It is not an exaggeration to say that a great teacher can change a student’s life. If you want to be a great educator, you must connect with your pupils and reach them on multiple levels, because the best teachers are committed to their students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom. By forging strong relationships, educators are able to affect virtually every aspect of their students’ lives, teaching them the important life lessons that will help them succeed beyond term papers and standardized tests. Today’s featured Teacher teaches us all an invaluable lesson: teaching with perseverance and purpose. Meet Teacher Omotola.
My name is Omotola Ajibike Adebogun (Nee Ismail). I am a Nigerian. I have taught at the preschool, primary and secondary school levels over a period of fourteen years. I currently teach Government and Social Studies to secondary school students.
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @omojibike
“My hope” is that every child everywhere has equal access and opportunity to quality education.
“My goal as a teacher” is to make as much impact as possible in the moulding process of every child I come across which will help them grow into the ‘Total child’ that is not only book smart but also emotionally and physically smart.
“My passion” – hmmmm… My love for children, especially teenagers and knowing that I can make an impact, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Something I do in my classroom/role that I am proud of or would like to share – I have learnt over the years to get to know my students and treat them as individuals. This helps me to get the best out of each and everyone. It takes a lot of extra time and effort but at the end, I am happy when I see them all doing well. Also, you see that student you rebuked during class for doing or saying something silly, don’t leave without saying some words of encouragement or wisdom to him or her (after your class). Leave out a few minutes to ‘talk’ to him or her. You will break whatever resentment he/she might be building up that way and have his or her interest next time you’re in class. You’re also making sure that child is mentally and emotionally prepared for the next class.
What drives me? I believe my students’ success is my success. When they do well, we all did well. I might not be on the podium getting the accolades, but in my heart, I am happy knowing we made it! I also like to know at the back of my mind that my children will come across teachers as they go through life and I hope that they come across great teachers who will be there for them every step of the way. So, if I want them to get the best, I should give my best. Besides, what is worth doing at all is worth doing best.
I became a teacher by accident. I waited at home for two years wanting to study international relations at UNILAG. One day, my pastor then talks to my mom about this affiliation program University of Ibadan was having with Tai Solarin University of Education then and they obtained the form without letting me know. Boy! Was I livid?! Was forced to go, got admitted and wanted English or French language. I was given Political science instead! I started grudgingly and finished grudgingly!
However, I started falling in love with the vocation during my first teaching practice in 2004 when we had to improvise our teaching aids. You had to think it through and I was proud of what I did. The love of the job started there. I got my first teaching job two weeks after I wrote my last paper and just a few weeks into it, I just knew that was what I was born to do. I usually tell people I am a teacher by calling and by profession. Teaching is me and I am teaching. ️
My favourite teacher growing up was my Grade 4 teacher at Caleb International School, Uncle Joshua (he was still with the school as at 2017!). He was a very good teacher and he knew how to listen!
Let me share my most meaningful teaching experience so far…My teaching career took another dimension in 2010 when I also got the job of being a house mistress to boarding house students. We had a boy of about 10years from the UK. He was told he was coming for a visit but then his mom left without him. He was brought to the hostel by his guardian and wow! What a troubled child! The temper tantrums were out of this world! Somehow, with God’s help, I was able to get through to him and by the time he resumed for JSS2, he was an epitome of good behaviour! He is back in the UK now, doing great (he is into modelling). I am happy knowing that I was an instrument God used to turn his life around.
I love teaching Introduction to Government (First two weeks) because a lot of students are coming into SS1 eager to learn new things and usually a lot of them have misconceptions about the subject. I love putting them straight while also making sure they maintain their interest in the subject.
My best teacher resource has to be Google! It takes you everywhere else! For pre-primary and primary school I would say worksheetsworld.com They have a great collection of worksheets and activities and even let’s you design yours. Simply amazing!
My favourite food is Rice and stew, favourite drink is Fanta / Chi Exotic and favourite snack is shawarma (make sure it’s double delight!)
On a non-school day, I go swimming early in the morning if I can. Read a book, watch a movie, have quality time with family. I also like to clean house
I have different strategies I use to charge and refresh. If I am at work and just need to decompress, I take 30minutes. Find a corner to sit and just sing praises to God. I love to worship. If I am home, I either sing (at the top of my voice!), read a book or watch a movie.
My Advice for a first-year teacher will be: take it easy, one step at a time. Do not be in a hurry. Learn to identify your students as individuals and work with them as such. Also, do not always act like you know everything. Even though you are the teacher, there’s always something to learn from your students. Lastly, enjoy your work!
My teaching mantra is more like a prayer and it goes: ‘Lord, teach me to teach my students everyday, either at work or at play.
Thank you, Teacher Omotola, for inspiring us this week. Stay A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!