The Good Teacher

Praxis Magazine is honored to present The Good Teacher, a collection of celebratory essays about teachers and teaching.

The Good Teacher explores the lives of teachers as servants, who break their intellect and spirit and offer them to their students, with the hope that the students will keep alive the selfless ritual of sharing knowledge and friendship. The seven stories in the anthology invite us to witness the lives of teachers who showed their students the path they walk today, teachers who refused to let their students down, teachers who went beyond their job description to offer their students a model of life. Equally, these stories reveal how our education system breaks teachers and students alike. The collection features Chimezie Chika’s “The Master of the Classroom,” Isaac Newton Akah’s “On Itodo,” Zenas Ubere’s “The Terror Ahead,” Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera’s “A Sisyphean Struggle,” Darlington Chibueze Anuonye’s “The Enormity of Silence,” Theophilus Mshelia Sokuma’s “A Different Way of Being,” and Anthony Chibueze Ukwuoma’s “Nee Uwe Nwa m, Joseph.”

Here are the full blurb statements:

“The collection opens with two essays about teachers who transcended the discipline and became more than just instructors, they became bearers of hope who ignited curiosity, sparked change and encouraged dreaming.   “Diala was so invested in the topic he taught us that it had not been so much a lecture, as it was a stage performance of academic and even emotional ramifications.”Chimezie Chika recalls in his opening essay titled ‘The Master of the Classroom’. And it is in Darlington Chibueze Anuonye’s essay “The Enormity of Silence’ when he observes, “And the classroom, characterized by a suffocating lack of intimacy, became a cage for the hollow boys who yearned to fly.” that we indeed learn that it is this intimacy and vulnerability that Diala displayed that is integral in propelling students to seek knowledge and befriend curiosity. And that often, in the absence of these qualities, there is a risk of stunting not only the student’s willingness to learn but also the teacher’s ability to expand the way in which they pass knowledge. This collection is a medley of different experiences and accounts of people who have been called to one of the most overlooked professions that leaves a permanent mark in all of us. And although there is truth in Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera’s claim that ‘There is very little good teachers can do in a bad system.’ We also see that it takes ‘a teacher’s teacher’ as Isaac Newton Akah refers to his colleague Itodo, to impact a generation and effect change. And although there is little reward in this ‘a sisyphean struggle’, there is definitely merit in answering to the calling of this noble profession. Each essay is an ode to the ones who have to balance seriousness and fun, who have to constantly negotiate with multiple personalities while trying to shift the whole. And this is no easy task as experienced in Zenas Ubere’s account of Uncle Dominic and in Chibueze Anthony Ukwuoma chorus on his childhood memories of the teachers who crossed his path. The collection evokes memories of our experiences with our teachers and cements that if truly who we are is a culmination of our experiences and what we know, then teachers are intrinsic to our identities as persons and their pedagogy is key in shaping humanity.” – Sibongile Fisher. Winner, 2018 Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction

“Are teachers Gods? The outstanding stories compiled in The Good Teacher deal with harrowing questions, burrowing into the hidden core of an elusive field, human transmission. Can teachers create? Can they kill? Under various angles and in many styles, through the lenses of thankful students and  the visions of experienced pedagogues, the book highlights the role of invisible heroes who envisage their duties as a mission. It offers insights into the function and purpose of eduction in any community. While clamouring for a real recognition of educators, The Good Teacher is above all a teaser designed for parents, leaders and society at large.” – Brigitte Poirson. Poet, translator and former Professor of Language Studies in England and France

“The essayists anthologized in this collection have leaned heavily on the mythic construct of the charmed, sacred space which the teacher creates with the pupil to conjure deserved canonical edifices of the former as the unsung hero of the world. And here, each divergent scenario represents one vista of the endless possibilities of the dramatic effulgence of this space.”- Ezechi Onyerionwu. Biographer and literary scholar, University of London.

“The stories in this collection show our philistine society that it is possible to be a teacher and a hero.” – Niyi Osundare. Poet and Distinguish Professor of English at the University of New Orleans.

The Good Teacher will be available for download on Monday, the 16th of August 2021.

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