12 August 2016

A man with the patience to teach nursery school

A male nursery teacher! Why did you choose this vocation?
I believe we all have an inner child, and it is good for us to stay young and happy. I enjoyed babysitting my children, watching them take the first step, and teaching them new things. Teaching nursery is just an extension of those feelings.
What is watching over children the entire day like?
Children are so amazing. The first time they do something, it excites you. They are jolly to be with; we are always singing, clapping and dancing.
People say when you teach young children, you eventually begin behaving like them.
It is true. Nursery teachers are always happy. We never grow old because we allow the inner child in us the freedom to come out.
Are you married?
Yes, to a lovely businesswoman, with whom I have a son and a daughter.
People think marriage is heaven. Is it?
I have been married for 12 years and I can tell you it is not an easy journey. It takes commitment, patience, and love, of course.

The first step to a difficult marriage is to refuse to understand your partner. You can never get along with someone you do not understand. In marriage, you have to act the fool; see things but you ignore them for the sake of the marriage.
What have you had to give up?
Clubbing. It is something I had to forego because it made her unhappy. I still miss that life very much. I realised I had to compromise for her happiness.
Why do you think infidelity seems to be out in the open nowadays?
I guess marriage has lost meaning for some people. When I was young, we had ssengas who advised us on what to expect in marriage. When I met problems, I knew how to deal with them. But now, people meet in clubs and begin cohabiting the next day without taking time to know each other.
Is courtship really important?
Even if you are building the most magnificent house, if it has a poor foundation, it is bound to collapse. Courtship is the foundation. It takes a lifetime to understand someone, but in courtship you get to know their likes and dislikes.
How did you meet your wife?
In the village, where I was visiting my grandmother, I went to the shop to buy sugar and I saw this amazingly beautiful ‘brown’ lady. I had to know her. I asked around and eventually got her phone number. I called and we began talking.
How do you show her you love her?
In many ways, but, I do not believe love is all about giving and receiving. It involves making sacrifices so that the other person is happy. You have to be there for them whatever the situation.
What don’t people like about you?
They say I am too playful because I talk and laugh a lot. They say I am attached to little children. I guess it goes with the job. I have been with children for five years now.
And before that?
I was an administrator in the financial department of Makerere University. At school, I had been very poor at mathematics, so balancing figures was a problem. I just had to quit.

About teaching

Don’t you pamper children in international schools?
I would not call it that, but we try to understand what the child is thinking before we punish them. Even the Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child, but beating a child is not the solution. I believe different children have different ways of learning. Caning is not the only way; sometimes, you just talk to them.

How different is the international system from the local system.
Theoretically, the international system grooms children to have a holistic approach to daily world challenges. The curriculum is flexible and diverse. It also aims more at making the children comprehend concepts in a thorough way rather than cram work. We teach through projects, basically aimed at articulating and enhancing creative skills and innovation. We aim at identifying the child’s potential, strengths, capabilities in a general perspective instead of giving the child many subjects which only ends in them being confused not knowing what to become or even ascertaining what is best for them.

What is the hardest thing about handling little children?
First of all, I am proud to be a teacher and teaching is not easy especially when dealing with little ones. I teach ages between three and six years, who we call reception and pre-primary or middle and top class in the local curriculum. I have so far encountered generally the problem of misconceptions from parents. They are always skeptical about males handling children at such a tender age. Getting those children to concentrate during class time is also very challenging. You have to be at your very best to realise what you want them to become.

Your parenting tip
Be friendly and warm. Arouse the child in you to think like them as you guide them, make it an interactive way of teaching or a discussion, make funny gestures, be creative and innovative. Think of captivating stories, be open-minded, always encourage them with praise and most of all, patience. Children are amazing and they are always curious and enthusiastic to discover and explore new concepts.

And to fellow teachers
We are not just handling children but dealing with our children because we are parents and children perceive us as their role models, always look up to us as their mentors so it is always good to be jolly and make learning fun and interesting.

If you had not been a teacher…
I would choose counselling because I am very good at giving advice. Perhaps second to that would be performing arts because I also like making others jolly.

My Education.
I did my PLE at St.Paul Ggaba Demonstration School then I did my UCE at St Joseph’s SSS Naggalama, then went to Makerere College school for my UACE and finally I joined Makerere University where I graduated with a Bachelors degree of Education.


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