If you ever choose to be a teacher, there are things you must not forget. If you ever choose to be a teacher, there are things you must….

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If you ever choose to be a teacher, there are things you must not forget.


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Malam Inusa Shehu a dedicated teacher at GSS WUDIL

If you ever choose to be a teacher, there are things you must not forget. If you ever choose to be a teacher, there are things you must forgo, habits you must cultivate, sacrifices you must make and a mindset you must develop.

Many times teachers sincerely surprise me by comparing their job to other jobs in terms of financial rewards, esteem and nobleness. No doubt, all legitimate jobs are noble. No doubt all legitimate jobs are honorable so long they are carried out not only to benefit the employer-employee but also the generality of mankind. But since time immemorial, teaching was tagged the most honorable of all jobs. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the greatest of all teachers to us, the Muslims. All religions take pride in the teachings of their spiritual heads. In other words, all spiritual heads of all religions were teachers. Prophet Adam(AS) was a teacher. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was a teacher. Prophet Musa (AS) was a teacher. Prophet Suleiman (AS) was a teacher. Prophet Isah (AS) was a teacher. All of them were great teachers who taught us how to worship the Supreme Lord and conduct our lives in the most morally upright and socially beneficial ways.
Interestingly, these great teachers offered their services as sacrifice to humanity. No worldly reward was good enough for their services anyway. Allah the Almighty Lord is only one capable of rewarding them, in any case.

Of course teaching encompasses a lot of things. It includes the teaching of the religions, the teaching of science and technology, the teaching of medicine and arts, and all that will benefit the human race. Teachers belong different stages of developments of our life. The mother is a teacher. The father is a teacher. So also other siblings, relatives and the larger society. We learn a thing or two as we grow from all of them. Finally, we are handed to teachers formally, be it in modern schools or local religious schools. Whatever is the case, are become commodities, right at the early stage of our lives, to a variety of “professional” teachers. There are those at elementary level or call it nursery level; there are those at primary and post primary levels and finally the higher levels. All of them mould our lives. The build our minds. They shape our body, mind, and worldview.
However, despite the important role they play in building the society, teachers feel shortchanged. They feel cheated and used.

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They complain of poor welfare; poor salary package; and poor state of service. Of course all these complaints are valid. If anybody needs pampering by virtue of his work, teachers are the ones. If anybody should be rewarded handsomely, that person should be the teacher.
But teaching itself is service to humanity. Teachers can forgo luxuries of life, not because they are less human compared to others, but because they are models. Teachers should not indulge in unnecessary frivolities because they are teachers. Teachers should be early risers because they are teachers. Teachers should be punctual, regular and consistent because they are models. Their life is an example. They should be exemplary. They should give without expecting much in return. They should teach without considering what they earn to build a better society. The job, not the pay, should be the driving force for the job. The job, not the welfare, should be the concern of all teachers. The good thing is their sacrifices will be etched in the sands of time long after they are gone. Their services will benefit humanity long after gone. The memory of them will last several lifetimes and that is way bigger than any material reward that any body can give them. So, if you choose to be a teacher, do it for God and for humanity.
By Usman Zakari Ibrahim
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