Faithful Finish lines week 2

Faithful-Finish-Lines-ShortI’ve been challenged by Sara to join Faithful Finish Lines for the next 7 weeks. Last week I wrote about my journey up to now.I’m not one for New Years Resolutions that is why I chose one word for the year: Grace and Faithful Finish Lines is all about that. Let me continue:

Second part of week 1:

I started a new job that I really enjoy. Since it’s still in the beginning stages I have a lot of energy. I walk on the treadmill for 15mins each day and do between 800m and 1km. That is a lot for me. From doing zero to 1km.

I’ve also seen that writing down what you eat helps a lot! Thanks for the tip.

Week 2

The challenge for week 2 was eat more fruit and vegetables.

prepped fruitThis isn’t hard for me as I LOOOVE fruit and veg. The challenge for me is that hubby loves protein-any form of it. He would leave veggies etc if he can have meat. A steak on his plate is enough to keep him satisfied. What I’ve learnt is that if I prep the fruit both of us eat more of it. I have containers with peeled fruit in the fridge so that you can just grab and go.

We also need to set a fitness goal for this month and Faithful Finish Lines has some great guidelines and tips for deciding what your goal would be.  They take you step by step and advise you. If you’re struggling with this as much as me I would really recommend that you sign up for the next challenge it is worth it!

Update on my progress:

I’m exercising more and I’ve lost 1kg.

I’m focusing on what I eat and eat less.


I’m planning  menu for February at the moment. Please share any tips and advice in the comments? Some great recipes?


Guest blog: Life with Lola

A big thank you to Miranda from Grace and gravy for this great post! She is our pet guest blogger for the month.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
—Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)

It was 8 years ago this past August.

It was the summer when our lives fell apart.

The year when as a mother, I realized what it was like to carry the world of worry, guilt and shame on my shoulders.

To carry burdens that even to this day I haven’t been able to lose.

Life was going on like it always had. The busyness of summer was going full-force. The constant coming and going. The days at the pool, the nights at the baseball field, the preparations for my daughter to start kindergarten.

Right in the middle of our controlled chaos, is when our oldest daughter, a teenager at the time, came home from spending the day with friends, to tell us about a puppy that was going to be killed by a boy she knew from school, if he didn’t find a home for her.

I knew how dramatic she could be. I knew the lengths she would go to get her way, and I wondered if she was stretching the truth just to get me to cave in.

I didn’t want that mutt. Plain and Simple. I already had a puppy that I was planning to buy. In fact that weekend we were traveling to go pick out the one we wanted.

See my furbaby, I loved, died that summer. I was so devastated that I wanted another dog not only by the same breeder, but by the same mother.

In other words, I just wanted my furbaby back!

And to our surprise, our daughter let it go.

But when the weekend arrived, the world had other plans for our lives. The unthinkable happened. Our life as we knew it was shattered. For privacy of my family, I cannot go into details. All can I say is our children were victims of something so evil and not of this world. I let a monster dressed as a normal person in my front door, in my safe place, in my heart.

That was the day my world fell apart.

That was the day, as a parent I had failed.

That is the day, that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

I don’t know how to explain the hell we were experiencing. But God said it perfectly when he stated that the enemy is here to Kill, Steal and Destroy.

After that, I lost my faith in God. I was so mad, so angry. How could a God who loved us so much let my family experience such hardship? Such agony? Such pain and evil?

The next couple days were a blur, as everyone’s life continued on, but our life seemed to stop. Family was at a loss. They didn’t seem to know what to say, how to respond, or even how to feel. My children were traumatized.

Nightmares set in, appetites stopped and there was no laughter to be heard.

About that time, our daughter came to me again and said, “Mom, they are really going to kill the puppy if they can’t get rid of it today.”

I thought about it for a minute, and this is what came to my mind, I couldn’t stop the evil from happening to my family, but I could spare the life of this sweet puppy. I don’t know how to fix the brokenness that my family is feeling, but maybe I could help the puppy feel loved and wanted.

I decided at that moment that we would take in the puppy, soon to be named Lola.

That night as my two small children slept on a pallet of blankets in my bedroom floor, that sweet black and white bundle we called Lola, slept peacefully in between them. It was almost if nothing had happened, that our life was still normal, that we didn’t have this ache in our heart for just one moment.

