Miss Audu was almost frustrated. The policy, the school, the parents, and the students she had devoted her time to helping were most often unbelievable. This was not her expectation when she embraced this career path. She never foresaw it to be easy, but to be this problematic, she didn’t envisage. Miss Audu was determined to mold lives and encourage teens to become who they were meant to be.
The principal, Mrs. Kieva, seemed not to understand her; she had many complaints and insisted that she adopt her methods instead of applying teaching styles that Miss Audu was confident would benefit the learners.
Miss Audu perceived Mrs. Kieva to be clueless about how to run a school. She didn’t seem to have the qualifications to run a school, and worst of all, she was not open to self-development.
As if the principal was not enough of a pain in the neck, Miss Audu could not simply understand some parents. Why would some people even give birth to children when they know nothing about parenting? She often thought to herself.
Just the other day, Mrs. Koje stomped on the school, asking to see the principal. When she was granted an audience with the principal, she had the guts to complain that her daughter, Kono, refused to wash her uniform and did not have a bath before coming to school. She proceeded by asking to know what the school was teaching the students. Miss Audu was summoned by the principal into her office. She was shocked when the principal asked her why she did not teach her students how to bathe. Miss Audu was so stunned that she could not respond. She remained there and observed the principal for a while. She explained to Mrs. Koje that the school would do what was required.
A month ago, Kimbi, a 13-year-old in the second year of junior high school, revealed to Miss Audu something very sensitive. Kimbi walked up to her when she was busy preparing her lessons for the week and started crying. Miss Audu was so touched that she suspended what she was doing and encouraged the girl to talk. Amidst tears, Kimbi opened up about how her mum’s current boyfriend was molesting her sexually. He had threatened to kill her mother if she ever told her. A concerned Miss Audu, after consoling Kono, assured her that everything would turn out well.
She reported the incident to the principal. Clara, Kimbi’s mother, was invited to the school almost immediately. Miss Audu was not granted the privilege to be part of the closed-door meeting. She noticed that after two days, Kimbi came to her with tears in her eyes again. She was leaving the school because her mother had arranged to take her to a different school. Her mum was punishing her for “accusing” Uncle Gbenga. Little Kimbi was crying for help, but nobody seemed concerned. Miss Audu rushed to the principal to raise an alarm, but she was advised to mind her business. A week later, she bumped into Clara at the mall and exchanged greetings with her. She inquired to know if Kimbi was doing well.
“Stay away from my family and mind your business!” Clara gave an angry retort and left her presence.
Two weeks ago, Mrs. Nwaka almost slapped her because she had mistaken her for Miss Kwei, who allegedly used a book to slap her son’s back. Even though the misunderstanding was clarified and Miss Kwei was fired, nobody apologized to her for the embarrassment. Instead, the principal had given her a query for “indulging” the woman and causing “unrest” in the school. Miss Audu was left dumbfounded. Should she have stood there muted and allowed the woman to not only rain abuse on her but perhaps beat her up?
Three days after the incident with Mrs. Nwaka, the principal walked to her class on Wednesday morning, making her apologize to Gabrielle, a student whose ear she had twisted as a way of correcting her. Apparently, her father called the principal, requesting that apologies be made to his daughter. Miss Audu had swallowed hard, called Gabrielle, and apologized.
As if the above were not enough, her colleagues labeled her “over-sabi”. They accuse her of trying to make the students love her when she was only doing her job.
As Miss Audu recalled all these events, tears began to escape through her eyes. She looked at the contents of the letter again; her favorite student had written her one, expressing his “love” for her and what he feels each time he sees her. Miss Audu could take it no more. She imagined the principal accusing her of being the reason for the crush. She realized the principal would let her off her job if she found out. Miss Audu loves her job. She yearned to stay for a while, but that was no longer an option. She had to resign. She could no longer accept this.
Michael walked past her window and winked at her. That wink confirmed that he had written the letter himself and had hidden it in a corner to make sure she read it.
“No!” she muttered.
She suddenly realized what to do. She brought out her laptop and started typing hurriedly…
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