When I was a child, I wanted to grow up to be a Teacher. This choice of career was not because I had a deep desire to impart knowledge. In Nigeria, Teachers at the time got to beat unruly children with a cane. Even as a child, the thought of wielding that sort of power was intoxicating.
A favourite pastime of mine was arranging my dolls in a make-believe classroom and talking to them sternly. I even had a register which I used to take the daily attendance of my doll-students.
Years later, I gained admission into the University to study Political Science and Education. Teaching Practice was therefore a mandatory part of the course, which was to be carried out at the end of my third year of studies.
It is because of my experience during Teaching Practice that I made the decision to follow the Political Science path and not Education when the time came to make a decision about postgraduate studies. The teaching aspect wasn’t the problem; I enjoyed the experience more than I thought I would (I taught Government to SS1 students). The decision was based on the realities experienced by the Teachers whom I met at my assigned School.
I was posted to a public school. A lot of the classes did not have windows or doors. When it rained, I would have to wait patiently for the students to sweep out the water from the flooded classroom before I could go in to teach them. There was a general sense of dejection and indifference from the Teachers due to delayed salaries and poor infrastructure. Perhaps if I had been sent to a posh secondary school, my perception of teaching would have been different.
I admire Teachers; teaching is a career that is so necessary and yet often overlooked in it’s importance. If any Teacher out there needs someone to pull the ears of a naughty student, I am always available to lend a helping hand 🙂
Day 8 #nablopomo