Diary of a Teacher (DoT) with Titilope Ogundele

My Cheerleaders

In 2021, I started teaching phonics. I was going to different schools to teach. It was the first time I would be teaching at the primary school level and it was quite challenging. Handling the nursery pupils was more taxing but, eventually, I adapted.

There was a particular school I always looked forward to, you want to know why? I had quite a number of cheerleaders there.

In that school, the lowest class I was teaching was Nursery 3. At that time, I would have gone to another school to teach before coming to this particular school to teach. So, most of the time I would be a little bit tired. But you know what? My tiredness would disappear as soon as I step into this school. You want to know the secret?

Once the Nursery 3 pupils sight me from afar, they would start screaming, ‘Phonics teacher! Phonics teacher!’ They would jump up as they scream and on some occasions they would run out of their classrooms to hug me. Oh my! I relished the special welcome; it made me feel like a king. It always dissolved my weariness.

But, there was this day I got to the school, expecting the usual elaborate welcome from my cheerleaders and it wasn’t forthcoming, they were in their classroom but none of them said anything. I was worried. I went to their classroom and greeted them, hoping to get a warm welcome but they answered in hushed tone. I was heartbroken! What was my offence?

Then, it dawned on me! Their class teacher was in the class, that was why they had to comport themselves. They dared not ‘misbehave’ in the presence of their class teacher.

Subsequently, I would pray secretly that their class teacher would not be in the class so I could enjoy my elaborate welcome. ‘Someone cannot come and kill the vibes of my cheerleaders for me!’


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