The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: H stands for HEARING WITH YOUR INNER EAR

One of the best ways to persuade others is by listening to them.’ David Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under presidents John F. Kennedy

I will like to begin our discussion here by establishing the relationship between hearing or listening to a child and sense of security and self-esteem:

John Maxwell, a world renowned leadership expert, who has a vision to equip ten million in his lifetime, says his mother had a great impact in his life. She was a ‘compassionate listener,’ he explains, which in turn ‘fostered in me a great sense of security and self-esteem.’

It is important for us to note that listening is the process through which you hear.  To hear is to understand and to understand you must employ empathy.

Anyone desirous of making impact in the lives of children must make be ready to listen to them. Listening to them means we are ready to listening to what they mean that they are not saying, what they are saying that they do not mean. We must be skillful in reading between the lines without becoming suspicious.

Let me quickly state here that teachers, who work with children at the kindergarten level, must understand that the children at that level employ non-verbal communication in expressing themselves. It is therefore that we are skillful in decoding their coded non-verbal expression. Please note that there are materials in notable book shops in Nigeria on how to understand the non-verbal expressions of toddlers.

As I round off our discussion here, let me share with you Four Basic Rules of Listening

Listening through: Choose to listen through. Listening through is a function of spirit soul and body. It means we make a decision to withhold judgment until we hear the child out. When have we heard him out? When we allow him to finish all that he has to say in the way he knows how to say it or wants to say it and clarify by asking questions with a genuine interest to understand him. Hearing him out will engender the right response and help us to find solutions to his issues.

Avoid the number one temptation of all conversations: Do not interject even when you are tempted to. The temptation to interrupt when listening to children is very high. Children hardly go straight to the point. I think it is the work of God. I think they do not go to the meat of their discussion until they are sure they have your full attention.

If we are not careful, there is every possibility that we become impatient with them. When we become impatient we do three things. The first is that we dismiss them. This is the commonest response to children. The second is that we assume what they want to say and conclude the discussion for them. The third is that we become disinterested and pretend to be listening.

The tragedy is that the foregoing responses have negative impact on the children. They observe it and withdraw and where they are too young to observe it, their instinct and system observe it and withdraw also. Once a child cannot talk to us either as teachers or parents, we have lost them while they yet live or while they are yet with us. It means we are never going to be part of their joy or part of their pain. We are never going to feel them. Once the code of communication is broken, the cord of relationship is broken. It is a common saying that communication is the blood of relationship.

Relationship with children is not an exception. In fact communication is more needed in a relationship with children. We cannot lead them or give them critical guardian expect we understand their issues. Though we may have many ways of knowing what is happening in their lives, the saying that he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches is ever true even in matters relating to children.

Maintain total focus and attention: Maintain a focus, particularly through eye to eye contact. I do not suggest that we stare at children. It may scare them. What I mean is that we give them attention. A lot of times, children are pouring out their heart and we are busy with other things like reading newspapers, watching a favourite program on the television or reading your lesson notes or marking examination papers.

In such circumstances, we tell them things like ‘go on, I am listening to you.’ The child does not feel comfortable. He quickly summarises whatever he has to say and disappears. Until we pay total attention, we cannot get the best from the child both in verbal and non-verbal communication.

Be conscious of your body language: We may not need to nod excessively. This may give us away easily. We may not also need to show disapproval so quickly. We may affect the psychology of the pupil. There is way we may rubbish the listening process by either a hostile body language or excessive show of approval. Be calm, cool, collected and disciplined.

Meet our Models

Erin Gruwell

Nothing could have prepared Erin Gruwell for her first day of teaching at Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. A recent college graduate, Erin landed her first job in Room 203, only to discover many of her students had been written off by the education system and deemed “unteachable.” As teenagers living in a racially divided urban community, they were already hardened by first-hand exposure to gang violence, juvenile detention, and drugs.

Enter Erin Gruwell. By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, she transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to rethink rigid beliefs about themselves and others, to reconsider daily decisions, and to rechart their futures. With Erin’s steadfast support, her students shattered stereotypes to become critical thinkers, aspiring college students, and citizens for change. Her strategy was to engage her pupils. She listened to them. For the first time she gave to them what the world around them never gave to them. She gave them listening ears. She encouraged them to write down their thoughts and addressed them. Her goal was to enlighten them by listening and she believed that once they are enlightened, they will be empowered. It worked and it is still working.

They even dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” — in homage to civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders” — and published a book.

While Erin has been credited with giving her students a “second chance,” it was perhaps she who changed the most during her tenure at Wilson High School. She decided to channel her classroom experiences toward a broader cause, and – today – her impact as a “teacher” extends well beyond Room 203.

Currently, Erin serves as president of the Freedom Writers Foundation. She raises awareness by traveling nationwide to speak inside large corporations, government institutions, and community associations. But Erin’s capacity to convert apathy to action matters most at schools and juvenile halls, where any observer can watch the expressions of troubled teens shift from guarded cynicism to unabashed hopefulness.

Her class has been featured on National Public Radio and in national newspapers and People magazine. Paramount Pictures released “Freedom Writers” in January 2007, a film based on this remarkable story featuring Hilary Swank as Erin.

Erin is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, where she received the Lauds and Laurels Distinguished Alumni Award. She earned her Master’s Degree and teaching credentials from California State University, Long Beach, where she was honored as Distinguished Alumna by the School of Education.

Ron Clark

We have shared the story of Ron Clark with you a couple of times. But we cannot but allude to him again because of the strategy he employed. He took time to listen to his pupils and understood them. He knew and understood about them what their parents did not understand about them.

Due to his ability to listen he became the hero of the children he taught. The children, who did not corporate with him when he took over the class, could literarily lay down their lives for him at the end of the session.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

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TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: C stands for CARING WITH YOUR HEART

The Real Definition of Passion and Patience

I believe passion is the fuel of a heart sold to meaningful contribution to the cause of humanity. This is the heart, who truly cares, knowing that when the noise of activities is over and an unbiased arbiter, known as time pry into the works of our hands for the purpose of rewards, the acid test shall be our commitment to a mission with all of our heart.

In my working with teachers, I have come to discover that most teachers determine the kind or level of care they should give to children by the kind and the level of care they receive from the school system. When there is a demand on their care for the child, they say things like, ‘how much are they even paying me.’ I agree that remuneration or even condition of service is important and I have taken time to deal with that earlier. They are known as external motivation. As important as excellent conditions of service are to performance, they are inferior to motivation by conscience, which we call intrinsic motivation. Every teacher must be motivated more by their conscience than they are motivated by physical rewards.

