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Tafadzwa Monalisa Musasa, Age 17, Harare, Zimbabwe

My mother is a teacher. I am confident to be writing this, yet I am in place where teachers are mocked and shunned for continuing to work for salaries that don’t match their sweat. Absurd as it may seem, I want to be a teacher – exactly what most teachers discourage. I don’t only want to be a teacher when I grow up, but I want to be a teacher now and I am happy to have started living my dream.

In this pandemic when the school gates have been closed for all and the virtual school has been open for some, my definition of teachers has evolved. It is beyond “teachers are the heroes who have raised our valiant doctors, scientists and medical personnel”.

A teacher does not necessarily mean standing in front of a class with a board next to you. The person who teaches us proper handwashing and mask wearing on television is a teacher. A teacher therefore becomes any person who shares valuable knowledge that saves, improves or advances lives.

I am volunteering as a tutor and content creator for Fundo online learning platform, as well as a live teacher for children without internet access. I tend to forget my age when I pour out my knowledge and yield big smiles and great ideas. I want to be a neuroscientist, but I am proud to be a teacher now. I will retire from all other professions but I will die a teacher. I wasn’t trained for it but I love it and I am good at it.

After the pandemic, why don’t we continue teaching our families, friends, community, nation and continent and not hold on to knowledge. We should all be teachers. That way we can better appreciate teachers with hearts, resources and cooperation.

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