Musings

This Teaching thing…

January 22, 2012
Happy Sunday everyone!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend! I had a really fun time this weekend, I went to a live recording of Nigerian Idol to support my friend Diwari, PLS SEND 526 to 33680 if you’re in Nigeria, she’s really good! voting closes on Wednesday. Thank you 🙂

I also went to a birthday party my sister-friend/better half/best-friend threw for her boyfriend, spent most of the day helping her in the kitchen and getting ready (i’ll probably do a post if I can get the photos) met some amazing people and had a great time. The partner and I have the perfect “we came together but we can mingle too” thing going on. It was such a big success! Well done Khaf!

So now to the actual post, Lots of people have asked how I got into teaching, what it’s been like etc so hopefully I can answer all those questions here.

I’ve kinda always known that at some point in my life I would teach, at first, when I was on my PhD track, it was higher education that I was interested in teaching but I didn’t know it would be so soon. When I made the decision to come back to Nigeria after college I knew that I didn’t want to work in a bank or anything like that. I thought about my experiences, my strengths and how I could give back and of course teaching came up again. Being a teacher is such a creative environment which is exactly the type I thrive in.

I remember the first month of my arrival in Lagos I told everyone upon meeting them “Hey I want to be a teacher, if you know someone hiring let me know” It was my opening sentence to every interaction. Sure enough it paid off, about three different people contacted me about different opportunities. Since I
 hadn’t started my NYSC, I decided it would be best if I just volunteered for a bit. At least to see if I would enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Thankful for my friend Ore who told me about Maroko high school and how they desperately needed some help with their SS3 class who were very far behind. Their exams were coming up and their teachers were over worked and spread thin. I really didn’t understand the gravity of the situation till I took my first set of essays. I was almost discouraged, but I graded slowly and carefully leaving half a page worth of comments for each one.

It was worth it! My students are very eager to learn, sometimes restless and rowdy like teenagers can be but still eager to learn, show off their knowledge and then acquire some more. I haven’t really had any disciplinary issues save for the boys in the back, all I had to do was split them up and then have a one-on-one meeting with them later. Maybe because my students are in SS3 they are more mature or maybe they just appreciate my being there but they are generally well behaved.

I haven’t had any drama with the other teachers since i’m not full on staff, apart from an awkward moment when there was a teacher in the class during my period. Teaching is exhausting, physically and mentally. From preparing my lesson plan, to speaking loudly to a class of 75 students, to standing for hours in a room without a fan. But it is oh-so-rewarding, I really can’t explain the feeling, when my students correct their own mistakes and see their improvement. It’s all the payment I need.

Unfortunately my student’s pride in themselves won’t pay the bills so I had to start looking for a more permanent teaching job that actually pays. By word of mouth again I got called (thanks Khaf!). I had an interview at a private school last week Thursday, it went great and on Tuesday I’m going to sit in on a couple of classes. I’m excited! Wish me luck.

If you’re interested in teaching in Nigeria, and you have time to volunteer I’ll suggest going to a public school in your area and talking to the principal, they would be more than happy to have you! So that’s it on my teaching experience so far, my long term goal is to go into education policy, but I need to know the system before I can fix it. I can’t wait to see where this will take me.

Have a great week ahead!
Love, Sab.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Yinkuslolo January 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    “I need to know the system before I can fix it.” This is my take-home message from your post. I am currently on this health policy track and I am trying to get as much field practice experience as I can, in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Teaching is not easy. I applaud you. As a Teaching assistant in college, I have a new-found respect for teachers because of the patience and zeal that must possess if they want the students to get the most out of their education. Good luck. By the way, when you start your NYSC, won’t you have to change jobs?

    • Reply Sabirah January 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks for the comment! Glad you got something from it. good luck with the health policy.

      The job i interviewed for is for NYSC, hope that answers the question!

  • Reply Miss Enigma January 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I didn’t know you were looking for a teaching job..my Aunt owns a school. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it. Temple Prep School…it’s in Ilupeju. Well glad u’ve found something! :*

    • Reply Sabirah January 27, 2012 at 6:03 am

      No I haven’t oh. But yes I found something yaay!

  • Reply Lummie March 26, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Nice!! looking forward to your nysc stories. lol

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