What are you doing with the children God has put in your care?
You don’t have to be their biological or adopted parent yet, but there’s a child near you
This got me thinking and I got defensive and blurted out loud “I don’t have daily contact with people’s children” then I remembered I have over 50 students in my care every day.
This post was originally published on the 17th of June, 2017. This version has information I had previously left out
Yes, I’m a teacher, an English teacher. My duty since January 2017 when I decided to serve my country. I have the best class ever, SS2 students. The guys who think they’ve arrived. They think they’re the “shit” but they’ve not seen anything yet. We all thought so once until life proved us wrong.
Initially, I thought I wouldn’t survive because I had never taught a day in my life. I remembered how students gave corpers a hard time when I was in school. Thankfully, I haven’t had that experience, my students have been cooperative so far.
I try my best, at least I think I do. I take the time to prepare for my classes and explain each concept to them over and over until I’m sure they understand. Now I appreciate all my teachers, teaching isn’t easy.
I’m human so there are days I’m frustrated out of my mind. Why? The students have a unique way of making you feel like you’re wasting your time when they do badly in their tests and assignments or can’t answer questions correctly. Then I start to wonder if there’s any point in stressing myself, after all, I’d get paid month end so “it’s not my business”
It sure is my business. This reminds me of Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. The whole idea is to start them off on the right path; the rest they’ll figure out as they grow. Nobody said it will be easy, nothing good ever came easy. Your task is only complete when there has been a paradigm shift in their lives.
How did I get here?
Believe me, teaching wasn’t in my plan for my life. If someone had asked me 5 years ago where I’d see myself in 5 years, I wouldn’t have envisioned teaching but here I am enjoying every bit of it.
As a fresh graduate, I was all about getting a good paying job so it was heartbreaking to discover the federal government had decided to subject me to the four walls of a school. Thankfully, the best advice I received from a friend was “Keep an open mind” which has helped me survive this past 6 months.
I decided to give it all I’ve got. I see it as a year of community service. I have my life ahead of me to make all the money I want to make but, the joy derived from helping and investing in lives is more than the joy money can give you. To be served, I am learning what it is to serve.
I blend the strategies of my favorite teachers back in secondary school with a dose of Ivan Pavlov’s Operant Conditioning Theory (putting my psychology degree to work) to make my classes fun. Well, I have those who stay in my class because they genuinely want to learn and a few others who are there just to stare at my face. Either way, I have their attention and hopefully, something’s being rewired in their brain.
I want children and I know a lot of people who do too. I don’t know about you but the thought of raising them right freaks me out. Sometimes I ask my mom how she did it because it’s not an easy task. There’s so much I hope my children will be and do. I ask for the grace and wisdom to raise them the right way, be attentive to their needs, and be their number one “hype-man”. It starts from here with my students. What I do every day to make them better. It’s not just about teaching them English anymore. It’s more of seeing that child that’ll push through life even when all the odds are against him. My teachers never gave up on me and I know wherever they are today they’re proud.
Can God trust you enough to give you your own children when you don’t care about the ones he has put in your care now?
It’s no accident that you come across children. No matter how little, make an impact in the child’s life. There’s so much you can do in as little as 30 minutes. I know that all I am today and all I’m becoming isn’t solely the effort of my biological parents but by the people who have come into my life at one point or the other.
Children are the leaders of tomorrow, yeah? What leader have you helped create today?
I remember the days we were raised by our community. The old woman in the street will beat you and drag you in the dust when you misbehaved. We knew we had to behave well because it was a silent rule that anyone in your community had the right to correct you. These days everyone’s literally “minding their business”
After service, I haven’t had a close relationship with any child but that’s about to change. Remember someone’s always watching. There’s a child that needs your love and attention today, please reach out and be a guide.