The Pride and Reward for Teaching; What exactly is it?
By: Oshaloto, Joseph Tade
I once taught in a private Montessori where I did the much I could do to teach the little scholars and also inculcate basic etiquette in them.
These children’s aptitude for learning is astonishing. They grab a lot faster than I’d envisaged so I made extra effort to cope with the speed with which they operate.
Teaching in a private school is no child’s play – especially for someone like me who loves to stretch himself.
If you a public schools’ teacher ever felt like the system was rigged against you, wait for your private counterparts to recount to you her own ordeal.
But like I’ve always insisted, the indignity meted out on the Nigerian worker is not the problem we can attribute to a specific individual.
Wage vs the hour put to work, wage vs your qualifications, wage vs the encroachment into your holidays, the enslavement of the Nigerian worker is simply untold.
But we should not expect anything better actually. The current situation is such that makes government oversight practically impossible. The government itself is simply crying under a heavy weight that only restructuring can lift.
Employers have a field day messing up with their staffs’ dignity. No adequate monitoring on things that matter. And, the workers are simply too defeated to press for a better terms of service. The CSOs are simply too inadequate in clout, manpower, and strength- some even say they are compromised.
The Nigerian state as with anyone/organization lacking in basic intelligence/structure, is brutal, insensitive and shameless.
Each time I recall, somewhere around the two great rivers how my professors were bullied back into classrooms and laboratories I just freaking SMH. But at least there is a slight recourse to decent remuneration in their own case.
The Nigerian private school teacher apart from being underpaid, sadly, also, gets short paid, repeatedly. She can’t go to court, she can’t demand for explanation. She dare not moot the idea of going on strike. The Nigerian system is expertly rigged against her.
Unfortunately still, all she ever gets to read are parts of speech if she teaches English or conjugasion if she teaches Français. She goes blank when you as much as mention #Restructuring.
She teaches civics but that is just on paper; just to ‘get ma small tin when month end’ (that is, to get her disappointing salary month ending’. No leave bonuses, no allowances and other fringe benefits. This sounds to me as making nonsense of the Nigerian education. But what exactly is it, anyway?
I taught French. And I taught English, also. A cumulative of nine classes. Spanning two schools. A primary and a secondary. But I loved doing it. I love to see them progress from not knowing to knowing. I even enjoy their tiny little voice when they correct me on phonetics (something I taught them fa).
I seem to have an incurable fascination with teaching. I cried one day when my JSS one students did a presentation on my work – it is a work I wrote and titled ‘Being Perfect’ (I think Google has it). I cried because I knew I might not be with them long enough to consolidate on these gains. When I asked them if they could do it, every single one of them said no. But God gave me enough wisdom and patience to coach them and within a very short period, these guys got it!
This, happily and sadly, is the only joy there is to teaching in many private schools. Nothing more!
Nothing more, really. Because at the time, my pay would barely buy my crossbelt. And I am being modest. It can’t even fuel the vehicle I sometimes use. The wage is that poor.
This rather lengthy update is not to berate the exploitative private school operators, at least not frontally. It is to salute their pawns, their footsoldiers, the guys who really make the money – the classroom teachers who either have no alternatives or are having this indescribable LOVE for destiny moulding.
Great is your rewards folks – though I don’t know when
Oshaloto, Joseph Tade is a strategic communication expert. He has a high regard for teaching and teachers.
October 10th, 2017