He had just graduated from one of the most prestigious schools in the nation and he had already landed a cool teaching job at one of the best secondary schools too, Paragon International College. He felt on top of the world, and even, on top of his university mates as he made his way back from the general assembly to the staff office he was assigned. He had been introduced to the students earlier that morning as their new foreign language teacher and they had all welcomed him with a warm applause. His first class also held that morning, and on getting to his office, he wasted no time in gathering his materials – a note, a pen and a marker – as he made his way to the class. Just as he was about to leave his office, he nearly bumped into a fairly tall, dark boy that was just about to enter the office.
“Hey boy. Take your steps gently. I could have knocked you to the ground”, he said, gathering his composure.
“Sorry sir”, the boy began, “Just came to inform you that we’re having your class now”
“Oh, you’re the class representative?”, he asked.
The boy nodded in affirmation.
He noticed a little bit of stammer in the boy’s voice and also noticed that he was a man of few words.
“So, what’s your name?”, he asked, giving his books to the young lad to carry.
“Its Christopher, sir. Chris for short”, he beamed, proud of his own name. “This way, sir”, Chris continued as he led him to the class.
Going to the class, he started to think of how to approach the students. Should he show them he was tough or gentle? Wouldn’t they take him for granted? Should he set out rules for them outrightly or not? Should he spare the rod or embrace it? His thoughts must have occupied him for long because in no time, he reached the class. Every of the student stood up to greet him. Before he replied with “sit down”, he scanned all their faces and what he saw reminded him of his own younger self and his classmates. He saw that they were just innocent kids who couldn’t hurt a fly. They were clean souls that needed to be taught an guided. He knew just how to handle them, which was the right way. Being gentle and subtle with them. Relating to their problems like a brother and father when needed, whilst not forgetting his day job — teaching.
He asked them all to introduce themselves to him which they all did politely. He was pleased with the way they composed themselves. He launched into teaching them for the day, and after forty minutes, an exciting first period was over. They were a bunch of ready-to-learn smart kids too. By the time the bell rang, every one already had an undoubtedly hard time. He was just about to leave the class when a student, Zainab, told him that he was yet to tell them his name. He smiled at them and said it.
“My name’s Toba”, he said, “the nick’s Sir Lincoln. Its a pleasure knowing you all”
Everyone smiled at him. He left that class, feeling fulfilled that the pressure had been taken off him, and in a good way. He walked down the corridor back to his office, and he had no idea that in the nearest future, he would become best friends with some of the people in the class he had just taught, who would even love to call him “Olukz”, a nickname that was fashioned for him.
The title for this piece was dropped by one of my most respected teachers, a friend, a brother and mentor for the one year I was with him in school. He’s Mr. Toba a.k.a Sir Turbar Lincoln a.k.a Olukz. I hope he likes what I’ve done with his title, and I hope you readers love it too