Becoming a successful teacher in Nigeria requires years of focus, diligence, dedication, and hard work.
Nigeria is a country with diverse opportunities and teaching is one of such many opportunities.
The idea that teachers are poor and do not command respect in the society is gradually becoming a thing of the past. This is majorly due to the advent of more and more privately-owned primary and secondary schools being established.
These privately owned schools strive to outdo their competitors by putting every measure in place to achieve their set objectives and goals. One of such measures is paying their teachers highly well.
With the right education, state of mind, and adequate orientation, you could be a teacher in Nigeria and still live a life similar to that of a banker. It actually requires proper planning and strategies.
There are numerous schools in Nigeria that pay their teachers very good salaries.
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The list below contains some very important tips that should be able to enlighten you through your journey to becoming a successful teacher.
Get a degree
Although there are numerous developing schools that requires only senior secondary school leaving certificate to employ you, for you to advance your teaching career, it is very important that you get a university degree.
In most cases, the type of certificate that you possess dictates the kind of salary you’ll be offered in Nigerian secondary schools. So it is important to first get a degree before anything else.
Get a diploma in education
This is largely optional but it is a necessary step to consider if you intend to stay longer in the teaching profession. Since being a successful teacher also involves teaching in a reputable secondary school, it would not be considered a waste of resources investing in a diploma in education. Most big schools with reputations to protect will only employ candidates with this certificate to avoid all future queries or sanctions from the government. Getting this certificate will empower you with the deserved authority to speak as a qualified teacher.
Very importantly, a diploma in education will boost your confidence when relating with potential students or their parents.
Do not be afraid to start small.
What I mean by ‘start small’ is that it is easier to kick-start your teaching career with a small secondary school that is still developing than with a bigger one that has already made a name.
To gain employment into any reputable school will actually require years of experience, and recommendations. So the best approach is to apply to smaller schools first.
This smaller schools will usually place adverts for vacancies somewhere close to the gate of their buildings. You should watch out for such adverts or walk into the school buildings to make your inquiries.
Do not expect a high salary at first
I think this generally applies to most jobs especially the ones in which you do not have the required experience yet. One important factor that determines a successful teacher is his or her vast knowledge in the subject area chosen.
If your strength is in the science subjects for instance, then you could teach any of Physics, Chemistry or even Mathematics. But great care should be taken in choosing the subject to major in. Let your passion for the subject also be a factor in your selection. Doing so will make you flow conveniently in class with your students.
Frequently put your knowledge to test
If you already got your first job and your aim is to get better and become a successful teacher, you are already a step closer to your goal.
It is now necessary to test yourself frequently to know how well you have developed in teaching that subject over time. Get past examination questions on your subject and practice with as many of them as possible.
You could also get closer to colleagues who are also teaching the same subject and plead with them to share their knowledge and experience with you. Doing this will fast-track your journey to becoming a successful teacher.
Be familiar with the curriculum and syllabus
Apart from schools that run on the Nigeria curriculum, there are also notable schools in Nigeria that run fully on the British curriculum. You’ll never know when it will come in handy knowing all that are necessary as regards the two curricula.
Also, knowing the syllabus of the subject you’re teaching in and out will let you know how deep you need to go on any topic when teaching your students in class.
This could fine-tune your progress on becoming a very successful teacher.
Invest in books
You could establish a mini library in your apartment to keep your books. Ensure you buy books that are relevant to your subject. This includes textbooks and teaching aids such as graph books, four-figure tables etc.
As you study the various textbooks written on your subject, you get better understanding and gain mastery of it.
Teach yourself like you would teach your students
There are still schools that use chalk board in Nigeria but majority of schools nowadays use white marker board and few use interactive boards. Depending on the one in use in your school, you could invest in a personal board that you keep in your home.
This personal board is one tool that you can use to fast-track your mastery of your chosen subject or subjects.
You could choose a topic on your subject and create an atmosphere that mimics the way you would teach that subject if it were to be a real class.
Do this often especially when you are about to teach a new topic for the first time. This empowers you with a good level of confidence whenever you’re ready for the real class.
Get home lessons
Home lesson in Nigeria is a private personal tutoring service that you render to a student for a fee based on the arrangement with his or her parent or guardian.
You get paid directly by the parent or guardian based on the concluded agreement.
The more home lessons you get, the more money you get. In most cases, it is the parents of the children from the school where you’re currently employed or higher authorities from that school that recommends you to home lesson opportunities.
It is therefore important to keep a good but formal relationship with the parents of the students. Also, keep track of your students’ performances and recommend what must be done to help any child that is struggling with his or her academics to the relevant school authority. This could make the school’s authority to recommend you to parents who would need extra assistance for their children.
Do not lose focus
It is very important that you keep your eyes on the main goal as you apply these guidelines. Becoming a successful teacher will not happen overnight, do not lose focus even if it takes you years to achieve.
The list above could be longer but it is entirely meant to guide only in decision making when choosing teaching as a long-term career. Teaching is a very lovely profession and could be much more fun if you are achieving your goals. Choose your subject consciously and watch your growth diligently.