Mr Okenyi entered the staffroom and started marking his scripts. I paid no attention to him, of course I had my own work cut out for me. It was the famous CA week and every teacher was either marking or recording . he looked up from his scripts and said my name. In my head I screamed ‘ Leave me to work’ but out loud I said ‘yes’?.

” I am surprised” he quipped. Apparently, he had asked his students to write an essay on their favorite teacher which carried 20 marks. He had thought they would mention him to court his favour but most had written my name.

I was taken aback because his class was the dreaded SS 2 students who were having a stint with adolescence and had made me very creative with disciplinary measures to keep them in check.I would have thought they greatly disliked me because I was always on their case.

Fast forward to a year after they wrote their final exam, one of them came to the staffroom and asked to see me outside.

Thinking ‘ this definitely doesn’t sound good’ I sat back. After she came the third time to remind me, Mrs Abdul of blessed memory insisted I dignify her by at least granting her audience. I followed out to find a gallon of vegetable oil waiting, apparently, she was too shy to bring it in. This was a girl I dealt with on and on because she had taken her crush for a classmate too far and was acting married. I expected her to be mad at me.

What am I saying here, intuitively, students know teachers who are interested in their welfare and respond positively to them. The same way they know those who take out their frustration on them and never forget even when they grow.

I feel like a hero when I walk into the bank’s today and see my students behind the counter or enter the hospital and my student is in scrubs. I can’t coun t the number of times a car has pulled up when I needed a ride and it was my student happy to go out of their way to make me comfortable.

Be the teacher, be the friend, be the guide. Its not a thankless job, its a noble profession.

Happy Teachers day.

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