I once never liked the subject, Mathematics. My parents thought enrolling for the National Common Entrance in Primary 4 will be a great idea. ‘Just write it and have a feel of how the exam is” they said. I did and scored 449. I went to FGC Ijanikin for the required interview and found out 450 was the cut off mark. I was pained; not because I would have even gone to secondary school if at all, but that it was just one mark that made the difference. I remember my dad saying “the same head you use to like English language as a subject is the same you can use to like math”. He even went further to encourage me by promising twenty Naira for every time I scored 100% in all math assignments and tests. That motivation was bae.
I also had to attend extra lessons with Mr Koffi. He has to be the best teacher in the world. He taught math effortlessly and made me like the subject. My love for math grew and doing excellently well in it became so effortless and alluring. Before we think who dy/dx or find x, y and z equations don epp, doing calculations in my head without the use of a calculator has been so easy till date. I can calculate some divisions in my head and give you the answers with the accurate decimals. I can also covert any fraction to whole numbers and decimals.
My career choices stemmed from this unusual love for math. The beauty of it all was the grace to not have to read for any math exam or test and still slay. I also represented my school in mathematics competition and won prizes too (let me unleash my bragging rights). Except for one topic about bearing in SS2/3, Math to me was bae. Thank God for Mr. Koffi and my parents. This same love I developed for math helped me get a job in the only company I had wanted to work for after NYSC through their aptitude test. I also interviewed for a job at an Energy company this year and through all the rounds of interview, we were given a case study on some energy jargons with heavy math calculations and I was able to pull through even though I didn’t get the job after all.
Mr. Bamidele of FGGC Ipetumodu taught me math in SS class. In a time where I felt teachers in my school were underappreciated and underpaid, he taught the class with a passion. We used to call him Bam Bam. His signature face towel to wipe the sweat off his face while teaching, the way he pronounced sh as s and the passion in which he taught furether endeared us to him and the subject. He encouraged me to do further math even though I was not a science student. When I dropped f/maths in SS3 first term, he still said I should just sit in the class and learn. It was the same Further maths that made me slay a course (Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences) in 100 and 200level at the University. How will I forget Mr. Adedoja and Mr. Abomide (aka Omo la bouncer)? These men were great and awesome math teachers too. Mr Odukale taught me Government and his style of teaching was unique that we always looked forward to his classes. All FGGC IP teachers rock too.
These teachers will forever remain in my heart and their names will be written in gold. I believe teachers in Nigeria deserve more recognition and deserve to be well paid. It’s sad that despite the meagre salaries some teachers earn, some state governments still owe these salaries for months.
Happy Teachers’ day to every teacher out there. May your reward not be in heaven alone but here on earth. A special shout out to Jennifer Chinenye Emelife, a Facebook friend. I follow all her posts on her experience as a teacher and I feel her joy when she celebrates her students’ success and take us on her journey as a teacher by passion not by default. God bless you.
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