My hubby and I stood in that doorway and watched that precious moment and those innocent children until I had to turn and walk away.

As the pain returned to my chest, and the tears started to freely flow once more, all the memories from the past several days came flooding back. I hated being in the house, I hated the smells I thought I smelled, I hated the sounds that played in my mind.

We made the decision to put our house for sale and move in with my dad before school started back for the summer. I know for that time, it was the right thing to do. I think we just needed to be with family who could make us feel secure and protected.

Since my dad lived in a different school district, I had to drive the kids to school every morning, then I would head to our house to de clutter, do yard work, or anything to keep me busy and to help get ready to sell the house. I would bring Lola with me everyday. She would walk along side of me wherever I went. She found out real quick how to get through the fence to the cow pasture, something I quickly put a stop to.

But day in and day out, it was Lola and I, alone at the house, where I would yell, cry and scream for the pain I was feeling, but she would just look at me with those big brown eyes letting me know she understood.

She understood it wasn’t her I was yelling at. Lola understood it wasn’t her fault for the tears I cried. I don’t know how, but she just understood.

I can remember how she would crawl in my lap, lick me on the face and give me nothing but a pure and innocent love.

Over the next few weeks, Lola helped each one of us move forward with our life. She was our joy when our life was dark, she was our laughter when we were filled with tears, she was our hope that somehow we would be okay.

It soon became very clear that Lola was very attached to me. But how could we not bond after all the hours we spent together, all the raw moments she shared with me, it was bound to happen at some point. I often thought to myself, how could this little puppy be making my life better? How could her presence make me believe that the storms would pass when no words anybody said to me made me feel that way.

After several months, we decided to go back home. The kids needed to be around their own things. So we packed our bags and moved from my father’s house back home. It wasn’t easy for any of us, but I think it was extremely worse for me because I carried the guilt and shame on my shoulders. The guilt I couldn’t shake, the shame of not knowing the true colors of people. But Lola was the one constant always at my side.

I slipped into a deep depression from carrying too much burden around with me. Lola would lay right beside me on the bed, or cuddle with me on the couch. That is when I realized she was my protector. She was not going to leave me. She was not going to let me go through my darkness alone. She was placed in this life for me. She was sent here to watch over me.

As I sit here and type, with tears streaming down my face, Lola is right beside me. Watching me with her big brown eyes, letting me know that she is not leaving me, she is my forever friend.


I was thinking back to when I realized that Lola’s presence made me feel like life would get better, when nobody else could.

And then I got it.

See I was so mad at God. So angry and hurt. And people? Well, I didn’t trust anyone anymore.

God knew I wasn’t running to him for safety and love.

God knew I was running as fast as I could the other direction.

And he also knew that I would not let just anyone into my life. I had built walls. I was protecting myself from anymore hurt and shame. But a dog? Did God know that I needed someone in my corner. An angel perhaps?

At that moment it all became clear. Lola was sent for me. She was sent to show me joy, and love and how to live again. She was sent to protect me during the dark days, because they became very dark, she was sent to be my best friend. She was sent to do something no human could do, to love without restrictions, to love without judgement and to love without fear.

A love so innocent and pure. A love that we all long to know and experience. The love of God!

I have done my best through the years to give her a good life. There has been times when life got busy and I would feel like I was neglecting her, but she never let it show. There was a time when I was in full time ministry and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at home. I missed Lola and I know she missed me, but she loved me unconditionally anyway.

Lola has traveled with us, camped with us, been a mommy to all baby kittens we have ever had.

She has a heart full of compassion. Yes, she is a dog. But yet, Lola is so much more.

I know that Lola’s time on earth is limited, just the same as any of our time is. She has developed some health issues in the past few years, that make me worried that she is going to leave me soon.

I’m not ready. But then again, are we ever ready to lose a love?

I fear the day when it’s time for her to leave me and for her soul to reach another hurting person. I know there will be a void in my heart that has only been filled by her. She filled the hole in my heart with love, but she will also leave a hole when she is gone.

Some might say, she’s just a dog. I understand your way of thinking, I really do.

But see, since Lola, my dogs have become more than just a pet.
They have become more than just an animal that when you decide you don’t want to take care of anymore, you can easily give away.

They have become my family.

Now I am an advocate for animals. I am their voice.

