I don't know what you think of your job or your work environment, but let me place on record - I love my job!
I can hear the voices of dismay! What is this sicko talking about? Virtually everyone hates their job and can offer a thousand reasons why no one should have much enthusiasm for their work. I repeat. I love my job! Yes, let it sink in... Now let me tell you why and why you (as an educationist) should too.
I work in a sector in this country that draws 20% of the national budget, ie R200 billion in 2013, and which produces shoddy returns...56% of our learners exit before reaching Grade 12 in high school and of those who do arrive in Grade 12, less than 80% pass with about 30% achieving a bachelors pass.
It gets better (or worse) at primary school level. Research shows that many teachers don't have sufficient content knowledge and our annual national assessments show our learners have shocking levels of competence in literacy and numeracy. 85% of the education budget is spent on salaries. I should be depressed, but I'm not.
You see, every educator in this country owes the nation. Every child that fails to complete their schooling is an indictment on our profession. You see, we are educators, influencers - we hold the future in our hands every day, for +-200 days a year over 12 years. We create the future flow of society and whether it will meander to the sea of knowledge, critical thinking, usable skills and innovation or straight into the desert of hopelessness, failure and decay. An educator actually has such enormous power! How can you not love to know this?
Let me ask you...as a manager of a school, learning area, grade, manager of your class...when you look at the children you service, what do you see? Do you see possibility, a blank canvas, waiting to display the output of your creative hand in all its splendor or do you see a daily nightmare straight from "the Exorcist"? And if our children are your daily nightmare, why do you see them that way? Is it their tacky shoes, dirty lunch boxes, there too-often-worn soiled shirts or that their parents are unemployed? Or because they ask too many questions, they have parents interested in their achievement, that their parents actually want to be involved or the high expectation of the SGB? or is it because you don't know how to unlock their brain? or is it all of the aforementioned? And is it fair to the children standing or sitting in front of you everyday? Do you know that even when you fail, they carry the burden of your failure!
So, I love my job as an educationist, because I know I can change the world, because everyday I touch the learning experiences of our children, I influence the future. I set and reset the course of our country, and I love knowing that I have such power and responsibility. Do you love your job?