I know you have needs as a teacher, I know you have limitations, challenges and uncertainties surrounding your job. You may even say “oh, how much is my take home?” Remember that at the very moment, you have a big assignment before you. You have these children to cater for, mould and release into the future. A future where they will look back and say yes, my teacher tried. I remember something very quickly now, way back when I was in secondary school, I had this teacher called Mr Obiakarije. Interestingly, he’s about the only one now, among so many of my teachers back then, that I can recollect his name without having to think about it. He was my Physics teacher in the senior secondary.
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He would not only teach us physics, he mentored us. Today, I find it hard to remember the names of most of my secondary school teachers. Well, if I sit quietly and think, maybe I’ll remember some of them, but I do not have to think to remember Mr Obiakarije. What he did for us then is so significant, I cannot forget him. He made sure we loved not just physics, but schooling. He disciplined us when there was need to. But he spent extra hours in school counselling us emotionally.
Now, that’s the kind of teacher I want you to be, but it begins with self. It begins with understanding the real reasons why you’re a teacher. I’ve established to you that you are not working because of money. That’s insufficient a reason to spend one third of your life on that activity. If you’re able to understand the real reasons, you agree and find it easy to work on yourself. Effective self-leadership is talking about working on yourself and your attitudes. Let me quickly reveal to you the real reasons why you’re spending one third of your life teaching in that school – spending 8 hours every day within the 4 walls of the school. If you have spent 6 years working in that school, it means you’ve spent 2 whole years.
You will not be productive as a teacher until you find a meeting point between your own dreams and aspirations, and the vision of the school. You could say teaching is your dream and aspiration and your passion. That I know, but you see, as individuals, we all have these yearnings and dreams in one corner of our hearts that we wish to see ourselves operate in. You often hear people say teaching is my job, but this thing or that thing is something I’m passionate about, but here’s my conclusion tonight. It doesn’t matter what you think you want or what you currently earn. If you’ve chosen to be a teacher, or maybe teaching chose you, or you’re doing it because this is where you got a job, you need to understand that this is a calling. And you are contributing your quota to solve a global problem and so you cannot afford to peg your delivery to the mercy of your meager earning.
Think tall, thread the path of honour, you can be like my physics teacher. He opened my first email for me, now I’m a teacher on the internet. To me, he’s Indispensable. You can be too.
Join me next time