I support many rescues and do my part to spread the knowledge of Adopt Don’t Shop. I want the world to know that a dog is so much more than a dog, they are a friend, a companion and a protector.

I see my life turning out differently if I had not met Lola. I see myself still running from the world, my faith and my God. But my life turned out the way God had planned. Maybe not the conventional way, most would say, but God knew what he was doing.

He was able to put love and compassion back in my heart, joy and laughter back into my life, and faith and trust back into Him.

All because of my, Life with Lola.


Today I will be thankful for all the paw prints  on my floor and the slobbery kisses on my face and the hair on my clothes. For there will come a day when there is far too much room in our bed and these days will be profoundly missed. Author Unknown


winter blog profile pic

Miranda, is a Crunchy, Country Mama giving her look on a Homemade Life of Homeschool, Good Eats, (Mis) Adventures, and Living Grace-Filled Everyday @GraceandGravy with a side of life! Miranda has been married to her sweet hubby for 16 years and a home school mama to 2 kiddos at home. She loves her four-legged, fur babies and they make her life complete. Miranda is passionate about Guatemala Missions, Early Farmhouse Life/Decor, and learning to be a Self-Sufficient Homesteader!

You can also find GraceandGravy on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!

Linking up with Michelles weekly pet challenge

Day 15 Bible study notes

your turn to write
Every few days it will be your turn to write. We will recap on the previous few days’ posts and take a sneak peak into the week to come. Take out your Bible and a note book or whatever you would like to use. If you want to blog about your thoughts please link up to this post by adding your link in the comments section of this post.
So here we go:
  1. When you hear the word Grace what is the first thought that comes to mind?
  2. What does James 4:7 mean to you?
  3. How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is your savior?
  4. Can you think of someone that you need to show grace to? How will you go about it?
Until tomorrow
For a full list of posts in this series please click here.

Astronomy Quiz test 2


  1. What is a meteorite?__________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. How does a small meteorite form? _____________________________________________


  1. What type of meteorite comes from the asteroids belt?


  1. What is a meteor? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. What is a shooting star?


  1. What is a meteorite?


  1. At what height does a meteorite usually burn out?


  1. Saturn fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  2. Uranus fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  3. Neptune fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  4. Pluto fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  5. Moon fact file:
    1. Diameter: __________________
    2. Mean Distance from the sun: _______________
    3. Day/Night:___________________
    4. Length of the year: ________________
    5. Temperature:_________________
    6. Satellites: _______________________
  6. After what God is Uranus named? ____________
  7. After what God is Neptune named? ____________
  8. After what God is Pluto named? ____________
  9. Why does Uranus have an odd tilt? _____________
  10. How many years is it summer in Uranus? ____________
  11. How many years is it winter in Uranus? ____________
  12. How many rings does Neptune have around it? __________
  13. How many moons does Neptune have? _____________
  14. What is a comet? ________________________________
  15. What happens to a comet when it nears the sun?___________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  16. When did Edmund Halley live? __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
  17. What is a star?______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  18. How is a star formed?_________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  19. What happens when a star burns out? ___________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  20. What is the closest star to the earth? ____________________________________________
  21. What is the closest star to the earth after the sun?_________________________________
  22. Who discovered Proxima Centauri? _____________________________________________
  23. How much does one teaspoon of white dwarf material weigh? _______________________
  24. How is a black hole formed? ___________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  25. What is a galaxy? ___________________________________________________________________________
  26. What is the Andromeda galaxy? ________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  27. Who discovered that the Universe is expanding? ___________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________
  28. Name 3 uses of satellites?

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




A noun is the name of a thing or place or person.

Underline the nouns in the following sentences:

  1. Sarah goes to town every day.
  1. I enjoy walking to school.
  1. I sit at the table.
  1. We eat our food.
  1. Peter and John like to go to the movies.


A verb is a doing word. It explains what somebody is doing.

Underline the verb in the following sentences:

  1. Sarah goes to town ever y day.
  1. I enjoy walking to school.
  1. I sit at the table.
  1. We eat our food.
  1. Peter and John likes to go to the movies.


Add the correct punctuation to the following sentences:

  1. I go to school
  1. He likes to read
  1. We ate bananas oranges and grapes
  1. Sarah and I like to drink orange juice
  1. Do you live here


Write the contractions of the following

I am- I’m

You are-_____________

They are-______________

We are-___________


An adjective describes the noun.

