After teaching for four years. I couldn’t account for anything I had achieved.
I was living modestly.
No drinks. No women. Few friends. Few clothes. Ate In. etc.
My daily journey was triangulated. It’s from my house to school. Then from the school to Master T’s place, where I prepared students for external examinations. Then back home.
My salary was only able to put food on the table, cover my transportation and phone calls.
I was dead broke that many times, I would walk to and back from work. I taught #200 naira (55 cents) per period on only Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Life was so uninteresting that I had to run. Away, I ran for my life.
However, life keeps pushing me in the direction of teaching.
Recently, a teacher asked if the teaching profession is really a profession. The question of rhetoric. But frustration has pushed many to ask seemingly senseless questions.
That means the fight still continues.
However, the teaching profession is actually a PROFESSION. And a very lucrative one for that matter. Only if you, as a teacher understand well.
According to the United Nations Institute of Statistics, 69 million teachers must be recruited to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030. As opportunities have been for teachers, it’ll keep being like that.
That said, it will only blossom for those who seek to take advantage of improving their skills, and showing to the world that they are impactful.
In this article, I will share with you, the steps towards teaching beyond for the sake of living, but for the sake of making an impact that will resonate with the world.
Identify Teaching as a Way of Life
Like culture, see teaching as a way of life. Register it in your subconscious that it is an activity you can do anytime, anywhere and using any platform, as long as communication is open.
That way you improve the impact you make. Imagine you’re the first that thought about the possibility of online classes, or you’re the first that believed that school is just the four walls like every other building.
The experts at Bridge International Academies understand this and that’s why their classes aren’t all fancy but every catalog or classroom design passed deep messages, and they aren’t there without use.
So when you identify teaching as a way of life, you’ll teach it in the evening like you’re telling moonlight stories to a group of growing-ups, or put it up on Facebook rooms and exercise your discipline as a teacher.
Place value over money
Thinking about money as a teacher? I’m sorry to not disappoint you. I thought you knew.
You have to place the value you want to give over the money you’ll be paid as a teacher. If you think less of that, you’ll have it difficult to grow or to make an impact in the profession.
Most successful teachers were selfless. They sponsored kids, fed them, and discern them as theirs.
The moment you begin to look beyond that money, your eyes will be wide open to the values, and it’s in that, you find the right income and impact that will write your name on a gold plate.
Have an Idea beyond Classroom Teaching
Think about what you can do beyond the classroom. Contribute actively in your community, command the respect that the teachers of old get.
They had little money, but the community knows that they’re a source of civilization. And they respect them for that.
Ask yourself what you can do to bring you to the social limelight. Do it and don’t be shy.
Shyness is of the faint-hearted. You’re a teacher, like soldiers you’re in the wardrobe of molding minds.
The extracurricular activities that most schools now package as a service happened as a result of one teacher who thought outside the box of the classroom.
When you think outside the classroom. You find yourself starting a project with no funds and support. You find yourself starting what no one might believe in.
However, you’ve got to do it. People are attracted to the successful, they cling to those that believe in bringing their ideas to life – and school owners aren’t any different. They buy into your ideas when they see it in fruition.
No matter how big your ideas are, start small. Take a step at a time. Don’t rush. Give it time.
Take on a side hustle
Teachers without a strong support system end up frustrated. They end up being managed by leaders who lead with manipulation instead of influence.
They become a part of an army that hears only the command. Go. And they do.
However, you can reduce this odd by starting up a side hustle. This could be in your strength areas or related to your course of study.
For instance, you are an Engineering graduate who finds himself in the classroom. Your dream has been to work in a machine design firm since that’s your skilled area. Who says you can’t make your design again?
The internet, particularly social media has brought the two polars of the world together. You can reach out to Ford, Mercedes, or Rolls Royce by following their social media handles.
Create your designs and tweet about it every day. Tag these big corporations and watch the magic.
It’s that easy. However, it takes time but it’ll build your expertise and authority.
Besides, you can sell motor parts or electrical items in your community.
Teachers limit their possibilities of making an impact because they’re silent about their works. You taught and mentored a class of 200 learners and you didn’t see that as an achievement. Think about your sweat and the dampening of your voice.
Many respected professions wouldn’t do any better if they were in such situations.
So don’t be shy. Tell your stories and you’ll make more impact – which will likely become an influence and more income.
So if you’re looking at teaching beyond making a living from it.
Like you just don’t want to be paid a couple of nairas every month in your entire active working life, where you have no pensions or assets to fall back on, you might want to consider looking at the teaching profession from another angle.
Identify the act of teaching as culture, put value over money, grow your idea beyond the classroom, and start doing this in little steps.
Finally, build a side whistle and consistently tell your stories. It goes a long way in making influence.