Mrs Nnabueze Bridget Mmaduchim of Modebe Memorial Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra State emerged as the overall best teacher in public schools across the country and received a new car at the Presidents’ Teachers and Schools Excellence Award during the World Teachers Day celebration in Abuja on Tuesday. She spoke about the award and calling as a teacher.
How do you feel emerging the best teacher in public schools across Nigeria?
I feel delighted; I feel elevated and give God all the glory for winning the best teacher in public schools across the country. I am short of words to express what is going on inside me but I am grateful.
What do you think earned you the award?
My dedication earned me the award; in fact, I never give up whenever I teach. I give my students the best and I sacrifice myself, time and life for them. Whatever it takes to give them the best is what I do even if it is financial, I make the sacrifice.
I sacrificed my health too as the chairman of the esthetic committee in my school. I make sure that everything in the school environment is clean. I am also the chairman of the health committee and whenever my students face any challenge, especially in terms of their health, I make sure I take them to a lab or clinic and that is with my finances.
How does your family cope when you dedicate such time to school?
They cope well as no teacher will leave the family to suffer because the family comes first and whatever you have you give to the family. I don’t think I can relegate my family to the background even as I dedicate my time to my school and students.
How do you describe this journey?
It is not an easy journey but so far I thank God for making this happen today and I thank my students for their courage as well.
Considering the challenges teachers face in the country, will you allow your child to be a teacher?
Yes, of course, my children are qualified to be teachers and soon they will be teaching. Anyone who wants to go into the profession and enjoys it, I will encourage them to go for it. We will not force them to go into the teaching profession. I love it because it gives me the passion to sacrifice more. I will encourage my kids to go into it.
What advice do you have for other teachers?
I will advise teachers to teach and make sacrifices without looking at anybody. Do whatever it takes to be you, be yourself, don’t wait for someone to be looking at you to do what you have to do. Just do it with all your heart; that is the sacrifice that teachers have to make.
What would you say on the challenges facing teachers today?
The challenges will be taken care of one after the other. We shall overcome and Nigeria will be better, we are improving and we will get there.