“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela.
Today, we bring you the inspiring stories of two remarkable teachers, Faisal Yaro Mukhtar and Tumininu D. Olaoluwa, who hail from distinct corners of Nigeria but share a common passion for teaching.
Faisal hailed from Taraba in northeast Nigeria. His love for education drove his decision to become a teacher.
“I’m the kind of person who loves to serve humanity. I have also tapped inspiration from my mentors, Mr. Bala Irmiya, Dr. Adeniji Adewale, and Dr. Joseph Jagbong,” Faisal said.
Tumininu, who resides in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria, was inspired to become a teacher through her elementary school teacher.
“I felt that teaching can be a journey that will allow me to help children discover themselves,” said Tumininu.
In 2022, Faisal graduated with a degree in Animal Science from Taraba State University. But his teaching career began in 2016 at Excellent Best Global Academy Jalingo, immediately after he acquired a National Diploma in 2015. Tumininu got her degree in Mathematics in 2012, and her teaching career began in 2014 at Providence High School, Moleke, Ibadan.
For Faisal, the proudest moment in his teaching career is witnessing his students’ growth.
Maryam Maiwada is one of those students whose transformation from an average student to a top performer left a lasting impression on him.
“She happened to be an average student during her formative years in High School, but when I learned about her condition, my passion for girl child education pushed me to assist her,” Faisal said. “Over the years,I gave her a sound mentorship, and before she graduated, she became one of the top students in her class and stood to the rank of being the head girl of the school. After graduation, she came out with flying colours in her UTME and SSCE results and is currently awaiting admission into the university.”
Tumininu’s pride as a teacher stems from seeing her students graduate and excel in their chosen fields. She recalls the story of Dolapo, who was once considered an outcast academically by other teachers.
“When I began tutoring her, a co-teacher told me I was wasting my time. He said that even in many years to come, she can’t understand anything. But that has only made me double my effort with her. I followed the lessons up with a self-motivation challenge for Dolapo,” Tumininu said.
Her unwavering belief in Dolapo’s potential and consistent efforts led to significant improvements in the girl’s performance, proving that every student can learn and become great.
There are challenges
Faisal faced challenges in his teaching journey, mainly dealing with behavioural differences in the classroom.
“As a teacher, it is my responsibility to tailor my teaching methods to accommodate these individual differences. This can be a daunting task, but it is also an opportunity for me to constantly learn and grow as an educator,” Faisal told Prime Progress.
Despite the challenges, Faisal is always keen on building relationships with his students and employing effective classroom management strategies.
On many occasions, Tumininu would end her Mathematics class, and the students wouldn’t even know because of how difficult they find the subject.
“Mathematics isn’t that subject where you come and do what you have to do and go away. It requires one to do more. But I’m glad that my students improved so well,” she affirmed.
Her students’ success stories, like Blessing, who graduated as an engineering student, are a testament to the work Tumininu is putting in.
Even though money is needed to fuel one’s passion, Tumininu noted that it shouldn’t be why teachers will not fulfil the ministry of impacting lives.
“If the passion is not there, please do not teach to avoid being a cheater,” she warned.
Faisal advised that those aspiring for a career in education should see teaching as a form of sacrifice, not a paying job, because no amount of money can pay for the services rendered by a teacher.
“They should also see teaching as serving humanity and also as a way of giving back to the society in building the next generation,” he said.
Despite their diverse cultural backgrounds, Faisal and Tumininu view teaching as a form of service, and their stories reveal teachers as catalysts for change who can contribute to the development of the next generation.