One minute with… Leigh Muller, pre-school teacher
Leigh (33) was born and grew up in the Eastern Cape. She studied psychology first at the University of Port Elizabeth, then further at the University of Cape Town. She now lives in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs with her King Cavalier spaniel, Leo. Here, she talks PAM BAILIE through the highs and lows of teaching at Trinity Children’s Centre in Mitchell’s Plain, an area of Cape Town experiencing many challenges…
Teacher Leigh: ‘The best bit of my job is seeing children change from saying nothing to making friends and showing leadership’
A quick low down on Trinity Children’s Centre? It was set up in 2012 in an area of Mitchell’s Plain where the community is constantly challenged by drugs, alcoholism, abuse and teenage pregnancies. We want our children to experience a secure environment and a full life, and believe that this will overflow from them to their families and community.
What attracted you to the post? My heart is for children!
What does the job entail? We offer children a safe environment, feed them healthy meals including daily fresh fruit and milk, and make sure their physical and educational needs are looked after. With so much poverty and brokenness amongst the families here, our teaching needs to be holistic. It’s not just about the ABCs. The kids are open, honest and totally innocent in sharing their lives with us and we often get very emotionally involved.
Leigh with spaniel companion, Leo
Worst bit? Weekends are a worry, wondering how the children are coping at home. As they get older they become more aware of what’s going on around them and are often not sure how to cope.
Best bit? Seeing children who wouldn’t say a word or interact at all change into completely different children who are flourishing, make friends easily and show leadership qualities.
The Trinity vision? We don’t have any government funding but we’re aiming to create a new grade every year and are currently fundraising to add on two more buildings. By 2021 we hope to be up to grade seven…
What keeps you going? We need people to believe in these children, give them love and hope for a different future from the one they’re living. Each day’s another opportunity to be used by God. Every day’s a triumph!