“Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect.
There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it.
There is someone who would miss you if you were gone.
There is a place that you alone can fill.”…Jacob M. Braude
I got visited a few months ago by one of my old students. It was a visit made almost after 21 yrs because he passed out of PASS TUTORIAL COLLEGE in 1995. Since then he attended Yaba Tech, Unilag and did his Masters in England. Today he runs his own oil and gas company based around the Ikeja-Berger axis.
So what was special about the visit? He said since he came back from England he had intended to look for me to say thank you for the way his life was changed at the Tutorial School. He said before he came to the school his father had lost hope on him because of his careless attitude towards education.
He said they were living at Olodi – Apapa and that it was a friend of his father who told him about PASS in Festac. He said despite that his old man was not interested but that it was his mother who brought him to PASS and that he remembered me from the first day he was registered.
He said that even when he changed the father still suspected him of pretense till the day of his graduation from Unilag. He said it was at the end of the ceremony after the father saw his name on the list of graduating students that he stretched out his hands to shake him and told him that he should read further.
He said when he got to England was when he saw the practical demonstration of similar methods used by teachers for them as was done in PASS. He said Unilag lecturers acted like demi-gods but he experienced life coaching again in England the way PASS TUTORIAL COLLEGE did it for them in those days.
So he decided that one day he would leave his workers behind in the office and tell them he was going to look for one Mr. Odumosu in Festac Town. He did not get the address in full but he knew it was somewhere on 5th Avenue so he decided to check me up by going into each close on the avenue asking residents if they knew my close! He was lucky someone in the second close he entered told him my exact address and he came directly.
When we met I could not really recognize him. You can imagine the changes after 21 yrs that would have come upon a boy who was 16 or 17 years old. He was well-dressed, with nicely cut hair and trimmed beard. Nice car too. He told me the methods used for them at PASS were completely different from what was used for them throughout his six years in his secondary school.
And me? I marveled at the strength of the bond a teacher can create with students if he is truly interested in their lives. Many tutors do not seem to know the existence or power of this bond. It was the same bond that made me call my secondary school Mason College almost 27 yrs after I met Revered Donald Mason at Christ’s School Ado-Ekiti. It is the same bond that makes me still posting articles till tomorrow about Reverend Ogunlade (Otura) who took over from Rev Mason after his retirement.
I thanked him for his decision to seek me out and the sacrifice to leave his work and workers behind just to pay me a visit. I also thanked God for what PASS did in his life. As usual my remark was that nothing could have been achieved by me or the school if God had not put the ability in him to “come to himself”through his DNA.
I also told him as I wish to remind any teacher reading this today that we teachers are specially anointed gardeners in God’s garden. No pastor or reverend or shepherd can keep students in the same place from 8 am to 3 pm daily,Monday to Friday. It is only a school and its group of teachers who can.
As a teacher you would have completely missed the road if you think your only concern is to teach subjects allocated to you through the school’s time table. In most schools there are many interfaces for interaction with students outside boxes called classrooms. No matter how short a time you spend with students in any school make sure they can remember your work in their lives 21 years later. My visitor spent only 9 months in PASS from October 94 to June 95 but he came looking for the “Director” in 2016!
This is another experience of mine as as a life coach. Please look closely at yourselves now and what you think you can do for those children who are with you today before it’s too late.All the so-called small children with me in those days have grown up to be papas and mamas too.Those small eyes in your classrooms today,sometimes excited and sometimes afraid, will remember u someday and will decide whether u are worth remembering at all not to talk about leaving their work behind to plod through Lagos traffic just to greet you.
But in the case i just narrated was it greetings with an ordinary handshake?…Lets leave that one out for now….hahaha!
This is my 4th story of the series meant to encourage teachers.The other 3 are on my FB wall.Please have a nice day and thanks for reading