As I always tell teachers, when you limit your contribution to what you are being paid, you also limit your self-worth to what you are being paid. When you make contribution according to what you are being paid, you are confirming that that is your true worth. But when you make contributions according to your real capacity and also do ‘and then some’ what you are saying is that you are bigger than what you are being paid. In due season, life will take up your case and ensure, you are being remunerated according to your capacity, which you have freely given expression to despite what you are being paid.

I tell teachers that their promotion is always in their hands. I also tell them that no one can truly pay a teacher, who does her work well, except God. A teacher, who teachers with conscience are buying shares in the destiny of the children they are working with. These are shares, which value only appreciate and are not subject to the vicissitudes of the market forces. The dividends are signed, sealed and delivered under God.

I tell teachers, that the destiny of the children under their care demands all of their care and if they are able to trust God to meet this high demand, they open an account for themselves in God’s divine bank. I tell teachers that I believe that the rewards of teachers are in heaven but that they do not need to get to heaven to reap it. I give the illustration of a person, who runs a current account with a bank. He does not need to get to the bank to make withdrawals from the account. All he needs to do is to send his cheque. Once there is complete mandate and the account is mobilized to the tune of the amount stated on the cheque, it will be honoured. The cheque is returned if there is incomplete mandate or the account is not founded. I tell teachers that in most cases by virtue of how they do their work, their account is never funded and therefore, they are not able to make withdrawals.

It is time to begin to make tangible deposits into your divine account by making a decision to care wholly for the children under our care. It is time to begin to know that as teachers, we first owe ourselves and the destiny of the children under our care performance. We must come to a point in our professional life that we must take the honourable decision that it is either I CARE or I QUIT.

Permit me to submit that Care comes from an understanding of the object of CARE. Therefore permit for the purpose of this discussion to again run through the words, ‘Children’ and ‘Teenagers’ as acronyms. Let me begin with CHILDREN:

  • Care: the child is created to be tended and cared for. Their best is brought out when they are nurtured. Amanda Cater sums up the impact of proper care thus: ‘If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn;  If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight; If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy;  If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty; If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient; If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident;  If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate; If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice; If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith;  If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself; If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.’
  • Heritage: the greatest legacies parents can bequeath to the world are well trained children. We affirm that any other legacy that is bequeathed to our world at the expense of the child will meaningless to it (world). Thus we share Abraham Lincoln profound thought that, ‘A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you’re sitting, and when you’re gone; attend to those things, which are important. You may adopt all the policies you please, but how they are carried out depends on him. He will assume control of your Cities, States, and Nation. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. The fate of humanity is in his hands.’
  • Individuality: According to Maria Montessori, ‘life does not begin at three or whenever he enters pre-school, nursery class, kindergarten or first grade. Life begins at the moment of conception, and at that moment we were faced with a cell so microscopic that it cannot be seen with the naked eye but which hold within itself all the potentialities of the human being it is to be.’ Custodians of the life of the child must also make it a point of duty not to compare one child to the other. Each child must be treated according to his or her peculiarity and must be given the respect, care and attention his or her individuality deserves. To do the foregoing, it means the custodian must pay adequate attention to studying carefully every child in his or custody.
  • Leadership: children are not leaders of tomorrow. The child begins to show leadership trait from a very tender age. The truth is the leadership part of the child’s life is not put on hold when other areas develop. Leadership is responsibility; children begin to take responsibility at very tender age. Parents either snuff out the trait or fan it into blossoming into fruition. We are committed to the latter.
  • Delightful: the child is without guile. He is innocent, pure and therefore fun to be with. The child innocence and carriage teach us that we are created with a free spirit, partnered after the image and likeness of the Creator. The child is delightful; we make a firm commitment to make sure he does not lose this quality that endears him to his world as an object of favour.
  • Respect: the child deserve every respect his individuality, which we have earlier established deserves. In all that we do, we will respect the child and take into cognisance that is a complete human being, who deserves to be treated with respect.
  • Engage: we make a commitment to engage our children. We share the thinking of Erin Gruel that we must ‘Engage, Enlighten and Empower’ to get the best out of our children. We are conscious of the fact that the duty to engage our children will be time consuming; we are however ready to pay the price. We are willing to communicate to our children that they can always share with us, the deepest of their thoughts and feelings and get the support needed. We also understand that to engage may in some cases include discipline.
  • Now: child’s development is now. It cannot be postponed. Our efforts are therefore geared towards ensuring that our children receive the NOW attention.

Let us quickly consider the word, T-E-E-N-A-G-E-R as an acronym. Remember that the whole essence of this exercise is for us to be reminded of the fact that until we know the children we are to care for with all our heart, we may not be in a good position to care for them as we should do or as we even desire.

  • Transition: this is the most conscious time of the child’s transition to adulthood. It is a period where the child is very conscious of his status. His consciousness, in most cases is not a function of his decision; it is a function of nature. A lot of times he desires freedom so much that he cannot wait to taste it and on the other hand his faint awareness of the responsibilities that comes with freedom strikes in him fear. The truth is how the teenager handles this delicate period depends on how much work the parents have done to prepare him.
  • Energized by Nature: being young does not mean physical or emotional weakness. Teenagers are strong and have a lot of energy. The energy must not be tamed or gagged for whatever reason; it must only be directed in the right and positive direction to enhance the peace of the family and community at large.
  • Exposed to Being Underrated: parents and the society have the tendency to underrate teenagers. Their knowledge and ability to do good or evil is seriously underrated by the parents and society. Therefore their genius and delinquency shock us alike.
  • Nearly Fully Formed: According to Maria Montessori 80 percent of the child’s personality is formed between age 0 and 6. This goes without saying that a teen is almost fully formed in believe, values and habits. The hope for change is however guaranteed by the scientific fact that the brain does not reach its maximum weight. The implication is that it is too late to relate with the children at teenage age with force. We must learn to reason with them lest we provoke then to anger.
  • Adventurous: the teenage mind yearns for adventure. It is one of the characteristics of transition. It dares many things because he has not made many mistakes. Where he has made many mistakes, it is either he has not suffered the consequences or he is partially or totally unaware of the consequences of his mistakes. It is therefore our responsibility to fan the spirit of adventure and at the same time introduce the word, caution into his dictionary.
  • Geared Towards Pleasure/Pressure: the teenager loves pleasure. His environment capitalises on this singular need to put pressure on him. Thus in most cases when his real issues are not carefully identified and properly addressed, he becomes a victim of peer pressure and tends to bow. Thus he becomes the target of merchants of vices like pornographies, drugs, alcohol, indecent clothing, negative media, sex, abortion, lesbianism.
  • Eager for Identity: transition affects status and nomenclature. We are conscious of the fact that teenagers are always in search of identity. Besides they yearn to be integrated into the society and given their rightful place. We pledge to help our teens resolve their crisis of identity through knowledge.
  • Reality Deficiency: a lot of teenagers are not at home with reality. They are sold to fantasy. This is due to the fact that they are yet to come to terms to the real issues of life. Therefore they tend to be shallow. Their choices in most cases are determined by their emotional instinct. Therefore they are not ready for the consequences of their actions in most case. We take it as our responsibility to make our teens face reality and become conscious participants in the affairs of life.

