This large crowd of teachers in Ondo State, Nigeria, with their smart phones accessing the 1Million teachers (1MT) learning portal makes me leap with joy and with overflowing tears.
This is exactly what I did five years ago.
Seeing these selfless educators with their eyes fixed on the gadgets in their hands makes me want to share about how I started and what I have achieved so far with 1Million Teachers.
In 2017 I came across an advertisement on facebook about 1Million teachers (1MT). It was a period when all chips were down. I needed something to really satisfy my inner longing.
So, I picked up the phone and called the number I saw on the banner, Arinze Ejiofor. We spoke and he told me about the organization to the best of his abilities and shared some materials and their website to me through a chat on WhatsApp.
Later in the day, I visited the website and saw their vision and mission. That was all I needed. I didn’t need any further conviction that this is where I belong. I knew outrightly that this is what I would eagerly pursue with all the strength I’ve got.
Like the biblical Phillip who immediately told his friend Nathaniel about Jesus, I swiftly started telling my colleagues about 1Million teachers (1MT). However, they didn’t seem to posses the same spirit that I have. So most didn’t key in, and the few who had interest, fell by the road side.
Like I said I stumbled upon 1Million teachers (1MT) when all chips where down. So seeing an organization whose aim is to #Attract, #Train and #Motivate teachers both old and new was a huge take for me.
I didn’t just see 1MT as an ordinary organization too. I saw it as my great ally, a big brother who is more equipped than I am to fight the decay and stigma in the teaching profession in Africa. Remember I said I had an inner longing (a transformation in pedagogy and a change in the societal perception about teachers). So, I saw it as a movement and I plunged into it, giving it all I’ve got.
Yeah! I registered with the organization and started learning from their portal. The first course I did under the yellow belt was titled, ‘The Heart of a Teacher.’ this course changed my life – transformed my attitude towards the teaching job, showed me how to relate with and treat my students, gave me a sense of self worthiness and opened my eyes to the huge opportunities in the job.
Before now, I was never proud of the teaching job that I do, but now I do let the whole world know that I am a teacher. I even post pictures of me and my students on social media, something I would never do if I hadn’t come in contact with 1MT.
1MT truly opened my eyes to opportunities and gave me the platform to truly harness my innate potentials. The CEO of 1Million teachers, Hakeem Subair identified my writing skills and helped to harness and hone it by engaging me with some writing tasks. He also exposed some of us that are Blackbelts to some projects in which we were paid some stipends at the end of the project.
1Million Teachers gave me visibility to various educational programs, both local and international programs; it also introduced me to different learning cultures and made me meet wonderful Educators with bright minds from other parts of the world.
Together in the Phase2 of our Blackbelt program, I have the privilege of learning and meeting virtually, people from Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Canada, USA, Afghanistan, India, Tunisia, South Africa just to mention a few.
Lastly, I am highly humbled to be chosen as one of the trainers in 1MT and to work directly, but remotely under its CEO. As a trainer, I facilitate a course or topic for discussion weekly on one of our telegram groups with over 900 teachers, an experience that has made me not just a #facilitator, but a #learner as well.
My gratitude to 1Million teachers can never be adequately expressed and quantify. Thank you 1MT.
I once said that 1MT is a moving train. Any teacher who delays to jump in, will be left behind with his crude and analogue knowledge of pedagogy. It’s already happening; people are jumping in.
To our new teachers on board who just jumped in from Ondo State, utilise this opportunity; Learn genuinely from the platform, apply your knowledge in the classroom.
it’s the change that takes place in you and your learners that matters, not the hasty completion of your module.
God bless you all; God bless Education in Africa
Educator/1MT Blackbelt