Teacher’s Mind: Some wise counsel from children

Many of us agree that wisdom comes with old age. In fact in most cases, once we meet an old fellow on the street or village path, the assumption is that the person heading our way must be some sort of local Albert Einstein or Mahatma Gandhi. 

Many of us agree that wisdom comes with old age. In fact in most cases, once we meet an old fellow on the street or village path, the assumption is that the person heading our way must be some sort of local Albert Einstein or Mahatma Gandhi. 

We rarely think of wisdom as something that can be premised in the minds of younger people. The common verdict is that, these are young minds and in some cases empty ones waiting to be filled with new knowledge from the older members of society.

As a teacher who interacts with some of these young minds, I am glad to say that this is not always the case. There is indeed some wisdom hidden in the minds of the younger generations.

Last week the examination council released the results of the primary leaving and O level examinations. Since the results were released, I have not been paying as much attention to the statistics as compared to the qualitative statements that have accompanied the statistics.

I have been quite impressed by the advice that the best students had for their colleagues still in the school system. Take for instance the advice from 13 year old Ian Manzi who emerged as the best pupil in the national Primary Leaving Exams. Narrating his story to The New Times he revealed his secrets to success.

In addition to having revised diligently before sitting for his exams, Manzi also had a more important message for those who cared to listen. He said that his good relationship with his teachers was vital in paving his road to success. According to him, students should not fear their teachers.

I couldn’t agree more because teachers are not meant to be feared. They can be respected especially if they have earned it (though some do not lead respectable lives). But they should never be feared. Students who do not fear their teachers are certain to have an interesting time at school.

Manzi revealed to The New Times’ reporters, whenever he did not understand anything in class, he would freely ask his teachers.

How I wish all students could take heed of Manzi’s message. Students need not fear teachers. Instead, they out to exploit them to the maximum by making sure they get things they are taught as clearly as possible.

If something is not clear in class, please ask the teacher. If you have a problem asking in front of the whole class, you can still approach the teacher later on the school compound and seek an explanation on almost anything.

The way I know teachers, most of them would only be glad to be of help. It is very wrong for a teacher to propagate fear among his or her students.

Teachers should be people who are easy to approach because this way, students can be confident to consult them on any issues almost at any time.

A teacher should be a modest person always willing to help his or her learners to achieve their goals. This can only be possible if the teacher is approachable.

Manzi also acknowledged the role played by his parents who he claims always encouraged him to do his homework and even assisted him by explaining difficult concepts.

Herein, Manzi has a message to the parents. Parents should play a role in the education of their children if success is to be achieved. Paying school fees does not relieve you of all the care and concern for your child’s academic exploits.

I don’t just want to congratulate Manzi for his academic exploits but also for the wise counsel he had to offer fellow students, parents and even teachers. In next week’s column I will bring you another example of children’s wisdom. 

Contact: ssenyonga@gmail.com

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