Thu, 2 October 2014
This week on elllo.org, Abidemi and Jeremy talk about teachers that had a big impact on their lives. See the transcript below.
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Transcript of conversation:
Jeremy: Abidemi, so looking back at your life as a student, can you tell me a little bit about your experience with the best teacher that you had, and maybe a little bit about your worst teacher?
Abidemi: Sure. I think I’ve had many, many great teachers. I’ve been really blessed in that way. Thinking back now, I remember my teacher when I was in primary 6 in Nigeria, actually. His name was Mr. Oleaer. And this teacher was a math and science teacher. And I think the best thing about him was he really took a personal interest in all of us. We could tell that he really cared. Although, he was very much a teacher, he took that authority role but at the same time, he was like our friend. Like during the break time, we would approach him, we would talk to him. And over the summer, he tutored a few of us for the entrance examination to high school because we have that system in Nigeria.
So it was just fun. Every time we saw him, we just have a good time with him. And I remembered he talked to me. He mentored—he was like a mentor. He came to me, and he was wondering what I wanted to be in the future and he made some suggestions because of the scores I had in his class. And to this day, I still remember him. He sticks in my mind. And having taught for a little bit as well, I think for me too, he’s one of the people that I tried to model myself after. I model myself after him. Maybe not even consciously, but I liked the fact that he was a teacher and we knew it but at the same time, he was very friendly. So I really love that aspect of him.
How about you, Jeremy? Anyone comes to mind?
Jeremy: You know, it was more just sort of teacher qualities that I remember from a number of different teachers. And what I always really—when I look back and think about teachers that made a difference, it was teachers that recognized students’ weakness and tried to counsel them or to sort of—in my case, it was that I was a very, very shy person. And a teacher who would talk to me a little bit and give me encouragement if I did a presentation, which was just the worst thing I could possibly ever do because I was so nervous. But teachers that recognized I had a real serious shy problem, and that they would just give a little bit of encouragement. And those with little bits of encouragement, over time I started to gain a little bit more confidence. And by the time I was in university, I still had a problem with giving presentations but—even in university, I had teachers who would compliment me on a job attempted—and I wouldn’t really say well done, but I tried.
And those were the things that really stood out, teachers that recognize when people have issues in their life and they really try to encourage them to overcome those issues. It wasn’t just one teacher. It was a number of teachers. But not all teachers did that. Some of them, it wasn’t part of their job description to be a counselor, I guess, and it was more work and they just didn’t attempted or didn’t care or maybe didn’t recognize it. But some people really thought, here’s a guy who maybe needs a little bit of extra boost, and they would try to help me out. Those are the probably the things that stick out in my mind. And like you, I try to model myself after those teachers to try to find students who need a little bit of extra encouragement and make them feel better about themselves.
Abidemi: I think that’s great. I think as teachers, everyone, if you have an opportunity to be a teacher, one of the best things you can do is to try and find the potential in each and everyone of your student because everyone has something special in them. And for a teacher to recognize that, it’s so awesome. It’s amazing. Yeah.
Jeremy: I think you’re right.
End of Transcript