Five things to know about asthma


I had a terrible shock to my system a few days ago.

For the past year I have been coping really well with my depression, but Thursday I collapsed.

I already knew that stress triggers my asthma, but because I’ve been so busy I didn’t pay attention to the signs.  And here I am today… Traumatized.

Things on my mind last week :

  • Grade 12 moderation – the weakest group I’ve ever had
  • Pencilbox programme, how to print certificates
  • Barnard House Braai –  250 learners, halaal, kosher, vegetarian… Drinks, salads, meat.
  • Barnard House prize giving ceremony –  top achiever certificates and trophies
  • Hofmeyer Cup singing competition
  • Hostel inspection for Matron Sam cup
  • Perfect selection for 2016
  • Prefect camp weekend
  • Schalk’s first super 12 swimming competition
  • Grade 10 life Science cycle test

I started out stressed on Thursday getting ready for the competitions and Braai.  I got the braaiers ready, the charcoal and bits. The grade 11 group helped set out the 100 chairs.  We hung the flag and set the tables.  Then I walked to the office to get the table cloth for the Trophy table…


My lungs closed up 10 m from the office.  I made it inside and phoned my husband to bring my backup asthma pump because mine just emptied right there.  I remember sitting down and breaking out in cold sweat as my body tried to get air.  I tried to relax but panicked because I could not breath.  It felt like hours before he arrived with the pump.  After that… Blurry.

He took me home and for the next two days I stayed in bed, slept a lot, nebulised, slept, asthma pump, slept, used much mucolytics, slept. I worried about Saturday and the swimming, but we packed a sleeping bag, tent and cushion.

Monday I had to go back to school and I was really worried about how my body would handle it.  I was  exhausted but the end of the day but elated that I made it.  Last night I cried.  The stress and relief flooded my system.

This has been a traumatic event.  October seems to be my red flag month.  I will have to put measures in place to prevent the same thing from happening next year.

The University of Maryland medical center had an excellent summary of Asthma.


Change your attitude

As educators we get overrun with policies, acts, attitudes  and administration.  Many of us feel like giving up or breaking down.  Recently a whatsapp message have been doing the rounds. It’s in Afrikaans…






Loosely translated of highlights the following points:

Teachers are under appreciated and disrespected
Teachers are not compensated for the long hours they work
Teachers are supposed to be disciplinarian but have no tools to use
Teachers are in danger
Teachers have no authority
Teachers are not consulted about what learners needs
Teachers are not consulted about the curriculum
Political and Commercial Bureaucrats have no idea what they are talking about

District NTA


Here we are again.  This time at the district National Teachers Awards gala.

A week ago my husband and son sat in the rain at 8 pm waiting for me to complete my next interview.  The panel was a mixture of union members and district Co ordinators.


The opening prayer was about excellence. Be excellent in all that you do. And thank God for the excellent spirit he gave us namely the Holy Spirit.

The candle lighting ceremony was lead by Mr W Mawela.

The welcoming adres was given by Ms S. Yssel.


Mr Sebolai the district NTA co ordinator gave us an overview of what the NTA is and why it is so important to participate. 15 years of awards giving educators their due respect and awards. As part of the strategy to reclaim the status of teaching the essence of the theme of the year is :

Teaching the heartbeat of the Nation.


Popping the kernel of education. Like popcorn we all start as corn kernels. Some of us jump into the heat of the competition and then we pop! Some however will pop sooner and some will never pop. But if you don’t get into the pot, you will never know which type you are.

We don’t fail. It’s just the First Attempt in Learning.

The keynote address was done by Ms Yssel for Mr. H. Motara.

It takes a long time to hand out the awards. But finally it’s my category….

Well This had been fun!

Clear your mind


I feel a bit overwhelmed at times.  I love my life and the challenges it presents,  but sometimes when it rains… it pours!

This is one of the main reasons Time Management is so important.  Like this week.  My husband’s car broke and so we are sharing mine.  This however leads to many clashing events.  How to negotiate which is more important is a delicate matter. 

Yet at the same time the extra time together as a family, even just a few minutes, were absolutely amazing. I will miss it when I have my wheels back.

I know that I need to prioritise events and I need to learn how to delegate. So here is a list of things I am going to try to implement in my life.

Five tips for better Time Management

5 Tips for good communication


We need to talk

These are dreaded words. In most relationships what follows is usually something really terrible.

Communication : the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.

October 2014 was a terrible time in my life. My husband sat me down with these words, and my world came to a standstill. In that moment I thought the worst. Luckily I have a loving husband, who has patiently waited all these years for me to get my act together.

I had major problems with communication. Talking was easy in my classroom, or at work in general. Even with strangers. But when it came to communicating with my family, I struggled. I was afraid of opening up. I was afraid that if they saw what was in my heart they would leave me.

Yet after I took the plunge, it felt as if a major weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My burdens were now our burdens, and he made me understand, by repeating as often as he needed to , that I WAS NOT ALONE.

This saved me.

Here are a few ideas that helped me to open up to my husband. Maybe some of them will help you too.

5 Tips for good communication

  1. a
  2. Be physical. Men are often more tactile than women, touching seems to sooth them. They don’t talk about their feelings, they show it. So by placing a hand on his arm or knee he feels a much stronger connection to you and opens up your channel to share with him.

  3. b
  4. The right time. Conversations throughout the day usually deals with organisational items. The who does what when, but a couple rarely gets a chance to talk to each other. Set time out each day, even just 20 minutes where you need to talk about deeper issues. Make a list if you have to.

  5. c
  6. Verbalise your feeling. Men cannot read minds. If you are upset say “I’m upset” not “I’m fine” while fuming! They need to hear it. And maybe you need to consider carefully why you feel the way you feel.

  7. d
  8. Pay attention to needs. Find out what he needs from you and explain what you need from him. This cuts out a lot of misunderstandings.

  9. e
  10. Have fun together. By being actively involved in an activity that gives both partners a chance to have fun you get to build your relationship and you get to build memories that you can talk about when you are old and grey together.

This past year I have had amazing conversations with my husband. I am truly Blessed with him in my life.

4 Goals to set yourself


Keeping motivated is very difficult. For the past few days, I have really felt very demotivated and emotional. A few factors have led to this feeling; like reaching my six months goal weight, completing my second photo shoot, getting nominated for the National Teacher Awards, completing the scheduling for my Teaching Portfolio blogs  (until 15 September at least) . And then there is the added emotional baggage of the learners in my class, both good and bad.

The only thing keeping me standing at the moment is the fact that I am not alone. My husband is my pillar of strength in this time. God knew exactly who would be my perfect partner, and I thank Him for Hoffie. Last knight we had a long conversation about my current situation, and he gave me some valuable advice. But more important to me is his support.

From my previous blog on post achievement depression I have realized that I need to set some new goals for myself. But setting goals is not always easy.


Determine what you want and why you want it. Once you understand what’s important, you can utilise your passions and achieve anything. Brooke Griffin

4 Goals to set for yourself in life

Happiness – planning and pursuing things that are important to us, leads us on our path of happiness; by making our life interesting, giving it meaning and imbuing it with pleasure.

Success – once you have set your goals in motion they will stay in motion until an outside force stops it. To be successful you need to try more things and get busier. Reaching even the smallest goal makes you want to be more successful in any area of your life that you choose.

Meaning – material, social or spiritual… What holds the most meaning to you? Your goals should be in line with this.

Integrity – living your life in line with your moral code and not just as liberally as you wish; being honest with yourself as well as others gives you a good reputation and long term satisfaction.

I love this idea and try to live by it.