Regales Of A Lagos Bobo: Episode 4- Lesson Teacher
If anyone ever tells you being a teacher is easy, just shake your head; hiss and walk away.
Truth be told, I wasn't enjoying the teaching job one bit- and that was majorly because I felt I was overworking and getting underpaid. Many times I made up my mind to quit, on one occassion a parent slapped me-why? she thought it rude that I wrote in the child's note "Please monitor your child's assignments" and that was due the fact the child was always failing every one of the take-home assignments. I got so angry, people had to come in to prevent things from escalating and at that moment I didn't care if I lost the job or not.
"Uncle, calm down, I know how you feel...You did no wrong" The corper said to me as she led me away from the scene. "Oh you have no idea how I feel...That woman insulted my whole being...why? just because I'm a teacher? I'm here suffering, paid rubbish and someone will just come and slap me for advicing her to put an eye on her child's assignments. In fact, this is the end, I can't continue, I'm going to resign" I replied. The Corper whose name was Doyin pitied me and adviced me against quitting, she then told me how I could make much more than my salary by being a private tutor.
Doyin and I became friends, she invited me to her church where she introduced me to rich parents who needed private tutors for their wards. And that was how I became a private tutor and in no time I was earning almost 6 times my salary as a teacher. The money coming in was so good I finally quit my job as a teacher, the only issues I had was I was dealing with two extreme cases of children; they were either extremely dull or way too smart, so smart that I was always scared to ask "do you have any questions?". I remember after teaching a child shapes, he asked me "Sir, what's the shape of this dodo?" pointing to the fried plantain on his plate, I honestly had no idea what the shape was and I knew shunning the question would get me reported to his parents so I made it his assignment- Wisdom, yeah? Anyway being a private tutor meant I had to read more and read wide, it also taught me patience when dealing with slow learners.
Doyin introduced me to her friend who owned an institution that registered and prepared students for WAEC/NECO/JAMB/SAT/TOEFL. I was employed to teach Economics and Accounts, at first it wasn't easy- I mean having to teach teenagers and young adults like me required skill. In no time it became easy and fun, what's more- they loved me (especially the big girls) 'cause I always found ways to make the subjects easier to understand even if it meant using pigin english. I didn't last long at the institution though because I discovered shady stuff going on, they were extorting money in the name of "special centers" and I didn't want a part in it. When I left a lot of the students still came to me for private lessons, especially the females - most of them wanted what i call "extra-private" lessons (if you know what I mean- and if you do not know what I mean.....ask someone beside you) and as a Lagos bobo, my flesh was stronger than my spirit and in no time I succumbed to the extra-private yearnings of some of the girls (only the legal aged ones). Now hold on- don't start getting judgemental and saying I took advantage of them, No! I didn't- in actual fact they took advantage of me. One incident made me stop all of them from coming to my house for private lessons, one girl in her twenties got pregnant (hold on - it wasn't me) for a guy that lived close to me, so her Mother blamed me for not putting an eye on her child (if only she knew I did more than put my eyes on her child) whilst she was coming for lessons. To avoid a major embarassment that would lead to touching stories, I concentrated on only evening lessons with my clients' children.
One day i was teaching a child and I overheard the Father complain to someone over the phone
"Debo, what did you say happened to the accountant?..... oh, he quit without notice... no problem place a vacancy ad for an accountant in tomorrow's dailies... These records need to be audited, we may have been defrauded by that criminal..." As a sharp Lagos Bobo, I presented myslef before the child's father and told him I was a chartered accountant, a short interview and a test of going through a few records, I showed him some discrepancies and boom!
"Hello Debo, disregard the message about placing an ad... I've found someone"
That was how I got the job and upgraded my status as a Lagos Bobo.