The external exams result is out. Nothing like the grades tells you how good a teacher you have been. Teachers flood the school secretary’s office to justify or take back their predictions. Sometimes it all ends in bragging rights for the school, teacher, parent and then maybe the student. Sometimes, I wonder how many things we do as adults are sincerely actually for the children’s sake.
Just to avoid “I told you” I stopped checking the result alongside other teachers. Pride, maybe but I choose to think that my students will come looking for me in the staff room once they see their result… especially those who actually see you as been helpful…this has worked in the last few years.
“Where’s teacher Tunde? “
Wait, that’s an odd person to come looking for me… or isn’t that Jerry’s voice?
“Sir, have you seen my result? Here it is…. Take a look”
Jerry never ever behaved like he knew my name. I remember that I intentionally set up a quarrel between him and David just to be sure he was not dumb, that’s how come I knew his voice. He never answered to any of my calls. I resorted to writing instructions, corrections and advice into his notes… with the hope that we would read and follow them. I am yet to fully understand if he had a condition or that was just his nature. I brought up his case with other teachers and all I got was good luck with him!
Here we are, jerry and I and that precious piece of paper…
“Sir, my mum is here to see you. I told her about you, she also saw all the notes you made in my math note. Sir, can you hear me? Really….. Are you crying?”
“No, no… where’s your mum...?”
Truth is I cried. Not because I had not seen such beautiful result, but because it belonged to Jerry. Truly, the toughest students bring out the best in us. I gave up on him once. i stopped writing in his notes. I concluded he was not to be trusted with my efforts. I even sought to have him moved to a different class which I did not teach… on the day I was to carry out this plan, I walked into the classroom only to see him engrossed in a discussion with David. I later learned from David that he was arguing that I must have a personal problem because I stopped writing in his notes!
I pledge never to give up on any child. Once, I was wrong.