The role of the first teacher in any topic is less about teaching and more about instilling a passion for learning.

To share knowledge, one must first spark interest and stimulate a desire to learn.

Education is at its most effective in the early stages when it is delivered with care, excitement, and encouragement.

It’s not enough to merely bark instructions to people and hope that they absorb and act on them.

People have a hard time learning when they feel threatened or intimidated.

People like being coached and mentored, not being told.

This is not only applicable to grade 1 learners at primary school, but it is also applicable to new staff members at work.

The Brazilian education thought leader Paulo Freire says the following in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed:

“Education is an act of love, and thus an act of courage.”

“Education is freedom.”

If you are a teacher, approach your job with compassion. When there is love, people are motivated to openly pursue knowledge.

This is useful for first-graders in elementary school and entrepreneurs who have to train new employees. This applies to pastors who have to share a spiritual word, it applies to mentors, coaches, parents and anyone else in a position to encourage others.

Do it with love.

Ps: Today marked the first day of school for millions of South African students. I wish them, their teachers, and other role players a learning adventure filled with love and inspiration.

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