This inspires me to write a very truthful piece about some of the teachers that have remained imprinted in my over forty-year-old memory. Just going down memory lane makes me smile at the whole journey of learning, failing and succeeding.
I have no clear memory of my kindergarten days, except for the fact that I attended Tony Nursery School in Warri, Nigeria and I got spanked really hard on the bottom once for leaving the toilet tap running and forgetting to turn it off.
Memories of my primary school isn’t too rosy either. I attended Olodi Primary School still in Warri. The only teachers I remember are two – Mr. Mensah; my maths teacher who gave me my everlasting phobia for maths with his early morning ‘Mental’. He flogged us hard on our backs, if we failed. I cannot begin to tell you how I became a regular customer of his whippings. Then, there was this Igbo teacher we called ‘Mama Chika,’ because she had a son named Chika in my class. She taught us how to march like soldiers..Lol! That woman would whoop your ass, if we didn’t get in formation (sorry, Beyonce.)
My strongest memories are of my secondary school, Our Ladys High School, Effurun, Delta State, Nigeria. Apart from forging some of the most beautiful friendships with my classmates who have grown into beautiful, strong women today, this school had some of the best teachers one could boast of. It’s amazing how even the teachers who gave me the toughest time made it to my ‘Honor Roll.’ I’d give anything to have a sit down with my English teacher, Mrs. Abodo.
Despite English Language being my best subject, Mrs. Abodo didn’t seem to like me much…Lol! She thought I was lousy, lazy, and almost succeeded in making me feel worthless. Countless times, she punished me for reading novels during lesson time. Then she punished me severely for selling my bead craft in school. Ironically, I grew up to become a writer, novelist and a bead crafter. I was practically being punished for manifesting my talent at an early age. Sometimes I think pupils/students were given unnecessary punishments in our time.
Nevertheless, Mrs. Abodo was a darn good teacher, she knew her profession too well and have an amazing capability to impart it. I would not have achieved such great command of the English language but not for her. And so today, I celebrate her and others in my high school…
And for my University lecturers of University of Calabar (UNICAL), Nigeria; I celebrate:
My spiritual teachers happened to be the most important of all my teachers because they all contributed in moulding the sound mind that I have today. I celebrate the following from my Sunday school teachers to my Bible class teachers to my Pastors…
I celebrate you all today, those alive and in heaven. May God continue to make your good seeds an everlasting reward for your descendants. Thank you.