Meet the man who won the second best teacher award in Mathematics and Science in his municipality: Mr John Nsoh. When he was younger, John, who comes from Bolgatanga, had wanted to become a Catholic priest but he was discouraged by his parents who were not of the same faith. However, he continues to emulate his childhood hero, Father Oppong Baah. John’s original career plan was rather interesting, because he had actually wanted to become a medical officer and a priest. What eventually happened though was that, after studying General Science at Senior High School, he continued to St. Joseph’s Training College and entered the teaching profession. He taught for a while, and then continued to the University of Cape Coast for his undergraduate degree in Education. He has now been teaching for fourteen years and currently has one hundred and fifty students.
He enjoys STEM and teaching it because he likes to explore and investigate nature. He likes to teach STEM because it is easy to relate it to real life. In addition, he likes the fact that STEM can be taught in a way that is not teacher centered but rather actively involves students in the learning process. Furthermore, he believes that the learning objectives used in teaching STEM help students to understand the subject better and to become problem solvers. John is not afraid to collaborate with others and seek further knowledge. Whenever he meets some difficulties in some of the science experiments, he looks for assistance. “I go to the science facilitator in my district to assist me when I encounter problems with science demonstrations,” he says. This helps him to enhance his knowledge in STEM.
True to his deep faith as a Catholic, John considers teaching a spiritual experience. “I see my profession as a calling. When I get to class to teach, I feel that I am emulating what Jesus did. Even if I do it well without getting rewarded on earth, I know one day I will have that reward.”
The experiment that Mr Nsoh and his students chose for the JUNEOS Challenge was focused on the environment. “We realized that environmental pollution is a problem to the country. So our part in the competition was focused on educating people on afforestation to reduce air pollution and climate change,” he says.
Mr. Nsoh says that participating in the Challenge has helped him a lot. It has contributed to his growth as a teacher and also enlightened his students on many different aspects of STEM. It has also encouraged him to protect the image of his school. “What I learnt from the JUNEOS challenge is that we need to explore our environment,” he adds. Mr. Nsoh hopes that the JUNEOS challenge will help to create more Ghanaian scientists to find solutions to the many problems affecting the country.
In the future, he hopes to train other teachers.
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Article by Kofi Konadu Berko.
Kofi Konadu Berko is passionate about education and youth development. He holds a B.A in Adult Education and Human Resource Studies from the University Of Ghana. His works have been published in the historic Afroyoung Adult anthology titled Waterbirds On the Lakeshore, Adabraka: Stories From the Center Of the World, Tampered Press and the Kalahari Review. He blogs at obolokofi.wordpress.com