World Teachers Day- Why I became a teacher.

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World Teachers Day
World Teachers Day

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World teachers day wouldn’t be complete without a post by one of our teachers from Ghana.

“I can’t teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” I share this quote of Socrates because it brilliantly captures my way of impacting knowledge – teaching. I have always loved the idea of being a teacher right after Senior High School. I volunteered to teach a couple of times while studying at the university, in my quest to help the Junior High School students in my community prepare and pass their basic exams to enter Senior High.

As a young graduate of Physics, one would think that the next path for me would be to enter the health industry considering I majored in Medical Physics. I rather took up the challenge to join Teach For Ghana, a non-governmental Organisation that recruits Ghana’s most promising individuals as part of a two-year fellowship to lead change in educational outcomes: bridging the educational inequity gap. I committed to teach in an underserved school in Ghana as a Junior High School Mathematics teacher.

Being a teacher in the educational system, living in the community I teach and also engaging with stakeholders in the community to effect the change I want to see, was the greatest profession and decision I had ever taken on my own and it was a promising yet challenging one. My new profession gave me the opportunity to put myself in my students’ shoes and think like them in order to address their problems without judgment.

Teaching gave me a platform to nurture, inspire and empower the future of my country.

Teaching gave me a commitment to push for Women Empowerment in my community through providing a safe space for the teenage girls in the community I served to address issues and setbacks they face as young and budding young ladies as far as their gender was in question.

Teaching made me feel fulfilled.

Teaching gave me an opportunity to showcase my ability to work with diverse groups to achieve rigorous and transformational outcomes.

Teaching took me places, very few professions, if any, would have.

Let me share with you some few takeaways from my participation and facilitation in the Inaugural International Teacher’s Forum held from the 27-29th of August 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

From a teacher perspective, there is a natural tendency to feel like the school system cannot be improved. We need help, from parents, students, and the key stakeholders of the educational system. However, Andreas Schleicher, The Director for Education and Skills, OECD shared the following points in his keynote speech during the Forum on what the educational systems need to focus on:

  1. Preparation time for teachers
  2. Observation, Evaluation and giving and accepting feedback among teachers
  3. Short but efficient and effective use of contact hours
  4. More focus on content and less focus on assessment.

Also, if a change will happen, it has to come from within, then other parties would then be motivated and interested to play a part.

As this year’s World Teacher’s Day theme goes, “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”, they go hand in hand. I will use this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to urgently address the “teacher gap” in the Ghanaian educational sector for the benefit of the future of this country. Also to all the incredible teachers who stay up all night planning what to teach, how to manage behaviors and what best practices to use in the classroom, I say Ayekoo!

Happy Teacher’s Day!!!

Makafui Dzidzienyo

About the author:

Makafui Gracious Dzidzienyo is a Content Associate with Eneza Education, Ghana. Before joining Eneza Education, Makafui was a Teach For Ghana Fellow for two years in an underserved community in the Volta Region of Ghana as a Junior High School Mathematics teacher to address some of the most pressing issues facing the educational system in Ghana. Makafui demonstrates a strong orientation towards establishing environments that will lead to equitable outcomes and develop the necessary mindsets to help each student thrive outside the class.

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