When I decided to become a teacher, I knew I had signed up to take care of the biggest investment of parents – their pride and joy. No one said it was going to be easy but no one said too that it was going to be something that will give me so much joy, teach me lessons and at the same time stretch me to the fullest of my ability.
I was assigned to primary one. The pupils were wonderful, cute, pleasant and chatty too. I had to resort to all sorts of means to keep them quiet (which did not include corporal punishment, by the way)
They asked very simple but deep questions which got me thinking on the spot and researching in cases where I did not have answers. They unconsciously pointed out and corrected some flaws I had. I was fond of drinking water which had ice in it and I will suck on the ice after drinking the water. I had kink hair and didn’t mind not combing it because it was hard to comb on no –wash days and it was also fashionable to leave it as such. With time I realized some of my pupils – including guys did not want to comb their hair too and others got into the habit of sucking on pieces of ice too. No one had to prompt me to put an end to those habits. My parents and friends had tried when I was younger to stop me from the sucking of ice habit to no avail. The pupils did it so easily –Just by emulating my ways, I stopped.
I have become more conscious of my appearance, my language which includes my pronunciation and what I do in their presence: be it in class or on the compound. I normally cross my legs when I sit and they do it too. Having realized that my pupils will do more of what I did and said rather than what I just said, I have learnt in my two year stay in that grade to practice all that I preach. Aida asked me sometime, “Why do you say excuse me when you sneeze and other times sorry or bless me”?
They pay attention when I sneeze too, I thought. Before I could continue, she added, “My mummy does it too and when I asked her why, she said I should ask you since I said you do it too”.
Their parents are asked these questions too and they direct them to me when they cannot deal with it immediately. As for me, I have nowhere to redirect them too.
I embrace the challenges that come with my job daily even though it is not easy, especially after realizing how much what I do affects their lives. Psychology studies shows that children learn from adults in their formative years so one must be careful of what they do around them.
After a week or two at post, I thought teaching was too much hard work and I couldn’t cope lest I lead the young ones astray but I rethought, read books and blogs written by other teachers on such topics and how they cope and it really helped. I hope my blog helps too… A good teacher is not one with only the required qualification but the passion, zeal and strength to learn and unlearn on a daily basis.