Letter to My Teacher
Hello! Do you know my name? I always think my name is unique. Is it in your notebook? Do you have notes about my family background? I have a great family; surely you have one, too. Do you know our family culture and bits and pieces of my heritage that is a strong influence in the way I am? Are you familiar with my family traditions? Are you even interested in some? By the way teacher, do you know what community I come from? Do you know what the good points of my community are? Or have you just heard of how notorious it is? Do you know my role in my community? Or are you planning to tell me what my role should be?
By the way teacher, since I am in your class now, do you happen to know my learning styles? Would you know what senses I use to learn? Can you tell how I process information I gather? Even if you did, do you know how to enhance it? And even if you know how to enhance it, would you really have time to do it? Do you think my personality can help me learn more? Or is my personality getting in the way? What do you think teacher? Would you like to hear from me?
Oh yes teacher, when you stand in front of the class and you are quiet, is that a good thing? When you smile, is that genuine? When you avoid my eyes, does that mean something that’s not good? When you say something about me about what I did not do well and you look at my friends with a smile, are you telling my friends ‘it’s alright’ or are you meaning the opposite? I get confused sometimes, especially when they laugh. Oh yes, when I raise my hands all the time and you don’t call me, is it because I know so much? I wish you would explain. Sometimes when I am thinking about your question and suddenly you call me to answer and I can’t just yet, and you roll your eyes, does that mean I am not thinking? My classmates laugh when you do that all the time! And teacher, when you sometimes raise your voice, is it because my friends at the back can’t hear you? How come I tremble with fear each time you do so? And each time we part ways, what are you not saying to me when you are not saying anything at all except for ‘goodbye!’?
On very light days teacher, when you crack jokes, does it always have to be about a classmate? I guess it has to be because everybody laughs out loud when you do so. Sometimes I wish the joke would be about me to make everyone focus on me. And those reprimands! Do you always have to announce it to everyone? Did you know that there are no more timeouts but only time in? I could teach you that teacher. When you scold a classmate, does it make you feel good? I know how to scold my classmates; I just follow what you do!
One more thing teacher, each day I go to school, did you know that my parents send me off with hugs and kisses? Do you know that each time I come home from a day with you, I feel weird, sometimes hurt, sometimes confused? It’s just weird because during my summer breaks teacher, when I get into scuffles with my playmates, I hear the same things you say about me. Oh well, anyway, those were just words.
Have a great day teacher! I still love you!
Sotonye Welsh, Township High School, Port Harcourt