Underline the adjectives.

  1. It is a beautiful day.
  1. We liked the red berries.
  1. I am wearing a blue dress.
  1. We are eating red tomatoes.
  1. John likes his new yellow car.


Complete by using the correct prepositions:

  1. I am sitting __________________ the table.
  1. The cat is __________ the bed.
  1. He jumped ______________- the fence.
  1. Peter is running ______________- the grass.
  1. She jumps _____________ the pool.

Back to school-back to opportunties

In the 90’s a band called The Deftones sang a song  “Back to school-back to reality.”  He explains different aspects of school life and  makes it clear that it is not what he wants.(You can read the lyrics here)

Maybe that is how you feel. School starts on Monday(for teachers) and you are not looking forward to it. You don’t know what to expect and that makes you nervous. Or you know what to expect and that drives you crazy.

What is your reality?

  • Overcrowded classes.
  • Learners that cannot read or write in Senior primary.
  • Lack of resources- maybe no water, electricity or stationary.
  • Discipline problems.

I can go on and on and on with challenges that we as teachers experience daily. You have marking to do, you have a family and extra murals keep you busy.teach2

Teaching as a profession is a calling and it takes a lot out of you. You are a professional called for this purpose. What if we can turn those challenges into opportunities?

  • Overcrowded classes – An opportunity to reach more learners. To have a bigger impact.
  • Learners that cannot read or write in Senior primary. You can be the one to finally help them overcome this barrier and one day they will come to you with a degree in hand and say ‘Thank you.”
  • Lack of resources- maybe no water, electricity or stationary. This is your chance to be innovative. You can teach learners to conserve water, electricity and stationary. Teach them that they need to look after their stationary and resources.
  • Discipline problems- this is something that is very sensitive to me and close to my heart. You can instill values on them. Show them respect and teach them manners.

challengesWe as teachers are giving people. We will give and give and give to our own disadvantage. That is why I’ve decided to make my word for the year GRACE. You cannot care and give if you do not look after yourself. Take a bath. Go for a walk. Do you hair. Take a nap.

This year I am going to have:

  • Grace with myself.
  • Grace with my family.
  • Grace with everyone at school.
  • I am going to live as close as possible to the Giver of Grace.

teacherinI feel so strong about this that I’ve written a short series about this topic. Click here for a list of topics in this series.

My hope is that you will be encouraged by this post. That you will realize that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are other teachers around you that are willing to take your hand and walk with you. We have a hashtag:  #ITouchTheFutureIteach on Twitter and Facebook. Join the movement and let us encourage each other.

You only have 197 days left to touch a young mind and heart!

Go for it-we’ll cheer you on!




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Please share on Facebook and Twitter:

“Inspiration for teachers‪#‎ITouchTheFutureITeach‬ ”@AmandaCalitz @DebbieDeJager

Read the inspiring letter that started it all. Click here.

For more posts that will inspire you click here.

If you would like to be informed of posts in future please add your e-mail address at the top left hand side of this page.

Your chance to inspire us!

I am a “teacher”


In South Africa the school year starts early January and ends in December. We are thus almost ready to start the new year. This is the English translation for a post that I’ve posted yesterday. (If you’d like to read the Afrikaans please click here.) It is a motivational letter to teachers. For posts on this topic that are already on this site please click here.

I truly believe that teaching is the best job on earth! I’ve asked  Debbie de Jager recently to write something inspirational for us and she exceeded my expectations. If you have an inspirational post to motivate teachers please link up at the bottom of this post or just leave a comment.

If you would like to contact Debbie please find her details below:

Contact number: +27 (0) 79 498 4875





Here is the letter from Debbie:


If this is the way you greet people at your workplace, this letter is especially for you. Next week the bells will ring at our schools again. Why are you going back? “Because it’s my job!” Is that your answer? You are a teacher to other people’s naughty kids or teens and have to get them yet again through another year with a lot of effort and little appreciation. But it’s your job. You’ve chosen this path.

I believe that many things in our lives could improve if we would just stop for a moment and ask ourselves a few tough questions. So to get back to my first question: Why are you going back? Or rather, why did you choose to become a teacher? What was your motivation? Let’s be honest, no teenager leaves high school thinking ‘I can’t wait to come back’! So what propelled your life in this direction? We all know it was not about the money… Maybe four holidays? Or could it be a love forchildren, for people…?

