To the millions of South African high school students returning to school over the next few days

by Rod Smith

It is highly likely everyone who works at your school is there because they like people and they want to assist you to be very successful. They find empowering others to be fulfilling. While teachers and coaches may really like rugby, the sciences, mathematics, or languages, these legitimate and deeply held passions probably did not draw them to  the profession. You did. Yes, you. Get to know your teachers. Let them get to know you. You are a person in a school, not a gadget on an assembly line. Teachers love to teach. When you demonstrate you want to learn, you will have life-long advocates in all who teach you and people who will readily applaud your every success.      

Your success will be built from the ground up. It’s a lesson-by-lesson, day-by-day, assignment-by-assignment journey. There will be days when you can offer more; days when you feel you have less motivation and have less to offer. Your teachers will understand this. They have similar experiences. On days you are less motivated your challenge is to remain up to date. Falling behind is dangerous. Before you can say Pythagoras, the wave of unfinished work will hit you and you’ll be drowning in unfinished work and diminishing grades or marks. Use the days you feel highly motivated to get ahead and so create a cushion for the not-so-good days.

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