What factors influenced your decision to become a teacher? For some it was an innate calling at a young age. For this teacher, it was a deeply personal experience. Her love of learning and teaching continues to motivate her to become a better teacher and to help nurture the value of life-long learning in others. Meet Teacher Nguper.
My name is Nguper (Goopay) Afiemo. I’m from Nigeria, but I consider myself a global citizen. I have been in active service in the education industry for over a decade now. I currently serve on a school’s management team in Abuja, Nigeria but it’s been such a journey getting here.
My hope is that together we can raise confident, self-assured and assertive individuals for the next generation.
In the classroom, I am quite keen on getting learners to take ownership of their learning. As a school leader, I encourage this at every opportunity. It is only this way that we can get the learners to attain their highest potentials. This way they get to think for themselves, solve problems and produce new ideas and products. The feeling of watching learners attain such heights during lessons is quite indescribable to me. It assures me, that indeed our society is not ready for the breed of individuals that are about to emerge.
Purpose drives me. I recognise daily that I am here for a reason and that my time on this side of the divide is limited. I recognise that I was placed in the education space for a reason. This is why I am unstoppable in all that I do in that regard. I am constantly working on something that could help advance the different stakeholders in the sector; directly or indirectly.
I recently published a book which I am quite proud of. It’s called “Magic with words”. I wrote on a subject I’m quite passionate about; the effect of words on children. The book exposes just how much the words we (teachers and parents) use on children can either make or break them. I think everyone needs to read it. I am also looking forward to an annual teachers’ retreat which I started hosting last year. We are currently planning for the next one but the details are not fully ready yet.
Why did I become a teacher? (Laughs out loud): I became a teacher because… purpose. I ran away from it for the longest time, but kept being re-routed here. It’s a long story, but for today I am so happy to be a teacher and will always remain one. I’m here to stay.
My favourite teacher growing up was Uncle MCL. He was my Primary 4 teacher. He was most unconventional and had me fascinated by his teaching styles. He applied some of the 21st century skills that we apply today, even as far back as then! He made us roleplay lessons, carry out projects, collaborate on tasks, taught us concepts via singing and dancing, recognized our strengths and so much more. I had never seen anything like it before. He is now a lawyer but he will always be my favourite teacher.
My most meaningful teaching experience has to be watching the children I teach grow in confidence and trust because I not only teach but love on them, no matter their ages. It is always a pleasant thing to experience. Children who were cold towards you in the beginning of a school year begin to leave you notes and hugs smiles and it’s just priceless and invaluable.
What do I love to teach? I totally love teaching Creative writing. I love to help children express themselves in writing. Writing is an art and a skill that can help develop self-awareness and all-round growth. If children learn to put down their ideas creatively, they would have learnt a life skill that they would always need to apply.
The best teacher resource I have ever come across? Goodness! This is quite a tough one. But I’d say there have been many that I’ve considered as life-savers on this journey. As a newbie, Primary resources was my go-to source, then TES, then sparklebox. Thank you “twinkl”!!! And so many more.
Favourite food? I’m a foodie, so any “good” food is a favourite at that moment, hehehehe.
On a non-school day, I Spend time with my husband and children, binge on Youtube videos, read, cook (worst activity ever!)
To recharge and refresh, I Sleep in, go on dates with my husband, spend time reading God’s word and prayer.
To a first-year teacher, I’d say stay humble, soak it all in, be excellent at even the most minute of tasks, be ready to learn and accept corrections. Don’t give in to the pressure, be patient with the process. It will begin to make sense soon.
My teaching mantra: Excellence is a priceless value to have. It will announce you. It will get you before kings. In fact, Proverbs 22:29 is my mantra.
You can find me on Instagram @lighthaven_edu_services and Facebook @LighthavenEducationalServices.