Let Your Skills Pay Your Bills.
Last Tuesday, I received a good news from my 8- year old student. “Uncle Kingsley, I made the 1st position last term, I moved from 3rd position”. While her younger brother made a 3rd position in his class, moving from 6th position. This made my day.
I started teaching in 2011 – the same year I graduated from secondary school. I’ve taught in several schools; private and public, full time and part time, primary and secondary, paid and volunteering. I was also a Sunday School teacher in the children department at one RCCG parish. From “A for Apple” to “Markovnikov’s Rule of Addition Reaction”. Name it! I’ve spent one-third of my entire life teaching diverse topics. I have spent most of my lifetime in the classroom. Why some Youth Corpers are dreading being posted to schools, for some of us, we will gladly receive the offer if it comes.I won’t be surprised if I end up in classroom.
In one of the schools I taught, none of the Nursery II students could read. It was a big challenge. Dear, with my knowledge of phonics and phonology, within 3 months, 12 out of the 14 students were able to read excellently. This seems to be my biggest achievement so far as an uncertified teacher.
‘No’ parent in Nigeria will freely watch their grown up child sing the National Anthem every morning in the school assembly all in the name of teaching. Maybe not my mum. She has been a teacher all her life. She still is. Severally she has been my consultant especially when it comes to handling difficult children and writing lesson notes in a standard way.
In March 2019, I was called to prepare a boy for a very competitive entrance examination. Following history and standard of the examination, I knew that it was not going to be an easy feat. With every passing day, the fear of his parents increased. I had just two months to prepare the boy. Yea! He passed all phases of the examination. He was 6th out of over 250 candidates.
Keep quiet! Who told you that there’s no money in teaching. Mehn…I’ve made more money teaching. School na scam, School na scam, yet parents are always willing to pay more for this scam. Tutorial centers are springing up everyday like the cedars of Lebanon. Gone are the days of Albert Macaulay! Teaching today has become very lucrative. The market is a very big one. Dear, forget the packaging. Teaching has been paying my bills. The least I can remember is that as at 2014, I was making a little higher above the #30,000 minimum wage, as an SSCE holder. In Ile-Ife, not Lagos. Not Ibadan or PortHarcourt. By teaching, I was able to raise capital to start my business during my undergraduate days. I may not have the certificate required, but I have remarkable achievements. I don’t even know if I’m a passionate teacher, but I know I’m gifted. There is money in teaching if you are able to find yourself in a sweet location. There is money in Nigeria, if you can add some flavor of entrepreneurship to your skills, you are gonna make it big. You must be street smart!
I was told of a man who happens to be the only Nigerian having four tertiary institutions, home and abroad. He graduated with a pass in Mathematics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. That’s not good enough. Right? Hey! The least we know about him is that he is a multi-billionaire. Only few knows that he started his journey from a tutorial center. Wise up guy! Not all of us will sell bitcoin. Find your place and grow there. You have what it takes. Working at Goldman Sachs may be your dream job, but until then, keep doing what you love and keep loving what you do.
Stop loitering around. What you have within you is able to produce what you need around you. Stop the blame game! Stop the entitlement mentality. What can you do so well? Can you run sport commentary or analyze football? Can you type very fast on the computer keyboard? Are you a good backup singer? Don’t overlook those little abilities. Being passionate only will not pay your bills. Being skillful only will not fill your empty stomach. Talent is not enough! Learn to commercialize your skills. Don’t be shy, because nobody will feed you. Hunger is no respecter of person. Swallow your pride and hustle your way through legitimately. There’s no dignity in always been at the mercies of families and friends.
© Kingsley Ndimele