Life they say, is how you make it. This is an obvious indication that, ‘ceteris paribus’ (all things being equal) you are the architect of your life.
Your family and the society does not expect you to remain the same kind of teacher you are today in ten years’ time, in terms of professional development, financial independency as well as social and material contribution to society.
Why do you remain same whilst your mates are harnessing other opportunities for a better future?
My colleague young teacher, does it have to take someone to tell you that you did not choose a profession of luxury? Are you oblivious of the fact that the teaching profession is not a highly paid job before you applied to be one?
Young teacher, without mincing words, the only profession that you can predict your future very easy and simple is the teaching profession. This is because, you can find a retired teacher in almost every community.
Whilst some are living as independent senior citizens in good health, others live as paupers.
A conversation with one of these retired teachers made me teary and saw the need to give you this message. He told me how he regretted for not taking advantage of the ‘modular’ programs during their time, his regret for not seeking higher education for his children, his regret for not buying a piece of land just around where he stayed just because he thought it was prudent to build in his hometown.
His regret for this and regret for that but the fact remained that, he was once a teacher, a young teacher like any one of us.
On the other hand, I have also had the opportunity to speak with other retired teachers who are living comfortably in their own houses, giving parts of their buildings out for rent, running their own private businesses. Some were proud of the accomplishment of their children but did not hide the sacrifices they made, these sets of teachers seemingly have good health and high societal recognition whilst the ‘irresponsible’ ones wished they had been wiped from the surface of this earth.
Which of these types of retirees do you envisage to be? If it is the latter, then it demands planning, conscious effort, self-denial and sense of purpose, you can’t eat your cake and have it so be conscious about what you do with your finances now.
One major thing that makes you plan to fail is electronics, electronic gadgets are on the rise and better ones would keep on coming. Who said NOKIA 3310 and MOTOROLLA C6 would be extinct in less than ten years of its existence?
If you think you should own a mobile phone that can pay your fees and complain you cannot afford to go to school this year because you can’t pay your fees, then you are planning to fail. If you think it is prudent to own the most expensive 48” to 60” inch screen television on which you can see the players bigger and better, choose the best of the luxurious single room self-contain but complain you do not have money to buy a piece of land to start your own, then comrade, it’s dangerous.
If you know how the best dishes taste in all the restaurants as a young teacher, which ones have the bush meats and the emergency numbers of the caterers, I think it’s time to learn cooking and start enjoying your tasteless and salty meals, which can save you some coins for future plans.
Last but not the least, if you see us the old teachers crying at the end of the month, respect us and remember we were once like you. In our quest to have a better future, we are hitting life harder now so we don’t regret later so take your hammer and begin to hit as well.
To us the old teachers, we should not only pour out frustrations to the young teacher about the unions not planning our lives for us, we should also avail to them the opportunities that comes along with the profession.
(Asunafo District Vice Chairperson – GNAT)