Today’s post is by @MallamSawyerr. I’m sorry it’s coming quite late but there were some things I had to settle. I went for the MTN Leadership Seminar on Friday but that’s a post for another day. Anyways, onto today’s post.
Good day people. *bows low to the ground like a Japanese bawse* I greet you all.
First allow me say it’s indeed an honour to be considered worthy of writing a post here, seeing as I can’t seem to find my blogging mojo. Seriously, but for the fact that I’m such an awesome dude my blog would be a ramshackle building without a roof or walls. *sips from his glass of Nippy Narratives*
Excuse me, for I digress. I’m here to write about the Modern Teacher. When Lade asked me to write on anything, that topic kinda leaped at me. But now as I stare at this empty page on this laptop screen, I’m pondering what exactly I should write. I guess I’ll just let it flow. So I hope y’all enjoy it. Toodles.
I am usually looked at differently whenever I tell people what I do for a living. I guess I can understand why. Growing up, your standard teacher was either a middle aged or elderly person who probably had been teaching for centuries and who had no idea what it meant to be a teenager or a young person. So when they see *carries his glistening trumpet and plays an F#* a young, fresh, intelligent, cosmopolitan and articulate young man, the last thing they expect to hear is that he’s a teacher, more so a Physics teacher. *puts down the trumpet, brushes imaginary dust off his shoulder and takes his seat again. Sips from his glass of Nippy Narratives and continues*
Let me say this clearly, the list I’m about to give is by no means exhaustive (Even if I had all the info I couldn’t give Lade everything now could I). Also, this is strictly my opinion, based on the limited experience I’ve had teaching for about 3 years (yeah, that’s pretty short, bite me).
So who’s the “modern teacher”? Well, for one thing he/she may be young or old, that’s not really important. Regardless of his age, a modern teacher is just as the name indicates a teacher who’s modern. Think about it, the “average” 11 year old these days has a Blackberry, is on twitter and facebook and a host of other things. Compare that to what we had when we were 11 and you begin to understand that if you’re going to reach these kids you’re going to need to be able to come down (or go up as the case may be) to their level. Believe me, if you don’t know what drives these kids you would have lost them before you’ve even started
The next thing is language. The first rule of teaching is communication. If the people being taught don’t understand your language, how can they understand whatever concepts you’re trying to teach? Last last na breeze you go dey follow talk. Now does this mean you should have a permanently open tab for Urban Dictionary, nah. Neither does it mean you should do “oversabi” and speak slangs whose meanings you don’t know; they will just ridicule your life. All it simply means is be open to learn. Any teacher worth his salt knows that learning is a continuous never-ending process, and language is one of the things you might have to pick up on as the years pass by.
Another thing which a lot of “old-school” teachers may not want to accept is this, but a modern teacher knows is that the classic role of the teacher being the sole fountain of knowledge is long gone. We live in a Google and Wikipedia generation. And if you think the kids need you to gain knowledge you’re in a Jonzing World *cue in D’Prince, Wizkid n Jesse Jagz*. The internet has broken down A LOT of the barriers that existed previously. So the teacher’s role is now more like being a facilitator of understanding, rather than actual source of knowledge. U gate it?
Finally, a modern teacher understands that all his students are individuals and should be treated as such. From my personal experience, John Maxwell’s principle of leadership “No one cares how much you know, till they know how much you care.” holds true even in the classroom. When a student knows that you truly care about him/her not just as a student in your class, but as an individual, then the education process will truly have begun.
In closing, let me say this. Education goes beyond simply academics. Every teacher, regardless of the subject is a role model, whether they realize it or not. How much of that influence they use positively is now dependent on how much of themselves they have developed. Every day I’m grateful to God for the lives placed in my hands. I leave you with a prayer I composed called The Teacher’s Prayer (very creative right, yeah, I know).
Father give me the knowledge to instruct,
The wisdom to inspire,
The patience to understand,
The love to chastise,
And,the humility to accept when I am wrong,
That I may influence positively the minds in my care.
My name is Mallam Sawyerr and I am a modern teacher. *bows honourably like a Japanese bawse and teleports*