Teachers….I have had a lot of memories with the teachers that I have met in the course of my education.
I remember one nursery teacher so well. I don’t even remember her name but I know that I loved her so so much. This is a big deal because I really am not that expressive about how much I care for people. She taught me so many rhymes and I particularly remember this song, “White sand and gray sand. Who will buy my white sand? Who will buy my gray sand?” I also remember the Christmas carols that she also taught me especially “Once in royal David’s city stood a lonely cattle shed.” It was the December that she taught us this carol and while we were in the week we were to vacate, she got this painful boil on her face. I don’t know how it happened but I also felt this pain in the same spot on my face. It felt as if I was sharing her pain and I remember praying so hard to God to make her get better.
The next teacher is my Class One teacher. She hated me. I knew I was not her favourite from the first day that I walked into her class because I had already flunked the entry exams. How did I know that she hated me? She never cut me any slack the way she used to do other classmates. I survived that class because I was afraid to incur her wrath. I could not read in Class One and my fear of her caused me to learn to read so quickly. The strangest thing that she did that I cannot seem to quite understand until this day is that she sent me to buy snacks for her once and when I brought them to her, she asked me to eat them. It is one of those scenes in my lifetime that I would like to replay if I ever have the opportunity.
There was this teacher named Joyce who was left-handed that I met in Class Five and Six. I felt so sorry for her because she seemed lonely. She told us that she lived in school and only slept at a house for the night and that her home was the school. She really made me understand the distinction between a house and a home. I had assumed everyone was happy going back to the place they spent their nights. Joyce’s sister whom she was sharing a house with was always away studying in school so she was mostly alone. I really wished I had met the sister to tell her to reconsider her living arrangement with Joyce.
Then there was Mr. Adjah, a very simple and interesting man. He taught me Pre-Technical Skills in JHS. I think that the best thing that I learnt from him is that learning is not always about reading books in order to pass exams. He used to constantly tell us that we could flip through books and just look at pictures and that would also count. I find that this also works for me. Sometimes, when I need to warm up, I just flip through the pages of my books and get inspired to read the books. Also the graphic images help me recall things that I have learnt.
In SHS One and Two, I had Mr. Aggrey for Maths. That man was a terror. He whipped us with canes once and this got me angry because I did not believe that any teacher could do that in senior high school. He would write his notes on the board and we would copy them. After, we would fold our arms and watch him explain how he arrived at the answers. Many thought that his method was close to rote learning but surprisingly, they worked for me. I had barely survived Maths in JHS but Mr. Aggrey made me feel that somehow I might have the knack for the subject.
Mr. Tackie….hmmmm…..what a teacher! He taught us how to do magic with Maths. He walked us step by step to also derive Mathematical formulas. Mr. Tackie…. what can I say about him? He made me consider doing Maths at the tertiary level even though I had sworn to hate Maths forever. That man was good. He left Ghana for further studies in the USA. I don’t know if he will come back to Ghana and if he will continue teaching but blessed are all students who meet Mr. Tackie. I still have a picture of him after his postgraduate studies in his gown. Maybe the picture inspires me or maybe it is with some sadness that I look at it.
Do I want to be a teacher? Maybe. There is something noble about that profession. It is something about guiding people and watching people grow and seeing them reach for the stars. May Allah bless all teachers and I am not just talking about the school teachers!