I'd like to start off by quoting (and paraphrasing) Michael Baisden from sometime last week. Quoting Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, Mr. Baisden said, "Two consecutive bad teachers can ruin your child academically."
Boy! Can I tell some stories, especially about High School; Moremi High School Ife and St. Saviour's & St. Olave's in London.
I will leave out some names to protect the guilty! And if you know who they are, please keep their names out of your comments people. Thank you in advance. Not that I can remember all their names after more than twenty years anyway. Sad.
On the other hand, in the same year in high School, we had an amazing Geography teacher, Mrs. Ige. She made me go from a slight dislike of Geography to loving it. She was smart, she was tough, she was a no-nonsense person but whatever she did worked for me. And even though I didn't major in it, I will never forget her.
I also had a great Chemistry teacher and in this case, I looked forward to the classes, and especially the lab sessions. Whatever he did worked for me as well. And I remember.
But four years after she had taught me, I found myself losing interest in Biology. This was the same year we were going to sit for our GCE/WASC, the equivalent of a High School Diploma here. It was not teacher related this time, it was me. Then looking at myself, and realizing I wanted to be a doctor and Biology would be the foundation for a future with a lot of Anatomy in it, I went and got myself a copy of a big book called Modern Biology, and read it from cover to cover as we used to say. From pali to pali. That changed my life. Here I was at age fifteen, taking control of my life and my future.
I didn't discuss it with anyone, nor did I discuss the episode with the Physics teacher with my parents. At some point in early life, they had given me the tools to be independent, to think for myself, to be confident and to voice out my opinion, and most importantly, to take charge of my own affairs. At some point. And it worked, even at age fifteen. Sometimes it worked so much that I didn't seek their help when I needed to!
I am thankful that one or more bad teachers did not affect my destiny, but how about those kids who had a bad teacher for the very thing that was their passion, the very thing they had a gift for? Instead of being guided correctly, maybe they had a teacher who made them turn their back on it instead. Try to imagine that.
As parents, we need to pay attention. Not all kids are take charge kids. I was, but I know everyone wasn't. And this is not to say I didn't have any bumps in the road but that is for another post. Or you can just catch up with my book, The Only Way is Up for a dose of some of the struggle!
May our kids not run into that teacher that antagonizes them in the very thing their destiny is connected to, and if they do, may the good Lord give them the fortitude to pass through it and come out in flying colors on the other side.
A bad teacher truly can change your life, and not in a good way.
Kudos to the good teachers. Our future is closely linked to who teaches us and what we are taught.
PS: And don't y'all laugh about the state of my old school now as you can see in the pictures. We're going to fix it. Yes, we can. For those who have never been to Nigeria, we had the most amazing times in these places and did not see any ugliness; just love, education and lifelong friendships. Can I get an amen?
And as for St. Saviour's, we just lacked space. It's the UK after all.