Still in the spirit of caring for the child, the teacher must also have on his or her finger tips the five basic needs of children

  • Every child needs SOMEONE to BELIEVE–  A Role Model
  • Every child needs SOMETHING to BELIEVEValues
  • Every child needs SOMEWHERE to BELONGFamily and Community
  • Every child needs SOMETHING  to BECOMEAspiration to Significance and Pursuit of Inner Potential
  • Every child needs the AFFIRMATION of his FREEDOM and RESPONSIBILITY- A sense of dignity and self-worth

The teacher ought to learn by heart the four ways by which a child can be abused. This will help him or her not to be an author of any kind abuse to the child and also stand to prevent or curb any form of abuse of the child.

  • Physical Abuse: any physical injury done intentionally to a child.  Physical abuse endangers or impairs the child’s physical or emotional health and development. Physical abuse includes shaking a very young baby, (e.g., Battered child).
  • Sexual Abuse: is when a child (sometimes even toddlers and babies) is used sexually by someone older. This includes everything from obscene exposure to touching the genitals in a sexual way and rape, (e.g., Raped child).
  • Emotional Abuse: includes constant yelling and threatening behaviour, scaring the child or playing games with their emotions, (e.g., abandoned child/Child affected by war and armed conflict/Trafficked child).
  • Neglect Abuseis when a child doesn’t have enough food, love, care and attention.  He/she may have not enough to eat, injuries may be left untreated, clothes may not be warm enough, the child may be dirty and at risk of infection, or they may be left alone, (e.g., Child deprived of basic needs/Neglected child/Street child/Abandoned child).

Our discussion here will not be complete if we do not consider what I consider to be the Operating Principles of the CARE for the child:

According to Ed Louis Cole says they are:

 

D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E

 

 

  • Intimacy (not familiarity)
  • Discipline (not punishment)
  • Love (not unguarded pampering)
  • Value (not dogmatism)

 

Determined to

Intentionally and

Skilfully

Create in the child, a sense of

Individuality and

Persuasions(values) through

Love

Inner strength (character)

Nimbleness and

Encouragement

 

It is important to note that the goal of discipline or chastisement is to bring out the best in the child. This becomes impossible if the dignity of the human person of the child is trampled upon in the process.

This will not produce a disciplined child but an intimidated child. For anyone to live a disciplined life he or she must have a healthy self image of himself or herself. Discipline or chastisement is the process through which the self worth of the child is sharpened and built.

Therefore discipline or chastisement is a delicate process, which must be carefully done. It does not answer to anger. When it is done in anger, it produces an angry child instead of a discipline one. When it is done in peace and wisdom it has eternally positive impact on the child.

I must add this as a piece of advice to the boards of schools. I think the board needs to begin to see the teachers as the number one customers of the school and not the parents. When they see the teachers as their number one customers, they will treat them as kings. The result is that they will also in turn treat the pupils as kings. The truth is that there is no parents, who will not be delighted to take their children to a school where they (children) are treated as kings.

The Confession of the Teacher, who CARES…

Dear LORD,

Is there a CHILD YOU want to save today?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to lift.

Is there a CHILD you want to befriend?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to love.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to love?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to protect and perfect.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to bless today?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to honour.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to send an angel to?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to help.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to give direction by YOUR SPIRIT?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to comfort.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to visit?

I mean a CHILD, whose story YOU want to change forever.

Yes, dear LORD,

I know there is a CHILD YOU want to reach;

I mean a CHILD YOU want to reveal YOURSELF to in the FLESH,

As a FATHER, who daily and generously LOADS

His CHILDREN with BENEFITS and TREASURES.

So, here I am dear LORD,

Made in YOUR IMAGE and LIKENESS,

Don’t look too far.

SEND me,

I am GOOD TO GO,

I mean I am LOADED TO GO.

I am a BLESSING,

A JOY of MANY GENERATIONS.

Meet our Models

Janusz Korchak

Janusz Korchak was a medical doctor, who abandoned his profession to give his life to the children under his care to the point of death. The holy writ says that there is no greater love than this for a man should lay down his life for his friends. This was exactly what Janusz did. Having loved the children under his care he loved them to the end, typifying the very spirit of Christ, who laid down his life for the sins of the world.

Janusz Korczak aptly summed up his life thus, “the lives of great men are like legends-difficult but beautiful.

He grew up in a Jewish family and decided to study medicine. Janusz chose to lead another way of life and put his heart into the plight of the poor and orphaned children in Warsaw’s quarters.

Janusz was always fighting for a better community and education for the children. He was a principal for the children houses, a doctor, and paediatrician. It was Janusz Korczak, who introduced progressive orphanages designed as just communities into Poland, founded the first national children´s newspaper, trained teachers in what we now call moral education, and worked in juvenile courts defending children’s rights. His books: “How to Love a Child” and “The Child’s Right to Respect” gave parents and teachers new insights into child psychology. Generations of young people had grown up on his books, especially the classic “King Matt the First, which tells of the adventures and tribulations of a boy king who aspires to bring reforms to his subjects, which central theme is child participation.

Then World War II began in 1939. Under the regime of the Nazis in Warsaw, they created the Jewish ghetto and the orphan house and where forced to move there. Instead of protecting himself, Janusz lived with the children under inhumane conditions.

