Classroom teaching is tasky but teaching in an inconducive environment, that is on another level.
Students from faculty of education usually in 300level, take on a project called teaching practice (TP), which last for a period of three to six months in selected secondary schools, mostly government schools.
So, in my 300level second semester, I became a student teacher assigned to a junior secondary section, where I was asked to teach JSS1. It was a new term, like it called in the university, they were freshers from different primary schools, most of which were private schools. Imagine coming from a school where you have a desk and a chair to yourself to a classroom where you have to share your seat with four other kids or sit on a broken floor with sand everywhere.
One morning, while teaching, a man came with his beautiful young daughter who happen to be assigned to my class. After exchanging pleasantries with the man, he asked, “auntie where is she going to sit?” I looked around, there was no more seats left, only an open sandy space, I opened my mouth to speak but didn’t even have the right words, meanwhile the little girl in her new school uniform was looking up to me for an answer as well. Then the father went out of the classroom, I could see the tears already forming in the girl’s eyes, probably she thought her father was leaving her behind in a messy class with nowhere to sit. In few seconds, he was back carrying a medium sized stone he saw within the school compound, so his little girl can sit.
Looking at both father and daughter, my own tears started forming that I had to turn towards the window, so my students won’t see me cry…lol. His goodbye with a smile, brought my attention back to the class. I nodded in response with a shy smile while the whole class were watching. I became even more emotional that I couldn’t complete my lesson and had to end the class for that day.
This is one of my numerous classroom experiences. Sometimes I wonder if I really do have the capacity to teach, because naturally, children have a way of getting to my heart.
Apt, Children always have a way of getting to someone’s heart. I also felt bad for the little girl, some teacher wouldn’t even care, Thanks for sharing a lovely experience with us!
Witnessing the deteriorating schools in the country taught me one thing, and it is actually about being lucky and privileges.
While it’s a sad situation finding oneself in such a place as a teacher; working in development cleared my eye on a lot of issues like this.
Before my experience, I honestly couldn’t imagine that much, because I would have been so optimistic that I would have been covered in my own ignorance but I was one of the lucky few who saw these issues first hand and knew how worst things could be.
In retrospect, thinking about the work of a teacher (I was a teacher for my NYSC posting), the actions of the students and how hard it is to read – many people usually ask me how I’m comfortable reading for long, so I know it’s hard.
I can tell that no child deserves such an inhuman treatment, but sadly, till this day, I still don’t understand how we got here and it’s quite pathetic.
Thanks for bringing this issue to the limelight. I’m sure it would help many to see the unthinkable.
Nothing caught my attention more in your teaching experience than the Father-daughter’s relationship. The dad is keen on giving his daughter a bright future regardless of anything.
By the way, teaching is designated for emotional people. People, with good sense of humor like yourself.