It was my turn to speak.

And so I got up, my legs shaking and made it to the stage, anxious. It was the first time I was speaking in public.

I looked down at all the expectant eyes staring at me. At this point I was sweating as a Christmas goat, short of breath. The judge nodded, urging me to step forward and speak.

But I was so afraid. “I…….I……I..my….my name” I stammered.

Oh my God I thought I want to run run ruuunnnn.

And so I did. I ran off the stage, panting and made it straight for the hostel, full of disappointment in  myself.

Suddenly………………..

I felt someone jerk at me from the back. I turned, it was my teacher Miss Khadija. I tried to free myself, but the grip was too tight. She headed for the stage. Once on the stage, she asked me to take a deep breath. I did. She said “No one is expecting you to speak like Oprah. We know it is your first time, but we don’t expect you to run off either.”

She pushed me forward. “Speak now. Just say what comes to your mind.”

And so I started.

“Good evening Panel of Judges, Moderator, Ladies and gentlemen. My name is…… ” my voice was becoming steady. And on and on I went. “On a concluding note, I would like to emphasize on the fact that though technology has come with it’s downsides, it’s advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Thank you”

At this point there was applause. Very loud applause. I smiled, or blushed rather. I was so happy.

I searched through the crowd for Miss Khadija. There she was, beaming. I immediately ran into her arms.”Thank you ma, thank you so much.” I said withholding tears of joy. She had saved me from a lifetime of shame. I imagined all that could have happened if she had not done what she did. My team losing, my mates teasing me and worst of all, I would never had summoned the courage to ever go back on stage.

But thanks to Miss Khadija, I went back on stage numerous times, to the point that I even look forward to public speaking. And that is how every teacher should strive to be. Be a source of motivation and encouragement for the young minds they are nurturing. Have genuine care in the overall well being of a child and come to their rescue when they challenges. Be their champion so that children can look forward to learning and going to school because of the relationships that have been built.

Like Rita Pearson said

” Every child deserves a champion. An adult who will never give up on them, who understand the power of connection…..”

And that is what SAF Talk2Me advocates for……..

The need for every child to have a champion. For kids to grow socially and emotionally intelligent and become well equipped with all the leadership skills necessary for great futures!

Has a teacher ever touched your life? Tell us in the comments section.

Get articles like these directly in your inbox. Leave your details in the form below!

I look forward to hearing from you.