When, on August 5, the Germans rounded up the two hundred children he had cared for, Korczak stayed with them during their “deportation” from the orphanage, to the trains, to Treblinka Camp. People who observed Korczak and “his children” walking to the train describe the children holding hands, carrying knapsacks and marching with dignity. Janusz was a courageous and brave man to stay with his orphans. All perished at Treblinka.

The child participation philosophy of Korczak is predicated upon his conclusion that ‘within each child there burned a moral spark that could vanquish the darkness at the core of human nature. To prevent that spark from being extinguished, one had to love and nurture the young, make it possible for them to believe in truth and justice and express same.

Mama Ekundayo

When a heart is made of gold, it turns everything it touches into gold.  When the a man or woman breeds a giant hope in his/her mind, he/she dares to climb the highest of mountains, without consulting with flesh and blood. When a heart is fired by genuine love for humanity, even in the lowest state in life, it reaches himself/herself and brings out water from the desert of seeming impossibility.

When a man or woman seeks the approval of the Almighty and would not dance, but to the audience of One, the rewarder of all men, he/she leans on His wisdom and choose to keep his/her contribution to the advancement of the cause of humanity a matter between him and his creator. For a student in school, it is the opinion of the teacher or examiner that matters after an exam is conducted. Therefore discussing one’s answer with fellow students after the exam is an exercise in futility.

Mama Ekundayo, as she was fondly called, an African, of Nigerian origin, did not and could not teach in the eloquence of words, she lived them in glowing measures. She was a woman with a great difference. She lived all her life nurturing, catering, and giving hope to orphans and the abandoned.  She was a woman with a heart of gold, who selflessly dedicated 40 years of her live to the cause of abandoned children and made all the difference in their lives. Mama was more than a teacher; she was a model, despite her lack of formal education. What she lacked in formal education, she had in a heart for the children. The journey started in 1969 with the establishment of an orphanage home known as ‘Ekundayo Children Home’ in Isanlu Makutu, Kogi State.

Mama Ekundayo had no steady source of income, but she was determined to make a difference with the little in her possession.  Without any kind of support from the government, she took care of over 469 children. In a country, where image making is rated over true character, Mama Ekundayo refused to be lured into the wile of her time, quietly; she served humanity to the best of her capacity. The world did not hear about her until 2005, when a company Limited by Guarantee, Link-a-Child, located her, while raising funds for orphanage across the country. The truth is, when we are diligent in our service to humanity, it is a matter of time the world will find us out. So it was with Mother Teresa.

She exemplified the whole essence of love, gave her own share as regard impact, and set a record worthy of emulation.  Mama died on the 25th   of May 2009, at the ripe age of 95, thus marking an end to a glorious and fulfilled life.

Hind al-Husseini

Hind al-Husseini was a woman who converted her grandfather’s mansion into an orphanage a woman notable for rescuing 55 orphaned survivors of a massacre, after they were dropped off and left to fend for themselves.  In April 1948, near the Holy Sepulcher Church, al-Husseini found a group of 55 children. Because of the dangers posed by the ongoing war, she told the children to go back to their homes. Shortly later, she returned to find the children had not left. One of the children explained that they have no home to return to and that they had survived the Deir Yassin Massacre.

Al-Husseini provided the children shelter in two rooms rented by the Social Work Endeavour Society, a women’s charity headed by Al-Husseini.She visited daily, accompanying and feeding the children. Fearful for al-Husseini putting herself at risk by making these trips in a warring area, the head of the Sahyoun convent convinced her to bring the children to the convent. Shortly after, the rooms were hit.

Al-Husseini later relocated the children from the convent to her grandfather’s mansion after the ceasefire. The mansion, which was built by her grandfather in 1891 and was her birthplace, was renamed Dar al-Tifl al-Arabi (Arab Children’s House). She transformed the mansion into an orphanage providing shelter to children survivors. Al-Husseini raised money, receiving funds from across the world. The orphanage grew and orphans from different villages and cities received their schooling at the orphanage including two Jewish girls who were not accepted at other schools.

One of the children raised by Al-Husseini was Rula Jebreal. Jebreal is today a successful and internationally acclaimed journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. Jebreal’s first novel Miral, written in 2003, was translated into 15 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide, and was eventually made into a film that was directed by Julian Schnabel, from Jebreal’s screenplay.

 The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2010 to a 15 minute standing ovation, and won the UNICEF Protection of Children award.Miral held its U.S. premiere at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on March 14, 2011.Miral was the first film ever to have a premiere at the General Assembly Hall. Miral is the story the story of the survival of the children rescued by Al-Husseini.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: ADVANCE IN SKILL, GENERAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL

 ‘Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.’

This is a call to perpetual commitment to self-improvement. Teachers must make it a point of duty to invest heavily in their personal development. This is a major issue in the teaching profession in Nigeria today. I was training about 250 teachers after their long vacation and I asked them how many of them read a book during the long vacation. Amazingly, none of them read one book. I asked how many of them watched a documentary. Only one person signified that she did. I asked how many of them watched foreign movies or the local home video. Almost everybody did.

Many teachers do not know that their status in life is determined by their contribution. Their contribution is determined by the quality of their minds. The quality of their mind is determined by what they fed into it through the ear and the eye gates. Teachers need to understand that their relevance in the teaching profession is dependent on their knowledge base.

I am yet to see where murmuring and grumbling lead to relevance, respect and promotion. Murmuring and grumbling work together as active ingredients to produce the dregs of any profession. Contributors and lead professionals do not complaint, the act. They confront a situation with knowledge and demystify same and become wonders unto many, their superior, colleagues and subordinate alike.

As I always tell teachers that their next promotion is in their hands. I give them the illustration of a person sitting on a chair. The chair already has a capacity of the weight of the person, it can accommodate. Once the person sitting on the chair increases in weight, the chair must as a matter of necessity give way. I liken the chair to their present position in their profession and the quality of their mind to their present weight. As they continue to build the muscles of their minds through self-improvement, a time comes, when they become bigger than their present position and the position must of necessity reject them and push them to a higher position.

I tell teachers to spend more time building career security instead of job security. Job security is what you do to secure a job. Career security is a commitment to developing yourself to meet up with the global standard of your profession. I see many foreigners, who come into Nigeria to lead the school system. I have challenged our teachers that must be dreaming of the days when they too will be foreigners working in other countries by virtue of their contribution and relevance.

It is not farfetched. It is only a height for the few, who will boldly take the bull of their destiny by the horn and begin to sow the seed of self-improvement until they find themselves at the pinnacle of their profession.