You see, motivation plays a major role in our lives. Why we do certain things will ultimately determine how we do it. If your motivation is very low, you will not put your best effort into a lesson that you have given twenty times already. If your motivation is very high, you will take that same lesson and present it for the twenty-first time as if it was the first time that you were teaching it to someone. That’s why motivation is extremely important.

I hear you and all the other teachers out there who sigh with disappointment and say that motivation left when discipline walked out the door. And life is sucked out of the little motivation left by teachers who compete for position and leadership that shows little or no sympathy and interest. But these realities were not there when you chose this life. And none of these problems should have an influence on your motivation right now.

I want to challenge you to go back to the time when you were excited to teach. The motivation, my dear teacher friend, was inside of you – not outside. You were excited. You loved the idea of standing in front of a class filled with kids. You had high hopes for everyone sitting in front of you. I want to challenge you to start the first day of school in 2015 with a difference. Start with a heart full of hope and excitement. Perhaps the following might inspire you for this new school year.

1. You only have 197 school days to enrich the lives of a specific group of people. Yes, those human beings who can’t spell and stare at electronic devices in their hands all day long are the next generation – and YOU have 197 days of their lives in your hands! Stop teaching your subject.

Start teaching people. Think of your favourite teacher when you were at school. Don’t you wish that he or she could teach all your subjects? What made them your favourite teacher? You can become the “favourite teacher” to so many children and teenagers. At the end of each day, ask yourself if your students are better off because they have spent some time in your class today. The answer will tell you whether you are changing lives or just passing time with a career.

2. You don’t know your students’ circumstances. You might be the only adult who truly loves them. Your words and actions will have a lifelong impact on their lives. Yes, they can make you mad and you might have felt like running away when you learned that a certain young man was to be in your class this year! But it’s exactly that child that needs you. Put some effort into changing those “problem” children’s lives in 2015. Pay extra attention and give some love. When you truly love them, it will change their lives. Your anger and angry words will make no difference. It will probably only intensify their hurt. You can be the strict teacher who everyone is scared of or you can be the teacher who changes lives.

3. Each student in front of you has potential. They might not even realize it. Make a conscious decision to see everyone’s potential, no matter how quiet or how loud the child. Your faith in them may be all that they need to become successful adults. The best and most precious gift you can give them is to believe in them when they don’t believe in themselves. Don’t just believe in the 80% and 90% students. Look at your 50% student and tell him you are going to work together to make it 55%!

4. YOU HAVE POTENTIAL! Potential is a seed that will never die and it’s within all of us. What is

your potential? If you are the same person you were last year, you have not grown. Change is needed! You need to grow. You must go after your potential! You must be a better person and teacher! Your potential should die when you do. Not a minute before. Give your all – to your spouse; to your own children; to your students; to your colleagues; to your headmaster; to yourself. Don’t hold back. Live fully.

5. And lastly, keep passion alive in your heart. I meet teachers on a daily basis whose passion was smothered long time ago. I realize that there are many reasons, but passion is a heart issue. When you have passion for what you do, you don’t need to be motivated – your passion motivates you. In fact, it pushes you. Ignite your passion again and get excited about the opportunity you have to change lives! You are SO NEEDED in our society! We need you! The world needs you!

I would like to end with a little story about myself. Year ago I chose a word that I thought completely describes me as a person. Without telling anyone I asked my husband, my mother and a friend to describe me in one word as well. I was ecstatic when they all picked the exact same word I chose for myself! My word is “teacher”. I don’t teach kids at a school, but it’s who I am. I AM a teacher! There is not a day in my life that I don’t teach someone something or learn something new myself. As cliché as it might sound – it’s in my blood and that’s the reason why I wrote this letter to you. My heart beats with passion for teachers and I would love to help you keep your passion alive.

On the wall in my study just above my desk I have a quote that inspires me daily: “I was born to serve specific people! I have got to find them!” I want to challenge you to change the way you see every single person in your life. If their paths cross yours, you were born to touch their lives and to serve them. Make it the best moments of their lives and it will inevitably be your greatest.

Teacher greetings!

Debbie De Jager

John Maxwell Certified Coach, Teacher & Speaker




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Please share on Facebook and Twitter:

“Inspiration for teachers‪#‎ITouchTheFutureITeach‬ ”@AmandaCalitz @DebbieDeJager

Your chance to inspire us!

