunate enough to have just a little more than we need, we really do, and that little bit more that we have can go a long way to help those who have much less than we do!

And so I hope you are doing the same where you are. I hope you can see the needs of those in your vicinity and even beyond that and that you find that which you can offer in order to be a relief to them!

Thank you so much for visiting today! Have a beautiful week and we’ll chat again on Sunday, as always! 😘

Sidebar: sometimes I think no one really reads my blog, but yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised by Afrobloggers who were so kind as to review my blog! So many affirmations of what I am doing well, and also pointers for areas of improvement. Thank you so much for this, guys!

Please check out the post here and have a look at their site as well to find more amazing African bloggers!

am writing, Looking Forward To, my adventures, Nifty Tricks, Teacher Problems

Champion Teachers

Happy Wednesday everyone! If you’re reading this you are busy surviving the week! Keep going! It’s almost over!

So, on Monday I got to do some travelling for work. This hardly ever happens for me so I thoroughly enjoyed being outside the classroom for just one day!

My school is part of The South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition: A community of practice that’s made up of school leaders from South African schools that define themselves as impact schools.

Three times a year, we meet at these various schools to share best practices in the classroom as well as the running of the school we are visiting. Monday was Inanda Seminary in Durban.

Education is truly a passion that rewards you in more ways than just money. By far my favourite thing about this organisation and these meetings is how empowering it is to be surrounded by passionate leaders, teachers and student teachers who want to learn from each other and grow in the industry! I never leave without a nifty trick I can take back to my own classroom and a new burst of energy to use when I get back!

I hope that you too are working in an industry that you are excited and passionate about. I hope every day you are encouraged to do more in your field to make the world a better place.

Please check out the work that the Coalition is doing by following them on Twitter:

@Saescoaliton

@bridgeprojectSa

Thank you so much for visiting with me! Go and set the world afire! Have a great week ahead, dear readers!

am writing, Looking Forward To, Soul Stuff, Teacher Problems

Coach

Hey everyone!

I hope you’ve had a fantastic weekend! I’m looking forward to a day when I wake up and look ahead to a day of nothing but staying in my PJs and watching tv and eating junk food and dozing back off all day! It’s been a very busy time for me, but I’m loving every moment of it! I hope you are enjoying your own life at the moment! It is yours to make of it as you please so go get it!

So on top of being a teacher, I also coach netball. It’s truly a blessing to witness these girls on the court because they are completely different from the girls you teach in the classroom! And they learn so many important life lessons on the court through winning or losing, working together as a team, supporting each other, finding what they are doing wrong and fixing it – it’s beautiful!

So this is my 4th coaching year and I’ve been coaching girls that stay with me for 2 years then move on to the First and/or second teams of the school. It’s been mildly disappointing in terms of game results. Last year was probably the first year where my teams seemed to make a dent in the league. But yesterday the penny dropped. We went to the annual Saheti Sevens festival and for the first time I saw it: every single girl in the 1st team was coached by me in the lower grades! These girls developed into players to be reckoned with and I had a hand in their development!

This will never stop boggling my mind! The effect we have in people’s lives is immeasurable! And I am so lucky to be able to see a little bit of it in my lifetime and while they are still in school!

I hope you are encouraged by the knowledge that you and the work you do is not invisible! Sometimes you may not see the fruits of your labour but there are fruits guys so keep going!

Thank you so much for visiting today! Have a beautiful week 😊