Permit me to submit here that we cannot help the children under our care above how much we know of ourselves, the pupils and the environment in which they are being raised.

Highlights of What the Teacher Should Know

Find below, the highlights of some of the things, I believe a teacher should know to enable him act in the best interest of the child and be a reliable agent of protection:

Basic Acronyms

E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N

 

S-C-H-O-O-L

 

Edification towards

Drawing out

Unlimited creativity

Character Building

Adding value

To self and society

In imparting and defending the knowledge of

  • one’s individuality

and independence

Organising human minds for

National and global benefits and advancement

Stirring

Creativity

Honing

Orderly thinking

Orientating for

Love for humanity

 

Your Subject

Current Affairs

The Basics of the Child’s Right Act

  • According to the 1999 Constitution an ‘Act’ or ‘Act of the National Assembly’ means any law, which takes effect under the provisions of this Constitution as an Act of the National Assembly while ‘Law’ means a law enacted by the House of Assembly of a State.
  • The Act has 278 Sections and 11 Schedules.
  • The Child’s Rights 2003 was enacted by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic on Nigeria and has 31st July, 2003.  It is ‘AN ACT TO PROVIDE AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF A NIGERIAN CHILD; AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS.
  • Who is a child? According to Section 277, a child is anyone below the age 18.
  • For the Act to be enforceable in a State is must be passed into law by the House of Assembly of the State

Basic Rights and Responsibilities of Children:

  • Survival which includes the rights of the child to life, good health, balance nutrition and related matters, Key Household Practices (KHHP) (see Sections 12 & 13);
  • Development, which include the development of the child, spirit, soul and body     (see Sections 15 & 29);
  • Protection, which include protection of the child from child labour, child trafficking, ritual killing, sexual, physical, emotional abuses and neglect (see Sections 21-52)
  • Participation, which include the right of the child to be involved in matters that concerns them (see Sections 3(1) (2), 6. 7, 8, 13, 19 & 20
  • Sections 19 and 20 Establishes Responsibilities of ACTS 1920: We believe and agree that one of the high points of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 is Section 19 & 20, which gives expression to the age-long truism that freedom without responsibility is the breeding ground for chaos.
  • The Act therefore outlines certain responsibilities for the Nigerian child as follows:
  1. working towards the cohesion of their families
  2. respecting their parents and elders
  3. placing their physical and intellectual capabilities at the service of the State,
  4. contributing to the moral well-being of the society,
  5. strengthening social and national solidarity,
  6. preserving the independence and integrity of the country,
  7. respecting the ideals of freedom, equality, humaneness, and justice for all persons, relating with others in the spirit of tolerance, dialogue and consultation
  8. contributing to the best of their abilities solidarity with and unity with Africa, and the world at large.

Meet our Models:

Steve Mariotti

Steve Mariotti, whose story we have already told did something significant, which I will like to highlight again here for the purpose of the point we just discussed. It is important to highlight that Mariotti decided to become a teacher as a commitment to social work in a notorious neighborhood. He became the hero of the community and the pupils by going beyond his curriculum to introduce entrepreneurial lesson, which is a form of Life Skill to his pupils, who were born into poverty and violence.  His strategy worked and changed their lives forever.

Ron Clark

I have also shared with you Ron Clark’s story earlier. It gives me great pleasure to bring him back in buttressing the principle just shared. Clarke is an example of an all-round teacher. He knew his subject. He updated himself with current affairs. He is interested in helping his pupils to learn and understand life skill. Thus his did not reward his pupils for their academic attainments alone; he decided to honour them for their innate gifts and talents. Every pupil in his class was a winner.

He validated their gift and talents and helped them to develop confidence in the dissemination of same. He was committed to arming them with life skills, which he believes are critical to their advancement in life.

He took the same legacy to Ron Clarke Academy where mandatory field trips are part of the curriculum. Let me give you some highlights of Ron Clark’s school.

Each classroom provides students with technology such as notebook computers, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, projectors, and audio video equipment. In addition to the technologically-equipped classrooms, the school provides students with accessible amenities such as a recording studio, a darkroom, a two-story vaulted ceiling library, a gymnasium, and a dance studio.

The Ron Clark Academy uses donated computers in all classrooms and offices. As a result, students will be able to study photography, music production, and business leadership.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: E stands for EXAMINE YOUR MOTIVE

Do I know myself enough to know my real motive for choosing a career in the school system?

A lot of times our motives are revealed in the interest we purse. To test our motive as teachers, we must ask the critical question. What is this critical question? Do I exist to defend the Best Interest of the Child?

Please note that this is a question we must answer with all sincerity. I strongly believe that there are two kinds of mentalities we must define as we try to establish motive. The types of the mentality we possess determine our motives. I guess what I am trying to say is that your personality has serious impact on your motives.

In determining motives, there are two kinds of mentalities I have found among people. It is also common with teachers:

1.  The Rain-Beaten Chicken Mentality:

There are five characteristics of the rain-beaten chicken, which typifies the mentality I sharing with you.

  • It is Sickly: weak in mind.
  • It is Dirty: being dirty in the soul (mind, will and emotion).
  • It is Needy: this has to be with being in need of approval by all means. In most cases it is obvious to everybody that such people need help. They want to please everybody to their detriment. They cannot stand their mistakes.
  • It is Vulnerable: A needy person is vulnerable. It is difficult for a needy man or woman to have boundaries in his or relationships. For a person to erect boundaries in a relationship, he or she must be secure in himself or herself. A sage once said, ‘a man without rule over his spirit is like a city without wall.’  The vulnerable has no rule over his spirit. Being needed makes a man or woman accept every offer of friendship irrespective of the circumstances or tenets of the relationship. I call them the loopholes in the system. They are the ones, who will flout the principles of the school.
  • It suffers from Self-Victimization

When a man or woman is plagued with the Rain-Beaten Chicken Mentality, he becomes overwhelmed and he does everything for the wrong reasons. His wrong motive robs him or her of purposefulness, passion and sense of mission. He or her ability to make impact is neutralized.

2. The Game-Changer Mentality™. The man or woman with the game changer mentality believes he or she is around to solve a problem. He or she believes that his or presence is synonymous with solutions. He is a man or woman of influence. He or she is not afraid of challenges.

