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Teacher’s Integrity, Antidote to Owó Èpè (Cursed Salary)

Written by Akeem Alao

All primary school pupils and secondary school students are currently in school as the second academic term begins. In most schools, academic activities commence in earnest. Hope you all enjoyed the holiday.
For the teachers, January 4 was the day. They submitted Lesson plans and notes. They attended the pre-resumption meeting where they discussed all challenges faced during the first academic term and suggested preventive measures against second term. God will crown your efforts and reward you accordingly. I hope you too enjoyed the holidays.
Now, take note of the second prayer – God will reward you accordingly. Many do not still believe that some rewards await teachers hereafter. Yes, there are, even aplenty. Those rewards, as precious as they are, would be shared based on individual level of integrity.

Have you integrity?

Integrity plays a very significant role in the pedagogic life of the teachers and academic life of the learners. A teacher with no integrity has no business in the teaching profession. Teachers with integrity are committed to work. They ensure they prepare adequately before teaching the subjects given to them. When a subject likely poses a challenge they make concerted effort to demystify the mysteries around the subject; they consult senior colleagues, collaborate with friends in another school and sometimes Google a solution and thereby end up facilitating understanding. All these efforts are made to instantiate their commitment to work. It means they are not just teaching to gain some monetary benefits. Teachers who do not make these efforts lack integrity and their salaries are what Yoruba call “Owó èpè” (Cursed money).
Besides, teachers with integrity do not teach only to fulfil all righteousness. They study their learners; identify their uniqueness and work assiduously to help develop the uniqueness. The teachers also identify the weak ones in the class and create adequate time to sincerely organize remedial classes for them in order to transform their weaknesses into strengths. Teachers with integrity are not compelled to do this. They see it as their responsibility.
Integrity also reflects in the marking of pupils’ notes. Teachers who prioritise integrity in all they do will never overlook learner’s mistakes in their notes. They manage their learners and make sure they correct all the mistakes in learners’ notes. It takes both patience and integrity to do this.

What type of teacher are you?

Do you get to work early? Do you show willingness to assist your colleagues? In all you do, always remember that Owó èrè so that you will not labour in futility. Do not leverage parents’ ignorance. Play your professional role in the life of those children. That meretricious after-school lesson you organise may not be necessary if you do work well, except when it is obviously certain that the child needs it. Think about it.
My colleagues, remain pedagogically unshakeable. I wish a happy resumption!

About the author

Akeem Alao

Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.

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