“once it will tarnish your reputation as a professional teacher, distance yourself from it” were the words of my father when I was leaving home on January 2, 2021.
I teach in a community where, once a female student gets closer to a male teacher, it is concluded that, there is “sexual” relationship between the two.
I might not have enough knowledge or idea on what transpired in the past (before my coming) which could have led to that conclusion hence I wouldn’t blame anyone for having that mindset.
Most of my students (99.5%) have never seen or felt what a computer mouse is. Never have they had the opportunity to practically learn anything in relation to ICT as a subject.
This has been of high concern to me ever since I entered the classroom from day one. I have always promised them of doing all it will take me to get them practice ‘some’ of the things I will be teaching them before the academic year ends.
To fulfill the above promise, I had to go the extra mile to work hard on my laptop (which developed some faults hence couldn’t project onto another screen). I also had to pull some resources to get a projector which will assist in making the lesson delivery a bit more easier.
Thank God, the Church of Pentecost was ready to release their Chapel to be used as the learning center so I wasn’t having much challenge even though my school has no light (the building itself is a problem not to talk of light).
After considering several factors, 6:00pm on Sundays was agreed upon as time for us to meet for our lessons. The lessons were scheduled to last for two hours (6:00pm to 8:00pm) every Sunday.
During our first meeting, the Girls Prefect of our school was first to report. Since my house was closer to the Chapel, she passed through to call. I had to let her take the lead with the projector whiles I dress up and follow with my laptop and other things. Few of them came later and we had a successful class.
Fast forward, on Tuesday, someone called me on my way back from school and asked if there was a female student in my house on Sunday. I answered positively and what followed later suggested that, people thought she came to me and we had “sex”.
Prior to this event, colleagues of mine had been threatened all in the name of, “you are taking our girls” hence I have been doing all I could to prevent anything that will make people point accusing fingers at me.
As it stands now, I have met my students on three different occasions (after the first Sunday) and non of the girls have attended. I have asked them never to join the class. Yes, I have decided to “play safe” to prevent being threatened (I don’t take that slightly or kindly, I might retaliate and the end result won’t be pleasant). After all, prevention is better than cure.
Personally, I would have loved to support my students with all I could. I have been able to provide story books for my students, I have been having free hair cuts for them whenever necessary among other things. Just that, my reputation as a professional teacher shouldn’t be tarnished and I will do all I could to keep it that way.
My decision has been hunting me lately after one of my female students came to ask me to give her a hair cut. She is one of the brilliant students (if not the best) and I really like how hardworking she is. I wished I could asked her to come over after school but, my reputation is at stake. I only gave her some coins and asked her to get someone to do it for her.
Today in school (after a heavy downpour in the morning), she walked to me and said, “sir, these days you don’t like me as you used to do when you initially came”. I felt very bad but I don’t really know what to do about this situation.
As you read this, I would be grateful if you could, in the course of judging my actions, suggest a possible way out for me. I really wish I could assist but, I won’t take it kind with anyone who will accuse me wrongly. Reputations are hard to build hence tarnishing them will be very bad.
NB: I will be meeting my students this Sunday and I learnt some of the female students said they will also come no matter what.