He or she sees challenges as an opportunity to be relevant. He or she believes that influence is determined by contribution. He or she steps in where others give up. He or she understands that he or she is created in the image of God and as a result he or she is unlimited in his or ability to create. He or she believes that everything that has been made is a challenge to him or her to do better and a proof that he can do better. He or she also knows that he or she is limitless in his options in any situation he or she finds himself or herself.

I always like to illustrate this with a football match where a team is down and all hopes of winning are almost lost. The coach reads the match and brings in a player very close to the end of the march. As he steps into the field, he moves round to encourage his fellow players. Within a short time the team that is 2 goals down scores a goal.  In another 5 minutes, another goal is in the net.  And in a short while after the equalizer, the team that was down scores another goal and wins the march.

In your opinion, who would you judge as the man of the march? The guys, who played for the full ninety minutes or the guy, who comes in few minutes to the end of game to cause a positive stir on the field? In my opinion, the man of the march, who is also the Game Changer is the man, who comes in toward the end of the march. It simply means, it is not how long you stay on a project but how well. Needless to say that how well you perform is determined by how well you renew, refresh and reinvent yourself.

A teacher with a game changer mentality will not only act in the best interest of the child and protect them from all forms of abuse; he or she unleashes on the pupils the spirit of change. He or she is not shocked by their mistakes and so-called stubbornness. He or she sees the challenges of his or her pupils as the reason for his or her existence. He or she understands that when a doctor, who is on duty at an emergency ward or Intensive Care Unit, will throw his hands in the air in helplessness and complain about the nature of the cases being brought to him, he has lost not only lost touch with his purpose, but has lost touch with reality.

The motive of the Game Changer is single and simply: it is to do all things in the best interest of the child, having freed himself or herself from the distractions of the rain-beaten chicken mentality.

There are four (4) categories of teachers under the The Rain-Beaten Chicken Mentality™ and The Game-Changer Mentality™

S/N Category Description Mentality
1.  The Initiator: Those who see what needs to be done and do it without being asked.
  • They are proactive and creative
  • Very rare worker. We call them Star or Eagle worker.
  • Highly productive and well rewarded. Never looking for work.
  • Always being offered more responsibility, even when isn’t seeking it.
  • They understand the dignity in labour and are committed to exercising themselves thereof.
  • They owe themselves performance and not the organisation.  That is they are intrinsically motivated by their values.
GCM
2. The Eager: Those who ask what they should do
  • They are proactive in the sense that they ask what to do.
  • They are not necessarily creative.
  • Always goes the extra mile.
  • This kind is rare and never out of work
GCM (2)
3. The Led-by-the-Nose: Those who MUST be told what to do
  • They lack initiative
  • Basically lazy but does deliberately avoid work.
  • Does a good job when told but don’t seek out new or more work.
  • Never gets far in job market and usually gripes about the way he gets passed up when promotions are made.
RBCM
4. The Unreliable: Those who MUST be found in order to be told what to do.
  • Lazy and avoid work. Often absent from job or worksite.
  • Manager is always looking for him and has to question or inspect everything he does for quality.
  • Gets minimum wage and never holds a job for long.
RBCM

Meet our Models:

Steve Mariotti,

Considered one of today’s leading experts in education for at-risk youth, Steve Mariotti changed career paths back in 1982 when he decided to move from the corporate sector and become a special education teacher in the New York City school system. Mr. Mariotti’s first assignment was in the East New York section of Brooklyn, and his last was in the Fort Apache section of the South Bronx.

Mariotti took the decision after he was attacked and robbed by college students in his area. He felt he could help change the orientation of the children from poverty and crime to that of enterprise. In the pursuit of his dream to cause a change in the educational system in Brooklyn, he decided leave his corporate concern and became a teacher.

While teaching in this hard-hitting environment for six and a half years, Mr. Mariotti gained insight into how to successfully motivate his tough students – teaching them how to run a business. His perceptions and learnings inspired him to create a program to bring entrepreneurial education to low-income youth.

In 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE, formerly The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship), a non-profit organization, was formed.

Now, more than twenty years later, NFTE’s mission is to provide entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. The program has a proven track record of success. It is frequently used as a model for other programs to teach business knowledge and the resulting business formation. NFTE has reached more than 230,000 young people since its founding, and has programs in 22 states and 13 countries.

Ron Clark

Ron Clarke has been called “America’s Educator.”He is an American teacher who has worked with disadvantaged students in rural North Carolina and Harlem, New York City. He got into the school to teach his class at a point when a teacher stormed out of the school on the claim that the pupils were difficult and stubborn.  He employed tenacity, sacrifice, creativity and above all love to cause a revolution in the lives of his pupils. He rewarded his pupils’ innate gifts.

In 2000, he was named Disney’s American Teacher of the Year. He is a New York Times bestselling author whose book, The Essential 55, has sold over 1 million copies and has been published in 25 different countries. He has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, and Oprah, and Ms. Winfrey even named him as her first “Phenomenal Man.” His classes have been honoured at the White House on three separate occasions. Ron’s teaching experiences in New York City are the subject of the uplifting film, The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry, better known as Chandler from Friends.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

DECORUM

I love to always put on my DECORUM cap…
DECORUM, like CAUTION is one things I will not throw to the wind..
It is the LIFEWIRE of any meaningful engagement…
I call it the boundaries regulator of all fruitful and enduring relationships…
Even if a farmland belongs to a father and son, there must be boundaries for the purpose of order and peaceful co-existence…
DECORUM guides me against the fallacy of FAMILIARITY…
FAMILIARITY has no space in the dictionary of the wise…
It is a silent robber…
Enemy of true intimacy…
If God, the Father of all, with a measureless heart of mercy and grace cannot stand FAMILIARITY, why should His man made in His very image host it?
Even the Yoruba Philosophy isn’t left behind in the matter as it proclaims, ‘owo die die la ra n fe.’
Do have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the Lord’s day.

The Principles of The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution Unfolded

Having spent time to lay the foundation for sharing the principles of the TeacherFIRE™ Revolution, permit me to begin sharing the principles with the profound words of William Arthur Ward:   ‘The Mediocre Teacher Tells; The Good Teacher Explains; The Superior Teacher Demonstrates; The Great Teacher Inspires!’

It is interesting and instructive how V.R TANEJA sees the impact of perfunctory to the society. He saliently submits, So long as there is one child who has failed to obtain the precise educational treatment his individuality requires; so long as a single child goes hungry, has nowhere to play, fails to receive medical attention he needs; so long as the nation fails to train and provide scope for every atom of outstanding ability it can find; so long as there are administrators or teachers who feel no sense of mission, who cannot administer or who cannot teach, the system will remain incomplete.’

