A Commitment to a Departure: It is my irresistible conclusion that no matter how bright and laudable the vision of a school and the promises it hold give the children, who attend it a future and a hope, once the children are put in the hands of insensitive teachers, who subject them to abuse, the vision and promises are automatically truncated. They cannot be achieved, except there is divine intervention. Abuse goes to the root of the destiny of a child to mess it up.
Abuse is a distraction too hard for the fragile but promising mind of the child to handle. Abuse is a jealous occupier. He runs a fortified monopoly, which does not allow the child any breathing space. It arrives on its invitation with fear and intimidation. The trio creates a blockage, which does not only prevent the child from learning anything, but to also rob him of himself and his inherent dignity of human person. If there is any other feeling left in the child, when he is abused, it is the search for freedom. As, I have said before, childhood is not synonymous with slavery. Abuse brings with it slavery mentality. Once the child feels enslaved, he has just one mission. It is the mission to escape the confines of the prison. It does not matter the name we call the institution, family, home, school, place of worship, once the freedom of the child is attacked, he sees the place as prison. Permit me to humbly submit therefore that the number one threat to the vision, mission and core value of a school is exposure of children to any form of abuse.
It is my quest for a departure from the present situation, where most of our children are prone to all forms of abuses in the hands of their teachers, which precipitated the research which birthed the TeacherFIRE™ Revolution.
The Probing Question: The question, we were trying to answer was this: what is it that my teachers and the other ones, whose stories I have told did not know that made them to subject children under their care to the heinous abuse I narrated? There must be something they do not know. These things that they do not know are probably not taught in a teacher training school, for some of them who attended one. These things that they do not know are probably not considered in the hiring process of a school; hence such teachers find their ways into the school system in their legion. These things that they do not know probably do not form part of the orientation program of the school after hiring. There things that they do not know probably is not protected by a clear policy. These things that they do not know probably do not form part of their assessment and promotion within the school system. These things that they do not know probably are missing on the checklist of a parent, when deciding which school to register his child. These things that they do not know probably do not form part of the agenda of the Parents/Teachers Association meetings. These things that they do not know probably have escaped the radar of the conscience of the school leadership in determining the inevitable attributes of a child-friendly school. These things that they do not know probably do not have a space in the regulatory bodies’ condition for setting up a child friendly school.
Whatever the case may be, we did not know. One thing we knew was that we could find a solution under God.
What did we decide to do? God gave us wisdom to under that these things these abusive teachers do not know are hidden in the lives of conscious and sensitive teachers, who have successfully transformed the lives of the children under their care. How do we find these hidden treasures? We embarked on the studies of the biographies and autobiographies of these great souls.
Eureka! I found it! Our research of close to 15 years (which is still ongoing) shows that the teachers, who committed themselves to giving the children under their care a future and hope, without subjecting them to any form of abuse, had few attributes in common, which are lost in the radar of the conscience of today’s teachers. The one major attribute continues to reverberate in their stories of unusual impact and outstanding effectiveness: they were consumed with passion to be a permanent and unforgettable reference point of priceless value in the children’s quest for a future and a hope and there was nothing too much to sacrifice for the children, including their personal comfort, having seen the children as their own flesh and blood.
The Mission Defined: To reproduce this one attribute of these great souls, who positive impact remains indelible in the lives of the children they influence and history, the TeacherFIRE™ Revolution pursues with single-minded and unflinching commitment the mission ‘To raise a BEST-INTEREST-OF-THE-CHILD-conscious generation of teachers/instructors, who DELIBERATELY combine DIVINE WISDOM, PASSION(ENTHUSIASM and EXCITEMENT), COMPASSION, CONVICTION, and SENSE OF MISSION to CONNECT with the child’s HEAD and HEART, thereby IGNITING and NURTURING(through MENTORING, MODELLING and MOULDING) into MATURITY his/her GOD-endowed HUMAN INGENUITY, the fundamental trait of a COMPLETE CHILD.’
Action Steps to the Defined Mission
– To inspire teachers to become THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD-Compliant SOCIAL WORKERS in whose hands lie the destiny of the Nation’s Tomorrow to embrace to think beyond themselves, the seeming unfavorable conditions of service and state of the nation and embrace the spirit of change;
– To inspire teachers to embrace as primary work ethics and tools of change the five-fold cord of social work: Divine Wisdom, Modeling, Compassion for the people, Conviction about a noble cause and Commitment to a Sense of Mission;
– To equip teachers to become highly effective change agents in protecting the children under their care in accordance with the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003, even at the risk of sacrificial and personal discomfort;
– To equip teachers to discover and embrace their human ingenuity, teach the children under their influence same and help them to understand their personal, family and communal responsibilities and equip them with requisite skills to be active participants in their own protection as children;
– To encourage teachers to maintain productive relationships that promotes child protection and the best interest of the child with the school leadership, teaching and non-teaching colleagues and parent/guardians.
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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