The power of a teacher
A good teacher can change a child’s life. Let’s give them credit, says Masanda Peter.
‘Teacher said so!’

As a parent you know that you cannot argue with what teacher said to your child. The teacher knows best and knows it all in the child’s view and at times Mommy cannot know better than teacher.

An ex- colleague who was having a conversation with her little one and during the conversation the mother was challenging what teacher had said. The child asked: ‘Are you trying to tell me that teacher is wrong and you are right and cleverer than teacher?’ Of course poor mom made a quick u-turn not wanting to argue further.

It’s in such cases that I realised that the teacher holds great power. If a teacher tells you something you tend to believe it because this is someone you usually hold in high regard. Not so long along I raised an issue of cruel teachers, given what had happened at the time to a pupil and many other unfortunate incidents in our schools. Not all of teachers are like that and to some teaching is a calling.  Let’s not let a few bad elements tarnish our perceptions of the profession.

The good teacher

During our time in school we always have that teacher that believes in us no matter what we do. The one teacher who will push you to be your best and will demand the best from you. Perhaps at first you might think that this teacher is picking on you and ask yourself ‘why me?’

At the same time I know of many students who are grateful for what those teachers did for their progress in life and influencing the choices they made. When no one believed in them these teachers encouraged them. Think of the slow learner in class who was encouraged to give his best shot and today is in a prominent position. It took one teacher’s patience to see the good in them and also make them believe in themselves.

The whole class might have been laughing at this child but the teacher made it a point that they perform at their best level in the process instilling self-confidence in the child which comes in handy later in life. Giving extra lessons, homework monitoring the child’s progress because they see something in them.

Some teachers go as far as sourcing bursaries for students who are performing exceptionally well in school but come from poor backgrounds where they might not be able to go to varsity to further their studies.

 I want to salute those teachers and encourage them to keep up the good work. I also have teachers who played a great role in my life and owe where I am to their encouragement and them seeing something in me.

Was there a teacher who played a great role in your life or your child’s?

Read more by Masanda Peter

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