In the first part of this post we covered a lot of things the Government needs to do in preparing the Teachers for the work at hand. It is important to also consider what we as teachers, educators and even parents need to do to prepare ourselves for the guidance and building of the next generation.
Parents are teachers, so as we read this all of us need to realise that we all have a duty to prepare ourselves for building our nation. The first thing is that we cannot afford to just slide into the role by chance, we must know our roles and we must own our roles as teachers of the next generation of leaders.
Preparing the teacher therefore means that most of us will be intentional about modeling good behaviour, learning how to control our emotions, training ourselves to be better humans so that our examples can inform those watching us so keenly what is right from what is wrong. Remember, children do what we do not what we say.
So what must we do to be personally prepared for the job:-
- Make a to do list of things you want to teach the children, not subject content this time, but more ethics, moral development, emotional intelligence. In other words what qualities would you want your child/children/pupils/students grow up to exude, that would be different than what our present leaders are?
- You would also need to make a don’t do list ( this is something I learned from Yinka Ogunde ). It is not all about what we need to do sometimes, but about what we need to stop doing. Maybe something we are doing is what is stopping us from getting our to do list up and moving. Stop texting while teaching or driving! Just stop it. It is a very bad example and some of us reading this do it. Stop sitting in front of the telly watching several Nollywood movies one after the other and you have not thought through you next few lessons for your class! Stop shouting, hitting, canning the erring students and children! Just stop. There are better ways. Read Wendy Ologe’s new book Connect to Correct. ( I have bought my copy, but not read it yet, but I have followed her enough to know that she will deliver), better to look forward to better ways than stewing in old techniques that do not work.
- Get rid of all distractions when you are with the children. Do you know that a distracted driver is more dangerous than a drunk driver? When we are distracted we cannot give the children our best. Our eyes and mind will miss so many important factors which will prevent us from achieving the goals ahead of us. Our goal is surely to prepare and guide our children to reach their fullest potential so that they can make great impact wherever they find themselves in the future. Distractions will prevent us from getting this right.
- Take hold of the narrative yourself. What do I mean by this? Until the Government does what it should do we should do our part, Teach right, model right, discard what is not right. I say this with all seriousness. Slowly but surely and agenda which we cannot and should not be party to is sipping into the consciousness of the world and our schools. A lot of Civic Education and Social Studies books that have been called out but still in use in our schools are teaching children inappropriate content, about family and sex. just to mention a few… This is serious. Parents need to wake up. Learn and arm yourself with what you need. Do not allow external forces, control over the mind and thoughts of our children
Preparation of the Teacher therefore must take an internal form as well. We must prepare ourselves personally. As we look forward to 2019 I pray that at least one of these points mentioned above would be part of the tools to help change 2019 and make it a better prepared year for us as a nation.