The first university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan is…
By Kazeem Abolore
In the last 7 years I have worked in 3 different schools and at different capacities and if fate had me to go back to any of them, they would gladly and honourably welcome me (not bragging). I know this because we still have interactions. This is not because they did not employ other people, perhaps better ones, but simply because I set standards that made me almost indispensable. I remember what a former boss said the day I went to drop my resignation letter to her. She said, “I still enjoy your work here and would like to still have you here …”
Did I have superior qualification? No, for there were colleagues who had higher education.
Did I have more experience? No, there were staff that had better experience on the job than I.
Did I have superior knowledge? Probably Yes. For I have read books on personal effectiveness and also met people with excellent human relations skills and more importantly, used the knowledge I grabbed from them.
There are 3 things I realized made me almost indispensable at my places of work and I will share them with you.
Genuine Interest in Pupils
Irrespective of the kind of student; slow learner, fast learner or average learner, I had real interest in them. I was (am) so in love with my pupils that I asked of their wellbeing at home, their birthdays and noted them… Why shouldn’t I have genuine interest in them? Weren’t they the reason I was in class? Weren’t they the reason I got paid and could pay bills? But aside the material reasons for really liking them, I see them as my children and wouldn’t want my children to be poor academically.
Working to Express and Not to Impress
I remember in one of the places I had worked, my boss was a lover of eye-service. She must see you teaching in class else you are not hardworking. In spite of that, I didn’t work to impress her, rather I worked to express myself and fulfill the purpose for which I was employed. Many of my colleagues then did what she wanted but not me, I believed I had impressed her in my interview so what was the need to do eye-service again. As a result of being expressive, I gained her love and she considered me one of her best employees in the space of almost 2 years working with her.
A Great and Indomitable Attitude
This perhaps was is my greatest asset. I don’t dwell too much on negativity in my places of work - and at any place for that matter. Why should I when focusing on negativity would not bear me fruits? I had been transferred from a higher class to lower class in a school (from Basic 5 to 3) and I didn’t over react, only took the positive side of it. A fellow who was transferred to Basic 5 from 6 couldn’t take it and he remained despised by the boss. I was in that lower class when I became the secretary of the school and also chaired the finance committee - positions I couldn’t attain when I was teaching Basic 5.
This is how I was almost indispensable at my places of work and I believe you too can if you have genuine interest in what you do, work to express and not to impress and have an upbeat attitude.
Kazeem Abolore is an innovative teacher, creative writer and personal effectiveness strategist.