In sharing the TeacherFIRE™ Revolution principles, I shall be visiting lives of the following 13 Unforgettable Teachers and lovers of the child and education to bring our senses and stones from their inspirational and instructive stories.

From the biographical studies of the great souls,  we studied, the traits of a teacher on FIRE is summed up in the word, ‘TEACHERS’ as an acronym:

T stands for TRAIN WITH YOUR VALUES/LIFESTYLE

The teacher understands the Triple M™ Principle

Mentoring- Mentoring refers to fostering value and principle-based leadership. He knows, he loves, he protects and he leads. Mentoring, I must say here answers to time and wisdom. If the teacher has time and does not have wisdom, his time is useless. If he has wisdom and does not have time, his wisdom is useless. Therefore, the teacher must make conscious efforts to lean of divine wisdom and make commitment of time for the children under his care.

Modelling- means, in his dealing with children, the teacher understands that he must be conscious of the learning method of children: ‘they do not do what we say; they do what we do.’

Modeling means we are ready to lead by example. It means we are people of values and we are  committed to communicating our values through our actions in our relationship with our pupils. It therefore means that we do not say one thing and do another. It means our words match our actions. Once our words do not match our actions, we become a reference points to our observers (in this case our pupils) a loud and provocative reference point in hypocrisy.

The bitter but very helpful truth is that the teacher has no other message than his life, the values he lives to defend, the virtues he lives to promote and the ethics he lives to enthrone in his personal lives and that of his pupils. It means that both in the times of fun and serious exchange with the pupils and colleagues, the language of value flows freely.

I read in The Economist Magazine of January 4, 2011 as follows:  ‘budget, curriculum, class size– none has a greater effect on a student than his or her teacher.”    

I verily believe The Economist because from my own personal research, I have come to the irresistible conclusion that the teacher is the real curriculum of the school. A child may not remember many things that he or she is taught in school, but I am sure he or she will never forget the impact of the teacher on him or her either positive or negative.

I must say that there is no gainsaying the fact that a school curriculum is critical to the advancement of the child, but more critical is the teacher, who teaches the curriculum. The primary mandate of a teacher is not to teach a curriculum but to demonstrate it with his or her lifestyle.  Someone said, ‘One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.  The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.’ As Stanford University economist, Paul Romer has long argued, ‘great advances have always come from ideas; ideas do not fall from the sky; they come from people. People write the software, design the products and start the new businesses. Every new thing that gives pleasure or productivity or convenience is the result of human ingenuity.’

In view of the foregoing, I want to suggest that beyond professional qualifications, the policy of a school on hiring and firing of teachers should focus on committing of human and financial resources to the processes of validating the character of the teachers they hire. I think the acid test should be the compatibility of the personal values of the prospective teachers with that of the school.

The teacher does not claim to be perfect. He does not also claim to know it all. He makes it a point of duty to admit his mistakes to his pupils thereby teaching them that human foibles are the lot of all and not a reason for embarrassment.  For him to be in a position to live as just described he must be free from low self-esteem, He must be secure in himself.

Having been in the school system in the last 16 years, I have seen teachers, who are confident and secure in themselves. I have also seen teachers, who are so insecure that they get into competition with the pupils they are called to lead. They forget that their primary responsibility is to teach vision and keep inspiration alive. Unfortunately, competition and inspiration do not go together. It simply means there is a contest over something that is meant for the fittest. The fittest does not inspire while the fit does not trust the inspiration of the fittest. He therefore suspects it as manipulative agenda to get him to surrender to the wiles of the fittest.

In the final analysis the teacher is therefore advised that ‘Teaching is leaving a vestige of oneself in the development of another.  And surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures.’

The task of leading with your value and lifestyle is difficult where the teacher does not live by values. It is important to note the operating word in this instruction. It is the word, YOUR. It simply speaks of the values, with which you are identified. They are yours. You have identified with them long enough that they are like your name now. They have become your nature and identity.

Values are not quick-fix rules of behaviour. Human beings or organization spend time to build them and become them. Values are the moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group. These moral principles and beliefs guide the activities of the person or group in private and public. The person or group has a commitment NOT to do anything outside their set values.

In asking you to lead with your values and lifestyle, the first question we must ask and answer is, who are you? This exercise is not only very important but critical to the successful dissemination of the TeacherFIRE program. Why is this critical?

This is the truth, everything in life produces after its kind. Human beings and institutions alike cannot give what they do not have.  I found an authority for this in the Holy Writ. Hear this: “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.’

According to Robb Thompson, ‘You are either a prisoner of your past or a pioneer of your future.’  The summation of this saying is that there are two kinds of people in life. The first: those who are prisoners of their past. These ones are held bound by their past and therefore cannot progress in life. The second are the pioneers of their future. They are people who have been able to put their past behind them and author a new future. This is a privilege God Almighty has given every man and woman.

How do you take hold of this awesome privilege to become the author of new generation, a pioneer of your future?  I think the beginning of the journey of authoring your own future is to embark on a journey of self-evaluation.  For embark on this journey of self-discovery, I strongly advise that you Take RESPONSIBILITY to take the following 5 steps:

  • Accept and love yourself that you are and know: If you do not love yourself that you are, you will never love yourself that you hope to be become. Love is NOW.
  • Identify positive and negative impact of your upbringing: do not live in denial. Open your heart, face your past and decide to identify positive and negative experiences.
  • Identify the requirement for healing
  • Subscribe to the healing process
  • Submit to the healing process 

The truth is that when you take the journey, you will land in the realm of becoming the pioneer of your future. When you go through the process, you will not only be set to become the pioneer of your future, you will arrive at your destination with your values. Until you become the pioneer of your future, you do not have the capacity to lead your pupils into their own future.