Ek is ‘n “teacher”

To all the English readers of this blog you can find the English translation of this post here.  It is a motivational letter to teachers. For posts on this topic that are already on this site please click here.

Dit is amper weer tyd vir skool! Ek is al Woensdag (die 7de Jan) terug skool toe en ek hoop dat almal wat Maandag teruggaan ‘n geseende jaar sal he. Omdat ons as onderwysers so baie negatiewe kommentaar kry het ek ‘n paar slim mense gevra om ons ‘n bietjie te motiveer. As jy iets motiverends het om te se laat weet my asseblief. Onderwys is so ‘n belangrike beroep en ons moet saam staan. Debbie de Jager het vir ons hierdie baie inspirerende brief geskryf. As jy meer met haar wil gesels kontak haar hier:

Kontak nommer: +27 (0) 79 498 4875





Ek gee nou oor aan Debbie:


As dít die manier is waarop jy mense by jou werksplek groet, is dié spesiaal vir jou geskryf. Volgende week begin die skole weer. Hoekom gaan jy terug? “Want dis my werk!” Is dit jou antwoord? Jy is die juffrou of meneer wat ander mense se stoute kinders of tieners deur nog ‘n jaar moet help, met baie moeite en min waardering. So ja, dis jou werk. Jy’t dit mos gekies.

Ek glo dat baie dinge in ons lewens beter kan word as ons net sou stilstaan vir ‘n oomblik en onsself ‘n paar vrae vra. So om terug te kom na my eerste vraag: Hoekom gaan jy terug? Of eerder, hoekom het jy onderwys gekies? Wat het jou gemotiveer om ‘n onderwyser te word? Kom ons wees eerlik, geen tiener maak klaar met hoërskool en dink ‘ek kan nie wag om terug te kom nie’! So wat is dit wat jou lewe in hierdie rigting gestuur het? Ons almal weet dit was nie oor geld nie…

Miskien vier vakansies? Of was dit ‘n liefde vir kinders, vir mense…?

Jy sien, motivering speel ‘n baie groot rol in ons lewens. Hoekom ons sekere dinge doen sal uiteindelik bepaal hóé ons dit doen. As jou motivering baie laag is, sal jy tog nie jou beste insit in ‘n les wat jy al twintig keer aangebied het nie. En as jou motivering baie hoog is, sal jy daardie selfde les vir ‘n een-en-twintigste keer aanbied asof dit die eerste keer is wat jy dit vir enige iemand leer. Dis hoekom motivering verskriklik belangrik is.

Ek hoor jou – en al die ander onnies (kan ek julle maar so noem?) – wat met teleurstelling sug en sê dat motivering saam met dissipline by die deur uit is. Daarna is dit doodgedruk deur ander onderwysers wat kompeteer vir posisie en leierskap wat geen simpatie en belangstelling toon nie.

Maar hierdie realiteite was nie daar toe jy jou lewe gekies het nie. En niks van hierdie probleme behoort invloed te hê op jou motivering nie.

Ek wil jou uitdaag om terug te gaan na die tyd toe jy opgewonde was om skool te hou. Die motivering, my liewe juffrou en meneer, was binne-in jou – nie buite nie. Jy was opgewonde. Jy het liefgehad. Jy het hoop gehad. Ek wil jou uitdaag om die eerste skooldag van 2015 anders te begin as vorige jare. Begin met ‘n hart vol verwagting en opgewondenheid. Miskien sal die volgende paar punte jou moed gee vir hierdie nuwe skooljaar.

1. Jy het net 197 skooldae om ‘n groep mense se lewens te verryk. Ja, daardie klomp wesens wat nie kan spel nie en heeldag na elektroniese toestelle in hulle hande staar, is die volgende generasie – en JY het 197 dae van hulle lewe in jou hande! Hou op om jou vak aan te bied. Leer mense. Dink aan jou gunsteling onderwyser toe jy op skool was. Wens jy nie daardie onnie kon al jou vakke aanbied nie? En wat het daardie onderwyser spesiaal gemaak? Jy kan vir die kinders en tieners in jou klas, ‘n “gunsteling onnie” word. Aan die einde van elke dag, vra jouself of jou leerders beter af is omdat hulle vandag met jou tyd spandeer het. Die antwoord sal jou sê of jy lewens verander het of net tyd laat verby gaan het.

