I was recently invited to give  talk to a group of High school teachers. It was a challenge and a privilege.  I said yes, not because I had anything to tell them, but because I was doing a friend a favor. I pondered,wondering what to tell a group of teachers. After a long debate within, this was my message to them…

  • Amidst all the unimportance preached against your profession, teaching is still very important. I believe that there are three persons who have the capacity to impact on the life of a person, positively or otherwise;the parent; the teacher and the priest/pastor. You can influence their character, expand their mind, mould their values, direct them towards becoming the very best of themselves. It is all in the words, the power of spoken words, in the home, in the classroom, in the pulpit. Words that create or destroy, words that tear or build, words that makes one fly or bring one tumbling down. They come to you like wet cement, whatever impression you put on them lasts forever. You have limited time to interact with this soul, mould it well. Albert Einstein once wrote that teaching is the profession that creates all other professions. Honor your worth.
  • He who must once teach must never cease to learn. One must create time so that they can perfect their best. After you perfect you then you are in a capacity to perfect others in the field of your interest. Build yourself so you can build others. Become a masterpiece of your own person, then you can create beautiful works of art.
  • The world will not honor you for the work you do, you must then honor yourself. The greatest teachers, Henry David Thoreau, John Locke, Albert Einstein among others still remain influential to date, because they attached value to imparting knowledge and sharing it more than he reward they got while at it. You must love what you do beyond the the returns it brings you, not because the love will put food on your table, but because the rewards of your impact are beyond the finest food you will ever eat.
  • Organization must be geared towards a common goal. While each teacher has a unique specialty, all the resources, human, time and otherwise, must be harnessed towards the betterment of a student. Not only academically but all round success. A school therefore is not only a machine for learning but a culture where all work together to bring up a human person.  It is an environment where talent is nurtured, innovation is encouraged and values are grown. The school could be having a dream, but we are all a part of that dream.
  • A school is not a machine. We must realize that each person who comes into it is human, with its own uniqueness, different backgrounds, different environments of growth, different personalities and temperaments. Like my grandmother said, there are children born with teeth and others with none, meaning, our levels of interactions with different people come at different ages. We do not expect like thinking just because we wear the same uniform. We are different, abled differently, all needing love, acceptance and respect, in spite of who we are. If your contribution towards in this person is n making this person better at their best and improving on their worst, then you will not have lived in vain and your impact will be for generations to come.
  • Finally, what what the children become is your responsibility. Not because you wont have bad results, but because you gave your very best. Teaching is giving yourself to make someone else better. I believe in doing the very best, so that when you are old, and you look back and ask yourself if you would change anything given another chance, you would confidently say, I wouldn’t change a thing…

You are a teacher. You have one chance. Be the very best. Do your very best. Become the very best. By being, you help someone else become… 

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