TEACHING IS A CALLING
By the end of this story, fellow teacher trainees and lecturers will agree with me that indeed, teaching is a calling and training comes in handy to bring out in you the teacher that nature or God had intended.
I’ve been in the teaching field for more than seven years, the experience I have amassed is overwhelming. Having taught as an untrained teacher and now undergoing training, I can connect with ease the mistakes that untrained teachers repeatedly go through in their ‘ trial and error ’pedagogy.
For instance, while I was teaching and my students seemed not to be taking in the content. I would derogatorily ask them? ‘from which bush have you been collected?’ little did I know that such statements affected the psychological peace of the students. I had not learnt that education is a process of social interaction and a public form of social experience. I didn’t know that, such statements constituted an assault in the mind of the learners rendering them silent, passive and un co-operative. Of which the latter kills dialogue, a very important philosophical dimension of education.
In spite of these challenges, in one of the schools where I taught, I manage to prove my worth as a teacher. I rose above other teachers who had undergone training by delivering better results than them. Not once, not twice but on several occasions.
Despite this conquest, I was still not convinced that I was being called to become a teacher. I applied for other courses in different institutions, among them aeronautical engineering at Nairobi Aviation College which I attended for one year, before coming face to face with challenges that terminated my progress. I did not lose hope. After two years I applied once again for another course; this time a diploma course in law at the foundation institute of Africa (FIA). I attended only two semesters and the rest is history.
The worst thing is that, every time I dropped out of college I found myself back in the classroom, teaching. That was when I realized that, I had been trying to run away from a calling like the biblical Jonah, who was sent to Nineveh but instead tried to escape on a boat to Tarshish. It was not until he was swallowed by a whale that he ended up in Nineveh.
I finally decided to take up teaching and that is when I applied for teaching at Kagumo Teachers’ Training College , from where I am writing this story now. A callings can never be circumvented . I now know that there are other friends who share the same testimony as I.
Teaching is a noble profession; it comes with a lot of blessings. It is through the hands of teachers that we have great men. Talking of which, I am reminded of the great man’s theory of leadership. In the same way it holds that leaders are born and not made, I also believe that teachers are born then called to teach. Not every Tom and Jane can teach.
Many a great man has emerged from the teaching profession. The longest serving Kenyan president, Daniel arap Moi was a teacher. Mwalimu Julius Nyerere , the founding father of the republic of Tanzania was a teacher and the third Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki was a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda, to name but a few. It therefore follows that the call to teach is an intermediate stage in advancement to the great man’s theoretical expectations.
My opinion is that, it is through teaching that one sharpens his leadership skills in preparation for the big task.
While studying Stodgill’s list of traits and skills that leaders should have, I found a replica of traits and skills of a teacher.
I therefore conclude that, teaching and leadership are inseparable Siamese twins.
Happy are those who are teachers, for they shall inherit the kingdom of leadership. So if you are a teacher do not be content to remain there, instead be on the lookout, ready to grasp the opportunity of becoming a great leader when you see one.
By Kibet Kigen Farrar,
physics and chemistry student at Kagumo TTC.