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My Teacher’s Tears Made Me a Genius

Life Realities - February 22, 2021

Tolu Oyetoki

The next day, she stormed our class with cain, ‘Koboko’, in her hand, ready to beat hell out of all of us that failed her test.

My early childhood days almost made me a nuisance because of the company that I kept. We all hated our Mathematics teacher and hated Mrs Adeyemo for no other reason than being our Mathematics teacher.

Whenever she entered our class, I zeroed my mind as being absent.

One day, she gave us a test and many of us didn’t do well in her test.

The next day, she stormed our class with cain, ‘Koboko’, in her hand, ready to beat hell out of all of us that failed her test.

The ever smiling Mrs Adeyemo, wore a frowning, sad look.

She called our names one by one and I deliberately arranged myself at the back thinking that by the time she gets to my turn, she would have grown weak. Unfortunately, she singled me out and asked others to go and sit down. “Stretch forth your hand,” she roared and I knew I am done with. I would have preferred being beaten on my buttocks because I mastered how to take lashes. She promised me ten lashes but as she looked into my eyes, she saw that I had become terrified, she shook her head and I saw tears

She promised me ten lashes but as she looked into my eyes, she saw that I had become terrified, she shook her head and I saw tears rolling down her cheeks. That terrified me more, that my teacher shed tears because of my stupidity.

rolling down her cheeks. That terrified me more, that my teacher shed tears because of my stupidity. Just then the Principal who was passing bye entered our class and saw Mrs Adeyemo in tears. He too was scared and asked, “Madam, what happened? Who got on your nerves?” He saw me standing and rushed at me “You idiot, brought tears out of your teachers eyes?” He grabbed the stick to beat me but Mrs Adeyemo begged him not to beat me. She just said “Olaolu, follow me to the staff room!”

Getting to the staff room, My teacher, still shedding tears, ordered me to pull the nearest chair and she asked to sit down. “Why will you allow bad company destroy your brilliant future? I have studied all of you in my class, I saw a genius in you and I hope you will be an award wining student, so why would you destroy that bright future?” All she was saying sounded strange to me, because I never did well in any subject and I was already planning to join my dad in his carpentry work. After a long talk to me she said “Olaolu, change, secure your future. You can go back to your class.” Getting to back to the class, my friends hailed me as the bad boy that made teacher shed tears and I felt high too but later that day, as I was talking to a neighbours older son, who is in the University, his response was different. He asked “Your Maths teacher wept because you failed her subject? Is she your mother? Only a mother would do such a thing.” After saying this he left me, so I began to think. “Only a mother would do such a thing as weeping for a sons failure in exams.” I began to ponder and saw how much Mrs Adeyemo loved me. Next day in class, I changed my seat location and stayed among the ‘Effico’  students that we hitherto mock as being too serious with academics. My friends started hating me for deserting them, but I don’t care. To my surprise, in our third term examination, I had B in all my subjects except Maths where I scored A. One of our teacher, Mr Ojo, whom we call Baba Ojo personally asked if I spied into other script to have passed his subject. He gave me a separate test in his office and again, I scored very high marks. In his surprise he asked “which charm did your parents gave you that turned you a genius all of a sudden?” Unconsciously, I began to shed tears. My heart flashed back at Mrs Adeyemo’s tears and I then appreciated the value of a motherly teacher’s tears.

“Getting to the staff room, My teacher, still shedding tears, ordered me to pull the nearest chair and she asked to sit down. “Why will you allow bad company destroy your brilliant future? I have studied all of you in my class, I saw a genius in you and I hope you will be an award wining student, so why would you destroy that bright future?”

Today, I am a qualified Engineer and though Mrs Adeyemo is no more but her tears was not in vain, May her soul rest in peace.

This is a challenge to teachers to go extra mile over their students and that students should mind the companies they keep.

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