Sat | Aug 8, 2020

Swaby-Johnson follows in her mother’s footsteps to care for the nation’s children (Part 2)

Published:Sunday | March 29, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Tameika Swaby-Johnson
Tameika Swaby-Johnson

Mandeville, Manchester:

“The strength of a woman can carry the weight of the world.”

– Unknown

Recently, we met an educator extraordinaire whose aim is to touch the lives of many through initiatives that build not only character but also hope.

Today, we find out how she balances family and work and still finds the time to let her hair down.

“As a leader, mother, and wife, I have come to realise that in order to balance family and work, I have to establish boundaries. These boundaries have helped me to develop a routine and drive a culture and lifestyle of predictability.

“There is always another email to reply to or a situation to attend to, but I try as much as possible to respect the boundaries I have established. I create a detailed work-related planner. There are moments where situations may arise which may cause me to deviate. Aside from that, I have an extremely supportive family. My husband, Robert, and our three children are always involved in any task or project that I have to undertake as a principal,” said Tameika Swaby-Johnson.

She said that there is no separation of house chores in the home and they all work as a unit.

“Whenever my husband gets home from work before me, he prepares dinner, and I do likewise when I get home before him. Each morning, we have our family devotion, then we exercise together. We make it a priority to have dinner together every evening. We also use the opportunity to share how we spent our day. One night in each week, we have a family games night. Each week, a member of the family is responsible to lead games night. This is rather interesting because everyone wants their night for planning games to be the best. Of course, my husband and I ensure that at least once per week, we have a special night, if it’s even an ice cream we sit and eat it together.”


Swaby-Johnson said that although she is a fervent believer in working hard to gain some of the finer things in life, she never loses sight of the things and people that really matter most.

“In order to enjoy a long, healthy, productive, happy life and career, I aim to understand the significance of pace. There are moments when I go extremely hard at work, and there are times when I take it down low. Self-awareness is crucial. Doing so helps me to enjoy the journey as much as the destination,” said the Pratville Primary and Infant School principal. When she has free time or finds herself alone, Swaby-Johnson can be found watching family comedies, maintaining her friendship with some key persons in her life, going on road trips, doing karaoke, and participating in biblical and motivational discussions with sister-in-law Alicia Hill.

With numerous setbacks throughout her life and equally numerous wins, the award-winning educator said her biggest lesson, to date, would be the need to exercise faith, even when a situation looks daunting.

“The most important lesson of my life, so far, is understanding that challenges, hardships, and rejections are experiences that serve as inspiration and motivation to become the individual God has ordained me to be. Experience is the best teacher, and from experiences encountered, I learned my lessons.”

She continued, “I believe in creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning, both for personal and professional development. It is my intention to complete my PhD within a particular time frame. This is part of my commitment to continue to contribute to nation-building through education. I strongly believe there is an inner part of me that has a passion for politics. This is an additional avenue that I intend to utilise to make my community, country, and even the world a better place. It is my intention to pursue make-up artistry and travel regions of Africa with my immediate and extended family.”