Our day is a much-anticipated day in the academic calendar for basic school children. Of the three terms, our day is the only vacation day they actually celebrate; it tells them they will be moving to the next class when school resumes. Well, I am not one of these students. Yet, right from the beginning of the Academic year, I have waited for our day too.
You know, the thought of having to play a real teacher for my mandatory National service was no easy reality to accept. Every day in those early times, I wondered how things would play out; how I was actually going to do this teacher thing. So in my anxiety, I could not wait to be rid of it all. I could not wait to let out a deep sigh of relief when our day finally came. And even more so when things got more challenging as the academic year progressed; when my students turned out to be such a handful!
Over the period, however, I have grown fond of it all. Especially my students and all the classroom drama. Even the difficult routine of being a teacher—studying, writing lesson notes, teaching etc.
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Our day fever
So in the end, I wanted to be part of our day celebration to share in their joy. Actually, they have been telling me about it since the first term; the foods they will bring and what great show they will put up. Haha… I believed them too. It is quite fun to play along sometimes.
I virtually jumped out of bed on ‘our day’ morning, hurrying through my morning chores until I finally left the house. I simply could not wait to see what these children will do.
At school, the desks had been arranged in a circle, and on them was a great display of our day goodness; toffees, drinks, biscuits, rice and stew and almighty Jollof, in many baskets. We produce rice here remember? So yeah, our-day food no be problem. My table was not left out. All kinds of soaps, biscuits and drinks decorated it too. They dined, wined, laughed and played with such abandonment, as though there will be no next term.
I was already beginning to feel nostalgia, but their shouts of glee drowned it all. The our-day fever had caught up with me already.
They did deliver as promised (trust my kids on that)!
REFLECTIONS- CLASS TWO
Our day meant the end of the road for us. Myself and the Primary two (2) pupils of Asutsuare RC DA Basic ‘2’. It has been such a journey. Right from day one, all we have been doing is simply keeping faith in each other. I watched and learnt from the other teachers and did what an NSS teacher could do. They, on their part, remained students—naughty, annoying, adorable. All in one. But in that, I found all the help and ideas no one could readily give. I learnt from their reactions, questions and attitudes and adjusted accordingly so I could give them my best.
We had nice times together. My favourites were our simple natural science activities. Each one became a story. Like the day they had to bring different kinds of leaves to class. I was sitting behind my table in class, satisfied with my preparations for the lesson ahead when a woman came in, a number of my students with her. Apparently, they had gone into her house and plucked off some leaves from her flowers. And had used me as the alibi. She would have beaten the naughtiness out of them if they had not done that. She was very displeased, and I had to do a tough job to calm her down. Well, we still had our lesson like nothing happened.
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Our day also spelt parting with my colleague teachers. Read that again- colleague teachers. Hehe. Teachers treat each other with so much respect. I was referred to as madam as though I am a qualified teacher. It has been a good time being part of their world. I witnessed them play different roles once the need came. Sports coaches, counsellors, arbitrators, parents, mentors and many more. Yes, they are amazing like that. Together we have come through a whole academic year and it has ended successfully.
I must confess though, that it was not all rosy being in their shoes. Needless to say, I now understand all my teachers better and I am ever grateful to them. Charlie, they really had to put up with a lot!
OMG NATIONAL SERVICE IS OVER!
And primarily this is what our day meant. My national service is over!
I remember my first day when a student greeted me ‘Good morning madam’. It sounded funny. Me a teacher? How I laughed! I didn’t know that the title wasn’t for nothing. From that moment, I had accepted to take all the responsibilities that came with it. Hmm!
I took a good look at my students the whole time of our day since I won’t be doing that in a long time. What I have suffered at their hands! They have taken me to nerve wrecking heights of anger and thrown me down into knee deep, depths of apology. One minute they make me scold and lash out at them, and the next, they are before me just being friends. And in their eyes such sincerity, enough to make me want to hang my head in shame. They stole my affection and warmth these past eleven months, working every day of those months to remain long in my memory. And I fell right for it. Most of all they gave me the opportunity to be part of something big- educating Ghanaian children.
Anytime I looked upon them in class, I read trust on their faces, and all I wanted then was to do a good job. They served me well too; running errands for me here and there. Once madam needed it, it was worth running for. They always took off with so much excitement just to get me something. I felt so appreciated each of those times.
So I wanted to be freed from them, but here am I missing them already. I did let out a deep sigh of relief like I anticipated. And when I did I thought ‘this has not been so bad after all.’
#NSS2018 #NSPInsideShaiOsudokuDistrict #ACNSPstellsnotales
Our Day Story By Margaret Blankson
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