The student becomes the teacher
I grew up in the Eastern Cape raised by my grandmother. Both my parents were working in Cape Town and I only saw them when they visited during the holidays or when I visited them. I’m the only child my parents had together but I have three half-brothers from my father’s side and a sister. I have a relationship with all of them and I’m the youngest. My father passed away in 2002 in a train accident. At the time I was eleven years old and I miss him a lot because I never got an opportunity to know him well as most of our worthwhile conversations would be about football.
I moved to Cape Town in September 2005 while I was still doing Grade 7. My mother told me about the LEAP Science and Maths School and I went to visit the school. The first days I felt lost and out of place but as the days went by I felt the sense of community and culture in the school. I had to attend Saturday school before I was accepted because my grades in science and maths were very low. In 2006 I joined LEAP 1 (Langa), however it was a very challenging year for me as I struggled with English as a first language as well as maths and science.
My struggles and hardships of comprehending those subjects helped me in my journey towards teaching. It has prepared me to study hard and to think critically as I studied. Understanding the work in class made it easy for me to explain to my class mate who needed help and that is when my love for teaching began. My teaching skills slowly started developing and I understood the importance of being active during a lesson. Being given leadership responsibilities as a student has also played a part in developing my communication skills and I have been given positive feedback in the past about being a good teacher and an example to others.
My interest goes beyond teaching but rather being a role model to the students. Being at LEAP encouraged my love for education because being a teacher to me doesn’t only mean that you teach students to get good grades but you also teach them to become aware of themselves and the things happening around them. I want to make it possible for previously disadvantaged children like me to believe in their hopes and dreams and that they work hard to make their dreams come true because my dreams were made possible by LEAP, self-resilience and hard work.
LEAP has reinforced the importance of hard work and helping people as a community. I want to share what I have learnt at LEAP and help those in need because I was once in the same situation. I feel it’s time for me to reach back to those in need because growing up I have always wanted to make a change in people’s lives but I didn’t how I was going to get that opportunity and through LEAP I have. I look forward to reaching my dream of becoming a future leader with LEAP and making a positive change through education.