THE JOY OF A TEACHER By Sanni Kay Yusuf
She called to say me hi after a long while, and I was glad to hear from her – from the varsity she is currently an inmate. Lo and behold, two colleagues of hers – my other students – were there together with her. I spoke to them with the phone on speak-out. Apparently, all were ecstatic to bring to the know of their teacher their graceful ascension to the next academic level. And I too was elated that I had a healthy touch on their lives such that all would consider me worthy of the hint.
In few years to come, one would be a medical doctor, another a pharmacist, and the third an accountant. Wow! May Allah ease their affairs.
The ultimate reward of a teacher isn’t money, but the results of his impactful touch on his students; the wound he is able to heal in the lives of the children under his pupillage; the germination of the seeds he had sown in the education of youngsters. The list is numberless.
Like the joy of a merchant is to see his merchandise yield multiple profits, that of a teacher is to see his taught, trained students excel in their future endeavours. That is what makes him a fulfilled, accomplished professional.
Allah has a way of getting teachers rewarded for their efforts on their students. No hugeness, humongousness or gargantuan-ness of paper pay can ever be commensurate with the teacher’s unequalled sacrifices on his students. Happiness from within is what matters. That is what is called fulfilment. Many have their pockets filled but aren’t professionally fulfilled. What can be greater than seeing one’s students end up as presidents, governors, CEOs, engineers, agriculturists, economists, educationists, pilots, scholars etc.? Mr Richest in Africa – Aliko Dangote – must have been touched by some teachers.
A few years ago, I replied to an inbox-message on Facebook where my interlocutor – from a London university – profusely eulogised me. She said she was proud of me as her high school teacher. Despite taking all the time in the world to make a description of her physique and certain experiences that would snap her image in my head, I couldn’t figure out her face. She did a passionate mention of popular figures and indelible incidents that would imaginarily land her statue before me, yet I didn’t remember her. I went through her profile picture, yet I couldn’t remember who she was. Anyway, the joy of it all was that a soul had been impactfully touched. And she could not but remember the one from whom she had immensely benefitted.
Last year – 2018 – I had a crucial obligation to carry out at UNILAG. While stepping out of the gate – in the night – I had a lady land before me in velocity. She attempted giving a hug, but was thwarted by what she knew of my principle. She knew I would not have a hand shake, nor glue my body to that of a grown-up opposite gender. She therefore didn’t know how to express her happiness. On the spot, she was just shouting, smiling and shaking like a drenched ram. “Sir, here you are!” she echoed. “Good to see you again, sir,” she added. “What are you doing here, girl?” I inquired. “I am studying Law, sir,” she replied, ecstatically. Truly, her appearance depicted her claim. She was in white and black attire – Law students’ uniform. I felt on top of the world. And till I got home that night, I swam joyously in the oceanic stream of fulfilment. I was euphoric! Such is the joy of a teacher.
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