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ELECTION 2022

Parents, guide your child in their career choice

WEDNESDAY LIFE
By Waithera Muchoki | Dec 9th 2015 | 2 min read

I never meant to be a teacher. When I was a student, they represented everything that was un-cool about adults. They seemed harsh, bitter people who relieved their mediocre lives by punishing us. I never meant to be a one. Then karma, and her minion, the University Admissions Board happened.

I refused to go to university. I wasn’t going to study Education and be un-cool among other things. I was going to be cool, chic and rock my unknown career. I knew what I did not want! Mwalimu, never!

Then my father took over. He made an appointment with the then vice chancellor of the university and dragged me there. With that visit and the very real threat of banishment to the dreaded rural area, I went to university. My attitude was right at home in the chip on my shoulder. I was there under duress.

And so it went, passive resistance all the way, until teaching practice. This is when student teachers go to a school as part of their course work. I was standing there at my first assembly and the students attempted to go on strike. There was noise and chaos. The police swooped in and the ring leaders were carted off. I was riveted. This was followed one week later by an incident where I intercepted a student with a panga, headed to behead the principal. I realised teaching was not boring!

I know these are not the best examples, chalk it up to youth, but I found that in class — even in this school where discipline was clearly an issue, my classes were fun. I inspired my students. It was a humbling time. In those three months, I realised what great parents I had and that Karma wasn’t necessarily all bad.

Today I am a teacher, it is now who I am.

There is a point to this story. It is this, it is a sad testament that most of us and many of our children lacked career guidance.

Even today, students will choose the ‘big four’ — medicine, law, engineering, architecture. While there is nothing wrong with these careers, we also need teachers, entrepreneurs, sociologists, craftsmen and artists for a well balanced mural of society.

We as parents must guide our students because teachers are overwhelmed. Step up for your child, listen to them, guide them, do the research, know them, so that maybe they will not spend valuable time and expense only to drop out or be stuck in a career path they have little passion or zeal for.

For many of us know how stifling it is when your career is more a prison than the sky you hoped you would take wing in.

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