If I was born at a time when twitter was the in thing, I would have been the crowned the master ‘‘troller’’. That I am sure off because I could tease. I did not only poke fun at my classmates but seniors, juniors and even the staff and head of school.
Knowing that I was on the ‘wanted list’ of those who could not wait to pay me back, I learnt hard, performed my house duties diligently and endeavored to stay out of trouble. I was so near perfect that when I even passed a derogatory comment about a teacher and the class laughed, the teacher will beat everyone except me because I will always answer correctly, any question thrown at me.
This went on so beautifully in my favour that after sometime, anyone who sought to challenge me in ‘’trolling’’ landed into trouble. This was something that I took pride in at the time.
I completed my basic education and moved on to the next stage to study General Science. I was not topping the class anymore but I was always part of the first ten. I could not bully or troll that much because I was a ‘nino’ and could land into serious trouble if I teased a senior or a ‘school child’ of a senior.
Within 3 years, I was done with my Secondary education and was ready to apply to enter the University. This I did in excitement. It was very likely I was going to meet my friends from the basic school there and the thought of teasing them till they cried or chased me away gave me joy.
I did not realize I had chosen the education option of the program I chose to study –Math – till my admission letter came in. “What! Education? Who says I want to teach? At the time I was so sure it was an error so my parents and I went all the way from the capital to University of Cape Coast to request to see the registrar. There my admission form was pulled out and we all saw that I chose to study Math in Education myself. Due to the manner in which we spoke to the registrar, he was reluctant to change it for me.
That is how I ended up as a secondary school teacher. After my four year course, I was posted to The Hill School (not the real name) to do my National Service. After that, I fruitlessly applied for several non-teaching jobs. The only time I applied for a teaching job in the school I teach in now, I got called.
Having stayed at home for four years, I decided to take the offer with the intention of switching to an ‘office’ job later.
Such is the story or worse of most of the teachers these days. In my case, I was academically good. But the scary part of our career is that others get into it because they did not qualify to get into the University or because it is easier to get a job. There is no passion, no love for the students and some of these ‘misplaced’ teachers like me are undisciplined.
I always walked around the school campus thinking that the children mocked me so the least noise I heard, I canned the culprit or the class mercilessly. I always faltered in presenting my teaching plan. I did not care if the students understood what I taught or not. All I cared about was my salary. I received numerous queries.
One day, I was chosen to attend a workshop for teachers and that was when my life changed. Some students, who had quit schooling because of the indiscipline of some teachers or lack of attention and direction were around to share their stories. There were others who used to be teachers at the workshop. They advised those of us who were teachers because of circumstance and not love to quit because it was a more prudent thing to do. I felt guilty and ashamed. I spoke with a counselor afterwards. It was a few days to vacation day and I promised myself that I was going to return when school resumed.
As if my students had read my mind, for the first time they appreciated me. They said I made Math look easy and they admired how I memorized equations and formulas even though they couldn’t do it. They pleaded with me to teach them to appreciate Math. Tears rolled down my eyes.
I am a better teacher now. I go the extra mile to research and prepare my lessons to make it easier for my students. I am not grumpy any more. I love my students and I am interested in what they do out the class. I visit sites that help me to boost my career like this one.
I am addressing this story to any teacher who does not love their job: Please quit. Do not mess up yourself and the future of your students.
P.S Quit properly. Do not be a ghost name in the system.
I am also addressing a teacher who no longer loves the job: Please read blogs such as these or do things to motivate you, sign up for short courses or get an upgrade. Teaching comes with new challenges.
P.S Finding motivation will make you better at what you do.
Finally, I am also addressing people who found themselves in the profession by chance (like me) but have fallen in love with it. Keep the fire burning.
Politicians and their policies will come and go but the impression we leave in the children entrusted into our hands will not leave.
A teacher who loves his job,