The transition from working to the United States to Nigeria was quick. After going through the “experience” that is Lagos airport, I settled into my hotel accommodations. The place was very comfortable and had a lot of the amenities that I would expect from a quality hotel in the US – including high speed internet service. In the morning, I was greeted by Ayo - my Olashore International School liaison. It turns out that Ayo had spent most of his time in the UK and had recently returned to Nigeria. We chatted about his experiences returning to Nigeria and adjusting to the transition both professionally and personally. I got some good insights from his perspective.
A key point he mentioned was him balancing the need to incorporate certain best practices to his work environment without incurring negative feedback from colleagues. A reason for this could be that the proposed best practice did not work in Nigeria. Something that he experienced early on in his return. Another thing I gained from watching his interactions, was the noteworthy role age played in his professional exchanges. I knew that respect for your elders was an important culture value demonstrated socially in Nigeria. However, I had not thought of prior to my arrival how this would play out in the professional sphere. As me and Ayo were in the same age group, I recognized that this would be something that I would definitely needed to be mindful of during my tenure.
My second day in Lagos was spent going to a press conference on secondary and post-secondary marketing for schools in Nigeria. Then followed by attending an Association of International School Educators of Nigeria (AISEN) meeting. You can say I hit the ground running. Both events were informative and provided some needed context to the space in which I would be inhabiting for the next year. My next destination would be to the rural location of Olashore International School.