I love to write. I do not know exactly when this love started but I cast my mind back and realize there are many reasons that have contributed to this love. The main and strongest of all the reasons is my junior high school English teacher, “bra” Emma.
This man taught me from JSS one to JSS three. He taught us much more than the usual English curriculum that the GES gave us. He stuck to the curriculum alright but always went further than our level.
This was quite easy for the class to grasp and follow because of his way of teaching and assessment. Bra Emma thought me subject-verb agreement in such a way that I can confidently say my entire prowess with this language stems from the fact that I was lucky to have him as my teacher. He made us write essays, very long descriptive, narrative and any other type of essays. We were well equipped with enough adjectives that to write an essay without using enough adjectives was almost like admitting that you have not exactly been a part of bra Emma’s class so far.
Am young, relatively. Now some say corporal punishment is a crime in Ghana. Honestly, I am glad for bra Emma’s type of corporal punishments. Not that I fell victim a lot of times because suffering a cane lash from bra Emma on one occasion was enough deterrent to stop truancy, unless your level of truancy is beyond comprehension, like that of my colleague, Nana Osei Bonsu, aka Shark.
Bra Emma loved to preach. One line he always said just before meting down a corporal punishment was that the Bible says if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. Indeed bra Emma never spared the rod, and evidently from me and his other students, we are well. He drummed it into our heads to never fall victim to any so called man of God who would come and say “let me pray for you”. We should rather pay heed to the one who will say, “let us pray”. He took time off his lessons to explain verses in hymns to our understanding. Wednesday worship time was obviously too much of a love for him.
Aside instilling the basic principles of the English language and thereby equipping us well enough for all of our further studies, he also instilled a lot of moral discipline in us. Please permit me to say here, that though this article is supposed to be about bra Emma and his influence on my writings in particular, I cannot help but mention all the other teachers who have thought me in my schooling life and general upbringing. Aunty Janet, Mr. Adu, Miss Dowuona, Mr. Brown, Mr. Bonsrah, Miss Bamfo, Mr. Dwira, Mr, Nartey, Mr. Amable, Mr. Martins, Mr. Wede, Mr Mensah . Thanks to all of these academic teachers and to the non academic ones, like Ms Joyce, the headmaster’s wife.