Lately, I’ve been quite busy with work, guys. The academic session is rounding up so there were tests and promotional exams to give. Dealing with my boss and students has taken virtue from me. Everyday I’m grateful that my boss is not my father because I would have ran away from home a long time ago.
Preparing examinations questions at my school is quite tricky. Firstly, because exam questions are written on the blackboard (which is actually the front wall darkened with charcoal) for the students to copy, and secondly because the average student doesn’t know how to read or write properly. So while I don’t have the luxury of preparing objective questions, the theory questions have to be very simplified and explained ten times, so that the students will be motivated to attempt the questions.
Yes, many times we have to coax and compel the students to come to school. We have to be certain that we’re not giving tests on market days because the class will be nearly empty on such days. And you can’t threaten them with failure. At least, not people like Rosemary and Aminumenfoh who don’t know the English alphabet by heart. So I resort to flogging, yelling and begging.
I tried for these kids. When the last batch of corps members left and we were understaffed, I agreed teach Home Economics along with my own English Studies, just so that these students can learn something. I started organising spelling bees and teaching spelling every Friday to see if they could improve; e remain to teach A for apple, B for ball…as though they are primary school pupils. We did everything including singing and dancing.
It got to a point when JSS3 students, who I don’t teach, would hang around the classroom windows during my classes because they found me interesting. I was feeling myself, “ah Itoro! You’re truly your father’s daughter. Look at the impact you’re creating”. Fa, fa, fa…fowl! It was all in my head. Those big-headed children didn’t learn anything. They failed! It actually took me by surprise, especially in English Studies examination. JSS2 students came out of the examination hall quite early; looking very happy and bubbly. I felt so fulfilled. But by the time I got home and went through the scripts, I nearly cried.
My score-sheets are filled with red ink. It represents all the blood I wasted on those kids. Life is not as I envisaged. This is why I am very grateful that by October, my youth service will end. Let people who are called to teach take over. I can’t handle this level of emotional trauma anymore. I’m done. Cheers to the long vacation, guys. I’ll be visiting home soon. Are you a teacher or a teaching corps member? What are your long vacation plans?