Student, You will not Spoil my Day with your Prank…
Student: Good afternoon, Sir.
Ellah: Good afternoon, my friend. How are you?
Student: Fine, Sir…. I just came to greet you.
Ellah: Thanks a lot. I appreciate such greetings.
Student: (Smiling sheepishly) I have a little challenge sir.
Ellah: What is the challenge?
Student: It is about your course, Sir?
Ellah: Really? What course is that?
Student: Your course, Sir.
Ellah: I teach several courses. Be specific.
Student: It is a year 2 course, Sir.
Ellah: Hmm. What is the title of the course?
(Student continues responding)
Reply: Sir, you taught the course.
Ellah: Really? Tell me!
Reply: I tell you!
Ellah: (Trying to stay calm) Now I know why you must be having a challenge. What course is giving you such a challenge.
Reply: It is a year 2 course, Sir. And I am in my final year.
Ellah: Are you in your final year or in year 4?
Reply: (Looking confused) Sir, you mean?
Ellah: Forget it. I mean, what course did I teach you?
Reply: You taught me the course long ago, Sir.
Ellah: And so what?
Reply: I can’t remember the name sir. But it is your course.
Ellah: Mr Ellah’s course?
Reply: Yes sir.
Ellah: My friend, there is no such course. I am disappointed in you.
Reply: I am sorry sir.
Ellah: You are my friend. But I am sorry that you have exhausted your time with me. Please leave this office. You can see that I have much work to do.
Reply: I am sorry sir. Please let me go and check the course title.
Ellah: You can go. But I won’t listen to you on that matter anymore.
Reply: I am sorry sir….I am sorry. Sorry sir. (Leaves after some awkward moments of silence).
I suspect that this student failed “my course”. I suspect that when he failed that course, he went about announcing that “Mr Ellah failed me in his course”. But I do not “fail” anybody. Neither do I “pass” anybody. Rather, I believe that the essence of teaching is to inspire people to learn a great deal, even when they may not immediately realize that they are learning. Although I asked the student in the above encounter to leave my office, I hope that he would learn from this experience. Next time he visits any office, he won’t do so with an unprepared mind.
Meanwhile, it would be wrong to use this student’s case to assess the quality of my students. Surely, God has blessed me with several brilliant students. Several of them have graduated. Some of them are excelling in their chosen careers. I continue to learn good lessons from all my students. I pray for all of them and hope that even those who do not seem to be academically gifted would be directed to discover and find fulfillment in what they are good at doing.
Happy Teachers Day!
- Cornelius Ellah