Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo
2 min readJan 2, 2021

A few days ago, a father requested that I teach his son English. Although I am not an English teacher, I agreed to take up the challenge.

Upon reaching home and discussing the same with my wife, she opined that I refer them to the English teacher in the same school I teach.

I think about her opinion for some time but later returned to my earlier position that I will teach the boy.

Why did I insist to teach the boy when I’m not an English teacher?

The request of the father is unique and fascinating.

His request for an extra English class for his son reflects the thinking of 21st-century parents.

In this century, enlightened parents are no longer mesmerized by test scores. It is now a game of skills. What can you put on the table?

In one of my previous posts, I did advise schools to consider marketing their schools base on skills.

You don’t want to say “our students are always getting As in their English exam” but you want to say “our students can speak, write, listen and read in English”. This is a way to go in the 21st century.

Now back to my story…….

This man told me that he wants his son to speak and listen in English. Nothing more than that. In fact, on reaching home, he sent a message to me that he did not want me to teach him using the textbook, he only wants him to be able to speak English.

It was then that it dawned on me that he wanted me to be an English mentor instead of an English teacher.

This is why I agreed with this offer because it entirely resonates with my philosophy of what education should be in this century. The outcome of any educational endeavor should be measurable skills and positive behavioral changes. And also because I believe I can only do this as a mentor and not as a teacher.

Therefore, as a parent, I advise that you look out for these two fundamental outcomes while investing in your child’s education. Challenge the school to provide skill-based teaching that will also lead to positive behavioral changes.

Good luck

Arikewuyo Abdulrafiu



Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo

Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo is a teacher and a writer. On a mission to change the school model.