As I trod the school corridors, a flashback of childhood overwhelms my thoughts.

It’s been five years teaching at St. Austin’s Academy and interacting with the learners is an amazing adventure. Every child loves adventure and being a teacher guiding them is a privilege like no other, having had an adventure at their age too!

When I was nine, one of our cousins was taken to a boarding school and came back home at the end of the term with endless tales. The tales were farfetched particularly one that she had learnt swimming in the pool. We quickly organized for a lesson in one of the village swamps to learn the skills our cousin had acquired while she was away.

What we didn’t know as the group of young girls was that a boy had nearly drowned in a section of the swamp and a stern church caretaker had been tasked to ensure that children never played near the swamp. Here we were; in our birthday suits, our cousin, the course instructor when the church caretaker came yelling at the top of his voice and welding a cane at hand and running towards us.

Flight mechanism took its place!

We forgot all about the clothes by the swamp, ran towards home. However, we could not go home naked! We hid behind the bushes for nearly an hour until the caretaker left the vicinity then we rushed to dress up-mission aborted.

At St. Austin’s Academy, we believe in compassion. Just like I was with my siblings, cousins and friends when I was young, every child makes mistakes but we need teachers in the school and the community to show them the way.

What makes a good teacher in SAA or any other school in the urban, suburban or the countryside?

When a teacher reflects upon what he or she did in their childhood from a candid perspective, it allows one to teach and mentor learners from a premise of truth. Chinua Achebe said ‘When perception is at war with reality, the truth is the victim’. A good teacher fights for the truth. A good teacher listens and listens keenly. A good teacher is not judgmental, rather is compassionate. A good teacher doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.

As a member of the faculty at SAA, we reinforce the need for Child Protection and being the shoulder upon which a child leans on even as they learn and explore the world.

St. Austin’s offers a platform for holistic learning where a child gains knowledge, develops positive character formation and enhances talent. Thanks to my colleagues

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