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Teacher Feature: Teacher David & Teacher Idara

Teacher Feature posts are designed to recognize the incredible ways that educators go above and beyond their job description.

I am so excited to be starting this series with a duo of amazing educators *starts drumroll*  

If you’re one of the lucky students who have them as teachers, I’m sure you’ve got a huge smile on your face right now! They are just AWESOME! Well, shall we start our interview with our fabulous educators?

Teacher David

My name is David Obianyor. I am a Nigerian and I have been teaching primary school Mathematics for 6 years.You can find me on Instagram: @obianyordavid

My passion is based upon the fact that we rise by lifting others.

I play the role of a facilitator of kindness inspiring my students to know that we do not have to be in close proximity with others before we can show kindness.

I am passionate about inspiring people (students and adults) to be all that they can be. I am currently a Microsoft international facilitator and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert working in tandem with some colleagues on getting all of the branches of my school to become Microsoft Showcase Schools in 2020. Among other reasons like passion and delight for talking with children, I felt the need to spice the profession with some smooth moves in the classroom. I love teaching the topic Long Division because it’s so difficult for a lot of teachers to do but I just seem to have it locked down by creating memorable experiences in the class.

My favourite teacher growing up was actually a university lecturer who was just so cool and likened concepts to lots of real-life situations. His name is Professor Ebuehi (University of Lagos).

My most meaningful teaching experience thus far has to be when Miss Idara Umosen and I raised about $1000 for a school in an under-privileged community in the bid to improve their learning conditions.

The best teacher resource I have ever come across has to be ClassDojo

My Favourite food is Plantain (this is my vice)… fried and grilled with a tall glass of milkshake. On a non-school day, you will find me indoors watching series like Money Heist and Game of Thrones. Outdoors, I like to have lunch in 5-star hotels and bask in the ambience. To recharge and refresh,  I stay completely off anything work-related and I have learned how to say no to things that affect my recharging.

My advice to a first-year teacher? You are enough and don’t make any colleague make you feel any less.

My teaching Mantra: Regular is boring!

Teacher Idara

My name is Idara Umosen  and I have been teaching English and Social Studies for 11 years in Nigeria. You can find me on Instagram: @teacheridaraanddavid and @idaraumosne Twitter: @teacheridara

My favourite quote is this: ‘I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.’ –Socrates

I love to engage my learners in their learning process. Long ago, I ceased being the sage on the stage. Peer-to-peer learning and student agency fuels my energy in the classroom. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with other educators; l Iove to motivate and educate. This passion moved me to create a blog, it happened in an era when teachers were ashamed to publicly declare their profession. The blog started the fire, followed by the Social media activities I engaged in with the co-founder of Teachers Idara & David. All these sparked up the fire in many teachers who became more outspoken and dedicated to their work. The blog was such a blessing, it afforded me a few mentions in places that mattered. The ripple effect of my blog -Teacher Idara – birthed a little movement.

I did not stop at that, I have created two online courses, along with my business partner, David Obianyor, with an average of 50 students who paid for them. We loved the way teachers were catching the fire. We started a WhatsApp community for teachers to share and learn with one another. It became more than just a group when we started off our first project with volunteers from the group who assisted in renovating and decorating an underprivileged school. The group has also attracted sponsors who have given countless gifts to empower teachers in doing their jobs more easily, etc. Did I forget to mention that the school project gained international relevance. An American school liked the initiative and started a GoFundMe account that helped to supply a power generating set, cabling and other devices to make teaching a lot easier.

I became a teacher because I believed I had the power to make a difference in the lives of the children under my watch. It has not been as easy as I expected it to be, but there have been testimonies.

My favourite teacher growing up will have to be my French teacher in Class Four, he was a youth corps member. Mr. Kingsley Obelenwa (I hope I got the Spelling right) made me look forward to learning French every Thursday. That love made me learn French at Alliance Francais at Abuja and Lagos for an average of two years. I may not be great at French, but I am definitely a lover of the language.

My most meaningful experience as a teacher is the one which I am currently in – online teaching. I cannot quantify how this experience has changed my world view about teaching and learning. It is quite interesting because in the space of three months, I have taken so many roles and learnt on those roles. I have worked as an online content resource person, an online learning platform creator (small scale), an online learning site manager/supervisor and teacher. It has been mind-blowing. I have learnt how to onboard leaners and their parents through making short videos and facilitating trainings in the use of the online platform and tools (majorly Microsoft applications) for learning. Apart from my roles, I have learnt about the importance of all these skills we talk so much about – collaboration, communication, digital literacy, etc. Everyone living in the world today needs these skills to thrive

I love teaching Social Studies. I once thought it may be because I head the Social Studies department in the organisation that I work. The real reason actually is that it is relatable to everyday life and it makes learning interesting and ‘realer’ for the pupils.

The best teacher resource I have come across is http://www.spellingcity.com. I saw my pupils literally improve in Spelling by engaging with the resources available there.

I love coke and bread-based products. (unhealthy right?…laughs). My healthy alternative is the local pear, I love it.

On a non-school day, I usually rest a lot and use the opportunity to bond with family and loved ones. Then, I do not miss having fancy dinners with either family or loved ones in choice locations when I am tired of the sleep routines. I usually like to stay indoors to recharge. What makes these moments meaningful is my ability to eat well, sleep, think, read and write. The best recharge seasons for me was when I had to eat, sleep, think, read and write in a luxury space like a hotel, the feeling is always priceless.

I constantly like to remind myself that it’s okay to make a mistake as long as you can learn from it. For a first-year teacher, I would say, your experience in a real classroom may not be as you had envisioned. To keep yourself going, get accountability partners to help you stay focused about why you started teaching in the first place.

Dear Teacher David and Teacher Idara, Thank you for being A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

We can see how your magical powers consistently ‘Wow’ your classes and make learning memorable.

Dear Teachers, If you want to weave your magic, then look at these charismatic teachers and learn from them. If we leave it to teacher training institutions, we’re going to send students to sleep.

Stay amazing!