Remembering Mum’s new work and mine.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him ; and He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37: 5
In my photo album from this time is a newspaper article and picture of Mum. It was a write up for the Bulawayo newspaper about the children’s home.

After Shelly got married and I returned to England Mum wanted something more to do. She loved children and whether through, recommendations or interviews, she became Matron of the children’s home in Bulawayo. Mum was faithful in her letter writing , our only contact , and sadly I was awful. I know that during her time there she was very careful who she employed and that she carried a heavy burden of love and concern for each child. Mum would pray and sometimes cry, her heart and mind being in her work. She needed the distraction from home being empty of us and Dad with his routines. I wish I knew more about what happened but I don’t. I had my own challenges.

I can’t remember how long I worked for one hour a week teaching but it seems quite soon that I was invited for an interview. I don’t know why I sometimes preempt things but I do. When asked : ” How have you found teaching these few hours?” My answer was quick: ” I am a teacher of young children. I was told by one of my supervisors my gift was with this age group. I don’t feel qualified to teach adults. ” The answer to that was : ” If you apply to International House London for their intensive course we will sponsor you and if you pass you will have full time employment with us. If that is what you would like?”

This was all so undeserved and I felt blessed and privileged. There were only two “ifs” not three. I enjoyed teaching. I applied. Did a small test, went for an interview and with the course oversubscribed I still got a place. I met two important criteria , those important hours of experience and an offer of employment.

I was warned that the course was intensive and it proved to be that! I found travel into London for the first week nerve racking, the underground system, the noise, the people and being alone. (I am dreadful with map reading and directions.) The next 3 weeks our group of twelve teachers were asked to meet at Wimbledon and I lift shared with another student living in my area. Our course involved input sessions in the morning, with practical team teaching of students in the afternoon. All in front of our peers with feed back for each other.

I remember how patient Mary was at helping us with grammar questions. Especially the question ‘ why? ‘ She encouraged us to prepare for it and elicit the answer from the students who might know and then always have concept checking questions ready. It was all so demanding but good.

I was exhausted by this month but passed all the requirements. I felt once again blessed and unexpectedly priviledged. Mum and I were both finding our feet in challenging jobs and we were happy…

Some sayings about teaching:

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.


The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.

Mark Van Doren (American poet and writer 1894- 1972)

Education is not preparation for life, it is life itself.

John Dewey( American Philosopher and Psychologist 1859-1952)

I usually continue to write something abou my life over the weekend but the Internet hasn’t been that reliable. Sorry.

Thank you for reading this post.

Sandy 🙂

5 thoughts on “Remembering Mum’s new work and mine.

  1. Your mum really sounds like an angel taking care of those children. Bless her for that important work. I’ve volunteered at a crisis nursery off and on over the years and its hard, demanding, and emotional work. It takes a tender, loving soul.


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