Over the years as I grew, I changed my mind a lot about what I wanted to do with my life, but teaching never came to mind. And for as long as I can remember, I have always dreaded the thought of ever teaching. I would say it was the last thing on my mind but I can’t, because it was not even on my mind!
Yesterday, I had my First Class with JSS 3 and I was simply amazed. You know, I have always thought teaching was so difficult. When I was in secondary school, I was a good student. But I could never teach my classmates or my juniors. It was difficult for me. I knew these things but I just could not impact knowledge on others even though I was one of the class toppers. It made many people feel that I was just being stingy with my brain but it made me hate teaching and feel that I could never teach. This is one of the reasons I dreaded my service year. I knew that the possibility of teaching was a high 99% and I felt I would suck at it.
The class was the first period immediately after assembly. My HOD had promised to introduce me to them but she was nowhere to be found. I had to go myself.
They were copying notes when I walked in. My whole body was shivering inside. In fact, my heart, liver, kidney and everything inside me had jumbled up. But I managed to remain calm on the outside. I was amazed!
The students were a bit confused. They have a little over four weeks to finish the term and here I was, introducing a whole new subject to them.
I managed to get their attention and I began to do my thing. Brethren, it was amazing. I had then contributing as I taught. I used simple examples from every day life to explain what I taught. I even cracked jokes which they laughed heartily to. Brethren, it was simply amazing!
At the end of my lesson, I made my way out the door and smiled when I heard cries of “Aunty you are beautiful” and “Aunty we like you” fill the air. Brethren, I said it was amazing!
You know what it felt like, it felt like I had finally beat up a demon that had tortured me for years. There was a joy that filled my heart, and a certain amount of pride that followed each step I took. And for a second, I felt a tear threaten to fall. I swallowed it back.
But that was just the beginning. Because that was JSS 3A. I had JSS 3B to take next.
To be frank, my success in the first lesson fueled me. I entered the next class with a certainty that I would conquer with little effort. How wrong I was.
This class was different. They were stubborn and determined to not cooperate. I tried my best but lost it when three ‘big’ boys sitting at the back became too much for me. I called them to the front of the class where I talked with them. I backed the class so that only them could hear what I said. I told them that I get it, they want to be woke. They need their classmates to feel intimidated by them and so they carry around a false identity but I know they are scared inside and if they did not cooperate and give me my respect as their teacher, there would be a problem for them. It worked. They kept apologizing. Unfortunately, I could not get to see if they were genuinely sorry because the principal came and sent those who had not completed their school fees home. More than half the class left. So the class was not exactly as I had expected.
Next week is another opportunity. I cannot wait to be in class again.