My Mom, Mrs. King and I.

In this episode, I talk about the two teachers who influenced my life.

My Mother is a college professor at a college university in Nigeria. All my life, I recall seeing my mother with a book. If I was asked about a memory about my mother, I would tell you about the one where she was sitting in her bedroom, by the window reading a book.

It could be a French book, a book in English or German too but, she was reading a book.

Back then, when I was in Nigeria, there was no YouTube, - much less the internet so we used the library, encyclopedias and the dictionary to find words we did not know what the meaning was. Today, we have Wikipedia, Google, YouTube and so much more.

My mother was my very first teacher. She taught me how to use the encyclopedias we had at home, she borrowed books from the library for us and made sure we read the books. She helped with the difficult words from the dictionary.

Today, I want to talk about my Elementary school teacher; Mrs. King. She taught me when I was in Primary 1 and 2. I think I was about eight or nine years old.

I remember being punished for not having the required textbook for the class. I did not have the book because we could not afford it but to Mrs. King’s surprise, I did not fail any of her pop up spelling tests, or quizzes. I think I might have missed a word or two but, I often figured it out. I was among the group of kids who got gifts at the end of the term for doing well in class.

In Primary 2, she was my teacher again and this time, I was not punished for not having the texts because she knew that my not having the texts, did not affect my knowledge of the material. I aced her class again and when I graduated to my next class, we were friends. When she saw me in the hall (my younger brother attended the same elementary school), she asked me if I was still reading and encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

It has been over a couple decades since I left elementary school and a decade plus since I left Nigeria, but I still remember Mrs. King. I recall the math teacher Mr. Bekeh but Mrs. King was my favorite teacher in school. My books might have been late for the class but she showed me that reading could take me to many places.

Do you know a teacher, give them a hug. If you can give more than an apple and say thank you for seeing the diamond in the rough within that troublesome kid in class. To teachers who gave their all even from using their own resources, thank you. Thank you and God bless you.

Happy Teachers week!