Teaching is a noble profession. It is no surprise that I often hear people say “if you can read and write, thank the teacher”, this is true but I think it is an understatement because the teacher does not only teach us to read and write but they also teach us a lot of things, from how to sweep, dress, housekeeping, how to interact with people and many other things which we do not count. There are even some habits we pick from our teachers unconsciously. The teacher (right from the very beginning of school to the highest level of education) is also, a parent, a guardian, a counselor, a nurse, a role model, and many more. Many parents are given credit when their children are well-behaved and live up to expectation of the society forgetting that the teacher played a role in the formation of the child. Many a times, we only hear of the “bad deeds” so to speak of teachers. A teacher was caught pounding fufu during school hours, a teacher was caught stealing, a teacher has beaten a pupil and hurt him or her, these are just a few of the news we hear about people who have devoted their full service to humanity.
The lawyer, doctor, law maker, pilot, engineer, people in the security services, farmer, pharmacist and so on all owe it to the teacher although we often overlook that. We are only interested in pointing out their mistakes. We use the academic performance of school children to judge whether the teacher is doing his work well or not. But…the job of the teacher is more than just teaching children what is in the syllabus. There is more to that job called teaching than just standing in front of people and talking to them. The work of a teacher does not only involve teaching students but also preparing lessons, assessing students’ work and also being involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, cultural activities and so on. Teachers also participate in different school committees. Apart from that, teachers also engage children in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that teach children how to be good citozens. I remember how my primary school teachers use to follow us in the morning around the school directing us
how to hold the broom and insisting that we sweep the school compound and classrooms well. Before Independence day on 6th March every year, they guide school children to take part in the march past. They don’t just train and guide them to march alone but they march with them on the d-day, how beautiful to see teachers and their children marching on 6th March day. Some schools even keep farms and gardens and the students, with the help of the teachers grow some crops and fruits which may be used to feed the students or are sold and the money used to develop the school.
Many parents cannot accommodate the behaviours of their children, so they look for every opportunity to keep these children under the care of the teacher. No wonder you hear parents make comments like “when will school reopen so that we can rest”, “why did they give this holiday at all”, “teachers are really doing well”, “couldn’t the teachers have organised an extra-classes this holidays”, “this holiday is too long” and many more when schools are on break. If a parent is complaining because of a child or two, how is the teacher coping with over fifty (50) of these kids, if half of them do not put up good behaviours? It beats my mind that society is not able to praise teachers when a child is good but quickly blame them when a child is not living up to the expectation of the society.
During inter-schools sports and games competition, teachers have to be with the school
children to train them for the various games as well as keep an eye on them to ensure their safety. If any of the students get any injuries while on the field, the teacher becomes a nurse by providing first aid before the case is taken to the hospital if it becomes necessary. When their students are not able to win, these teachers have to console them (the students), encourage and motivate them not to give up. Year after year, they have to put themselves through this difficult situation. Have you ever thought of what the teachers will go through if a misunderstanding and eventually a fight should break up between the various schools while they are having inter-schools games? Your guess is as right as mine… In short, they mould all aspects of our lives. The profession also comes with a lot of risks. Some of these include parents and students attacking teachers, dust from chalk entering their eyes, been arrested if they are not vigilant enough during invigilation, voice disorders, viral diseases from children, stress and so on. In some areas, teaching is done under unfavourable circumstances, in which teachers must mobilize their physical, cognitive and affective capability to reach a teaching production objective, over demanding or generating effort to their psycho-physiology functions. Unfortunately, when many school children are asked what they want to become in future, they quickly say Doctor, Nurse, Lawyer, Engineer, Pilot and so on. They are not interested in Teaching because they see the stress that teachers go through and it is not rewarding enough.
In recent times however, when I see the kind of teachers that are training our children, I feel so sad because I wonder what they are guiding these young ones to become. The way some of them dress, speak and even address issues is nothing to write home about. It may be true that we haven’t defined what decent dressing is in the teaching environment, but there are some kind of dresses and haircuts or hairstyles that portray a negative picture about an
individual. The nuisance of the cell phone is also another thing! Instead of using technology to improve their teaching and learning, most teachers use their mobile phone to take videos and photos of their students which they circulate on social media. I think this is not professional at all. sometimes, when a student is not able to recite the Lord’s Prayer, the National Anthem, the National Pledge or some of the things the teachers expect the students to know, you will find some teachers taking video of this innocent child and sharing on social media. by doing so, they are not aware they are EXPOSING THEIR OWN INCOMPETENCE!!!
Another thing that is common among some teachers, especially male teachers is the kind of relationship that some of these teachers especially male teachers have with female students. Most of the male teachers often joke that “how can one rear guinea fowls and
eat keta school boys”. What this means is that, one cannot have so many girls at your disposal to choose from and go hunting for girls elsewhere, not being sure of the kind of response you will get. No wonder some teachers have TOC (Teacher’s Own Choice). TOC is a special student (usually female) chosen by a teacher to run errands for and serve that teacher. It is therefore not surprising when it comes out that male teachers have impregnated their female students. That doesn’t mean all teachers are like that, there are always bad nuts among the good ones.
All these notwithstanding, the teachers have made a tremendous effect on our lives and
still continue to do so. How many parents can play with their children? We find some teachers playing with their students in schools. They tell stories, recite poems, share riddles, sing, drum, clap, dance, run and do many crazy things with the children. They are making an impact on our social lives. Let us not be so hard on them when some of them misbehave because they are human too and can make mistakes. Have you ever thought to say THANK YOU to a teacher? Well, it is never too late, thank your teachers if you are still
in touch with them. If not, thank any teacher you meet today. As for me, I am calling those of my teachers I have contact with to thank them for making me who I am today. I owe a lot to you which I know I can never repay, that is why I am writing this post in honour of all teachers in the world especially those in Ghana. What beautiful memories I hold of the time I spent in school away from my parents at home but with my parents in school. You have no idea what you are contributing to the development of this country; Ghana. Kudos to you all. CHEERS!!!