Moulding- Mentoring and Modeling are not ends in themselves. Their main goal is POSITIVE INFLUENCE.  Here we call it MOULDING. For a teacher or leader to arrive at MOULDING through Mentoring and Modeling, he/she must consciously Keep These in MIND:

12 LAWS of INFLUENCE:

  1. Relationship: relationship is foundational to influence. The deeper the relation the more opportunity you have to prove your motive
  2. Sacrifice: What have you suffered or you ready to suffer for the cause of the one you desire to influence?
  3. Character: Do your words march your actions? Question of integrity
  4. Relevance: Do you identify with their needs?
  5. Insight: How much of the person you seek to influence have you taken time to have insight to? That is do you have beyond-the-surface knowledge about the person?
  6. Vulnerability: are you genuinely transparent? Are you ready to admit your mistakes, knowing that followers, including children are not fools? There is not faster way to lose confidence in you than to claim perfection in the face of obvious mistake.
  7. Experience: people listen to us because we have succeed in the past
  8. Humility: Humility and meekness are critical to influence. Do you consider it a privilege to play the role of a mentor that you become humble in your dealing with the followers.
  9. Competence: what abilities and expertise do you have in the area where you seek to help others? How often do you update yourself?
  10. Courage: how much are you ready to wisely demonstrate and defend your convictions?
  11. Patience: the mentor trade in value system transfer. Are you patient enough to understand value system transfer takes time and patience must be embraced as long as there are signs of improvement?
  12. Faith: How much do you believe in the person you mentor?  Faith is foundational. Also note that without LOVE we cannot have faith because faith works with love.  Someone said, ‘The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort.  The tough problem is not in identifying winners:  it is in making winners out of ordinary people.’

Note: INSPIRED by John C. Maxwell

Meet our Models

The Unknown Teacher and the Bathroom Slippers: It was career day in a primary school and children were asked to come to school modeling the profession they intend to pursue in the future. A child, who wanted to become a teacher, had a running battle with her parents, when she packed a pair of bathroom slippers. The parents insisted that a pair of bathroom slippers is not in the dress code of a teacher. The child insisted it was. When the parents further probed, the child said, ‘our teacher in some cases wear a pair of bathroom slippers to the class room to teach.’

Booker T. Washington, who gave all of himself to his pupils, employed the Triple M™ and became a beacon of hope to many of colleagues. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery to Jane, an enslaved African American woman. He knew little about his white father. His family gained freedom in 1865. As a boy, he invented the surname Washington when all the other school children were giving their full names. After working in salt furnaces and coal mines in West Virginia for several years, Determined to get educated, Washington made his way east to Hampton Institute, established to educate freedmen. There, he worked his way through his studies and later attended Wayland Seminary to complete preparation as an instructor.

Washington was later to become the first leader of Tuskegee Institute Alabama. The new school opened on July 4 1881 to thirty students with Washington as the only teacher 1881, initially using space in a local church. The next year, Washington purchased a former plantation, which became the permanent site of the campus. Under his direction, his students literally built their own school: constructing classrooms, barns and outbuildings; growing their own crops and raising livestock, and providing for most of their own basic necessities.  Both boys and girls had to learn trades as well as academics. Washington helped raise funds to establish and operate hundreds of small community schools and institutions of higher educations for blacks.

Washington believed in his students. While the general opinion was that black people could not learn. He raised the bar of expectation of their performances. He treated his students with courtesy and also disciplined when necessary. The result was astounding success. He said, ‘I have never taught pupils, who gave me such genuine satisfaction as these did…’

He also suffered with his pupils. He recalled an experience: ‘the weather during the second winter of our work was very cold. We were not able to provide enough bed-clothes to keep the students warm…I recall that on several occasions I went in the middle of the night to the shanties occupied by the young men, for the purpose of comforting them. Often, I found some of them sitting huddled around fire, with the one blanket which we had been able to provide wrapped around them, trying in this way to keep warm.’

Johanna “Anne” Mansfield Sullivan Macy (1866 – 1936), also known as Annie Sullivan, was an American teacher best known as the instructor and companion of Helen Keller.

Michael Anaganos, director of the Institute, then located in South Boston, was approached to suggest a teacher for the Keller’s deafblind daughter. He asked Anne Sullivan, a former student, herself visually impaired and only 20 years old, to become Helen’s instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year relationship, Sullivan evolving into governess and then eventual companion.

Anne Sullivan arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887, and immediately began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with “d-o-l-l” for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present. Keller was frustrated, at first, because she did not understand that every object had a word uniquely identifying it. In fact, when Sullivan was trying to teach Keller the word for “mug”, Keller became so frustrated she broke the doll. Keller’s big breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of “water”; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world.

As lifelong companions Sullivan and Keller continually lived, worked, and traveled together.

The last story we will be sharing with you here is that of George Muller. While we will share his full story later, we will like to share a part of his life which demonstrated   integrity and unquestionable character.  Muller was an educationist, who also ran an orphanage. It was written of him as follows: although he never asked any person (only God) for anything, Müller asked those who did support his work to give a name and address in order that a receipt might be given.

The receipts were printed with a request that the receipt be kept until the next annual report was issued, in order that the donor might confirm the amount reported with the amount given. The wording in the image reads: “Owing to the great increase of my work, I have found it necessary to authorize two of my assistants (Mr. Lawford and Mr. Wright) to sign receipts for donations, if needful, in my stead.-Donors are requested, kindly to keep the receipts and to compare them with the “Supplement” to the Report, which records every donation received, so that they may be satisfied that their donations have been properly applied.-The “Supplement” is sent with the Report to every Donor who furnishes me with his or her name and address.

Muller further said, ‘I would earnestly request all Donors (even those who feel it right to give anonymously) to put it in my power to acknowledge their donations at the time they come to hand; and should any Donor, after having done this, not receive a printed receipt within a week, they would much oblige me by giving me information at once. This interval must, of course, be extended in the case of Donors who send from places out of the United Kingdom.’ Every single gift was recorded, whether a single farthing, £3,000 or an old teaspoon.Accounting records were scrupulously kept and made available for scrutiny.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

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VALUE Rules

People do not love, VALUES do;
People do not marry, VALUES do;
People do not parent, VALUES do;
People do not relate, VALUES do;
People do not persevere, VALUES do;
People do not show loyalty, VALUES do;
People do not commit, VALUES do;
People do not sustain, VALUES do;
People do not lead, VALUES do;
People do not serve, VALUES do;
People do not win, VALUES do;
People do not lose, VALUES do;
People do not employ, VALUES do;
People do not reward, VALUES do;
People do not work, VALUES do;
People do not speak, VALUES do;
People do not keep quiet, VALUES do; People do not fight, VALUES do;
People do not create, VALUES do;
People do not rest, VALUES do;
Everyone has VALUES…
Yet majority do not DEFINE and DEFEND their VALUES…
So COSTLY…
We RISE and FALL by our VALUES…
Yes VALUES rules…
Do Have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s day.