“Experience is the best teacher they say. But not all of us have the same experiences and even when we do we interpret them differently. Imagine what sharing all these experiences and perceptions would do to the human race.”
I believe teaching is a calling and it doesn’t happen only in a classroom arrangement as we have made it be. Our socialization has been that of teachers instructing in schools and that’s as far as it goes. What if we could reflect deeper into the basis of teaching and education?
Mid this month I was honored to host scholars, innovators and change champions in a series of discussions as we were marking International Youth Day 2020 as Ryculture. The discussions were centered on the theme for the day which was “Youth Engagement for Global Action” in which case in our programming, we focused on ways of nurturing individuals to meaningfully engage in addressing local challenges which will have a ripple effect to global context. Through the talks it was all about having a responsive and empowering ecosystem that sparks curiosity of the youth, nurtures their innovative ideas and enable them to scale. From one scholars’ perspective it was all about teaching and sharing knowledge in applicable form. Teaching is about inspiring and enabling your people to think and act in a better way. This stayed with me to date and then I realized the profound impact that education both formal and informal has had in my development. It’s the foundation of who we are, how we relate and behave and who we become in the long term.
Over the weekend I had a moment to reflect on myself and in every memory I had there was a lesson I learnt. Some from my experiences, some stories and others observations made by people who came before us. Growing up in the village we had this routine of sitting by the fireplace in the evening with my Dad as we waited for supper to get ready. These were moments I cherish to this day. He would tell stories of his childhood days, wearing his first pair of shoe when reporting to form one as the first in the family to get the chance. Every aspect had something to teach but it meant as a person I had to be keen enough to reflect on the stories in the current context and dispensation. Unless he shared I would be having these reflections but because he did, I can and I am able to make better decisions. That’s the essence of teaching.
Then yesterday in a totally unrelated account, I happened to pass by a book stall where I once in a while pick a book to read based on the available collections. As always in these times where one can get stale sitting in the house the longer you can stay out the better. We had a protracted discussion and to him all he wants is to ensure people can have access to education that transform their lives. That’s why he tries as much as possible to relate with his customers to understand their interests which means his collection will meet your needs. It’s an empowering approach to adopt in business, focusing on the clients. In case you are around Juja, pass by his stall opposite Co-Operative Bank to check his collection out. You might just get something special for you.
Ultimately, we all have different experiences and these shape who we become. The same experiences when shared can transform other peoples lives for the better. Take advantage of that and light the path for another soul. It might be all they needed but never knew to ask for it.
Teaching has lost its allure because of me and you not valuing it as much. Maybe because we haven’t gotten to comprehend what it really means to be a teacher. This is the reason we hear parents rebuke their kids for not getting good grades in school by suggesting they risk becoming teachers.
“We are all teachers whether professionally or not. Let’s keep to it that we discharge our mandate when and where we can to transform the society.”