2. Moenie vergeet dat daardie leerder wat voor jou sit dalk die enigste liefde van ‘n volwassene by jou as onnie gaan kry nie. Jou woorde en jou dade gaan ‘n lewenslange uitwerking op daardie kind se lewe hê. Ja, hulle kan jou mal maak en jou moed het dalk in jou skoene gesak toe jy uitvind ‘n sekere mannetjie is hierdie jaar in jou klas! Maar dis juis daardie kind wat jou nodig het. Doen bietjie moeite in 2015 met onmoontlike kinders. Gee ekstra aandag en liefde. Die grootste verandering kom net as gevolg van groot liefde. Jou woede en kwaai woorde gaan geen verskil maak nie. Dit gaan waarskynlik net die seer wat alreeds diep gewortel is, verskerp. Jy kan die kwaai onnie wees vir wie almal bang is of jy kan die onnie wees wat lewens verander.

3. Elke leerder wat voor jou sit, het potensiaal. Hulle besef dit dalk nie eens self nie. Maak ‘n keuse om elkeen se potentiaal raak te sien, maak nie saak hoe stil of hoe stout die kind is nie. Jou geloof in hulle is dalk al wat hulle nodig het om suksesvolle volwassenes te word. Die beste en mooiste geskenk wat jy vir jou leerders kan gee is om in hulle te glo wanneer hulle nie eens in hulself glo nie. Moenie net in die 80% en 90% leerders glo nie. Kyk vir daardie outjie wat 50% kry en sê vir hom julle gaan saam werk om dit 55% te maak!

4. JY HET POTENSIAAL! Potensiaal is ‘n saad wat nooit doodgaan nie en dis binne-in ons almal geplant. Wat is jou potentiaal? As jy dieselfde mens is as wat jy laas jaar was, het jy nie gegroei nie. Verandering is nodig! Jy moet groei. Jy moet jou potentiaal najaag! Jy moet ‘n beter mens en onderwyser word! Jou potentiaal eindig die dag wanneer jy jou laaste asem uitblaas. Moenie dat dit vroeër eindig nie. Gee jou alles – vir jou man of vrou; vir jou eie kinders; vir jou leerders; vir jou kollegas; vir jou hoof; vir jouself. Moet niks terughou nie. Leef ten volle.

5. En dan laastens, hou passie lewendig in jou hart. Ek ontmoet onderwysers op ‘n daaglikse basis wie se passie-vlam lankal geblus is. Ek besef dat daar baie redes is, maar passie is ‘n hartsaak. Wanneer jy passie het vir wat jy doen, het jy nie motivering nodig nie – jou passie motiveer jou.

Steek weer daardie vuurtjie aan die brand en raak opgewonde oor die invloed wat jy op mense se lewens kan hê! Jy is SO NODIG in ons samelewing! Ons het jou nodig! Die wêreld het jou nodig!

Ek wil graag eindig met ‘n ietsie oor myself. Ek het jare terug ‘n woord gekies wat ek dink my as mens 100% beskryf. Sonder om vir iemand daarvan te vertel het ek toe vir my man, my ma en vir ‘n vriendin ook gevra om vir my ‘n woord te kies. Ek het nie woorde om vir julle te sê hoe opgewonde ek was toe hulle almal dieselfde woord as ek gekies het nie. My woord is “teacher”. Ek hou nie skool nie, maar dis WIE ek is. Ek IS ‘n “teacher”. Daar is nie ‘n dag in my lewe wat ek nie vir iemand iets wil leer of self iets wil leer nie. Dis asof dit my hartklop is. En dit is die rede vir hierdie brief aan jou. Ek het ‘n passie vir onderwysers en ek wil jou graag help om jou passie lewendig te hou.

Teen die muur in my studeerkamer regoor my lessenaar staan geskryf: “I was born to serve specific people! I have got to find them!” Ek wil jou uitdaag om elkeen wat jou pad langs kom te sien as iemand vir wie jy gebore is. Jy is veronderstel om in hulle lewens te wees. Maak dit die beste tyd van hulle lewens en dit sál jou beste tyd wees.



Debbie De Jager

Certified John Maxwell Coach, Teacher & Speaker


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