I agree with those who insist that a teacher’s reward is in heaven. However, I need to add that heaven only rewards those whose good works begin on earth. Therefore, teachers who perpetuate bad works on earth may not necessarily see heaven.
I cannot assess myself. But I feel already blessed by my vocation as a teacher. Yet, I seldom think of heaven’s blessings whenever I teach. Rather, I think of my students and what I could do to prepare them for blessings. I have always been guided by the doctrine of “all before self”.
In this vein, I am glad that I taught Peter Odinga Odey, once upon a time. He belonged to my first set of students, after I got employed as a teacher in Cross River State’s Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), after my discharge from National Youth Service Corp (NYSC). At that time, I may have thought of him as my subordinate. But life isn’t as static as that.
Today, Peter is my local government area’s representative
in the Cross River State House of Assembly.
Today, Peter speaks for me and dines with “Kings”.
Such is life and I feel humbled by this fact.
This picture shows Peter and I as he marked his birthday, somewhere tonight. I am glad that despite his honourable status, he still recognized his humble beginnings when I taught him. He ensured that I was by his side tonight.
To me, this is another indication that I may still see heaven, after this kind of brief glimpse of that desirable kingdom. Therefore, I submit that a teacher’s reward does not necessarily consist of silver and gold. The rewards are more psychological than material.
The rewards partially consist of the kind of fulfilment that I receive whenever I see my former students attaining Peter’s kind of height.
For my students, the rewards mostly consist of the kind of recognition that they give to those who laid the foundations for their heights in life. Life consists of giving and receiving. It isn’t a one way traffic.
Happy birthday, Honourable Peter Odinga Odey!
May God always reward you for making me feel partially rewarded!
- Cornelius Ellah