At school I dreamed of being a blogger but my English was weak. In Standard 5, the teacher called my mother in and showed her my report. He slid it across the desk in front of her as the whole class watched. There, in large letters, was the word FAILED. And all because of my English.
In Standard 7 when I came home with subject forms, Mama questioned me.
“Are you sure you want to blog? Why don’t you choose Agriculture?”
“I can’t blog with poor English, agriculture only and I want to be a good blogger,” I said, looking down.
“Just promise me you will work hard. I don’t want to be called to school again because you are struggling with English,” she pulled me close and gave me a hug.
I did work hard, like I promised. But I still struggled with English; spelling and pronunciation. Then in Standard 8 things changed when I had access to computers and read e-books.
I remember the day he asked a question in class and no one could give the correct answer. I had an answer in my mind, I wanted to raise my hand but I was shy and frightened I would get it wrong.
“What do you think? What’s the correct answer?” the teacher looked at me like he knew what I was thinking.
I felt uncomfortable, but I had to answer. Everyone had their eyes fixed on me. It was correct and everyone in the classroom clapped. I was delighted.
“Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all here to learn,” my teacher said.
Slowly, I developed the confidence to ask him what I didn’t understand and he took the time to help me understand. Then came my first big test. I desperately needed to prove myself to my mother, to my teacher, and to myself. I sat up late, studying and drinking strong coffee to stay awake.
“And your time starts now!” my teacher said as he finished handing out the test papers. I searched for my pencil. It wasn’t in my bag. I saw the rip in the pocket. It had fallen out on the way to school.
The learners had started writing. I was close to tears when my teacher walked over. “Why aren’t you writing?” he asked.
“I can’t find my pencil, Sir,” I couldn’t even look at him.
He walked to his desk and came back with a pencil
“Use this one,” he said kindly.
I got the highest mark for that test because I took time to draft my work with a pencil and paper then rewrite into pixel correctly. I felt jubilant. I couldn’t wait to go home and show my mother the print out.
When I went to give my teacher his pencil back he said, “No, take it! It’s yours, you have earned it. You just need to believe in yourself more.”
I still keep a tiny precious peace of the pencil today. Every time I take it out I can hear his words and they encourage me to work harder and to believe in myself. Today I am in Form 1 and I have a website where I blog about health issues on wellness and lifestyle.
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