Honestly as I ask this rhetorical question, I wonder who a Teacher really is. So much pressure is placed on Teachers today, because parents are more involved in their kids’ lives and have so many expectations.
So, who is the Teacher? There’s a saying, “Those who can’t do, teach”. Honestly that’s bullshit. Teachers can do, and they do. The real question is why does a Teacher teach?
I’m following this interesting thread on Facebook of a friend of mine, who’s had a bad experience at a Parent-Teacher meeting today. Of course, the Teacher’s comments were ill-suited but everyone who’s commenting on that thread is blaming the Teacher! When did people start blaming the Teacher?!!?! In my day (not too long ago!) if I complained to my mother about my Teacher, my mother blamed me – there was something wrong with me, not the Teacher. Now, everything is the Teacher’s fault and the Teacher is to blame. Why? Because parents are paying good money for their kids’ education? Everyone pays good money, it’s all relative – whether you’re going to a Government School, A Semi-Government School or an International School (donations are massive, school fees are ginormous, tuition fees, travel costs, Smiggle and other accessories…the list is endless let’s face it you can’t boil it down to where your child schools – everyone spends, in their own way within their own budgets, on their own kids).
You know, a Teacher does not see the child at home. Children have different facades; different faces they show their Teachers and their parents…and that’s ok. While a mother knows a child best, there’s an angle to that child that a parent will not (perhaps never) know of. I’ve had many incidents in the recent past where parents are flabbergasted at the behaviour of the child in school, because surely my innocent son/daughter cannot and would not do this! This crisis is another ‘hard place’ because while it is painful to the parent (who mostly rejects the Teacher’s insight), it’s also painful to the Teacher. Honestly most Teachers would rather avoid complaining to a parent nowadays, because having to deal with the aftershock and random floating flotsam and jetsam, kinda sucks.
Then there’s the bone of contention concerning Knowledge; the parent and child are more educated that the Teacher. The advent of technology has been a real pain-in-the-butt for a Teacher, let me tell you that. If you’re not a person who’s willing to accept flaws and swallow that pill of Pride, then teaching becomes a tough profession. Everyone’s got a degree, and everyone knows how his/her child should be taught! Then is the Teacher obsolete? Is the tuition Teacher better? More knowledgeable? I am both, and my knowledge base is shared with everyone yet I am questioned too *roll eyes*
Here are a few flip-side scenarios to consider:
- A Teacher is a person: Teachers have feelings too, everyone deserves tact when dealing with each other
- Often Teachers are not driven by a burning passion to teach a bunch of hormonal teenagers with tonnes of attitude, but they do it anyway – it’s your child multiplied by 20, or 30 or sometimes 40!
- A good and great Teacher has the power to move mountains – I can speak from experience. I had one or two amazing Teachers, each with her own flaws but those were outshone by levelheadedness and practicality. Those women were my role models and motivated me to find my calling as a Teacher.
- All Teachers have the potential to be great Teachers…but our educational systems do not allow this, additionally practicalities of life such as economic necessities prevent this – so what to do ah?
- Children are a pain. I have two of my own and I deal with many daily, they can be a pain. Of course you can love these pains fiercely and fight for them with all your might, and struggle and strive for their benefit – but let’s face it, they’re not all angels.
- Sometimes patience is appreciated, from everyone.
As a parent I understand the worries that can be faced too. My son had a bad experience at his first ever school and that set him a little behind. I blame myself for not identifying this sooner, so fussy mums – I get you too. I’m not saying parents are to blame, because they’re aren’t the only issue. These are the flesh and blood manifestation of all your hopes and dreams, they’ve got to achieve everything you couldn’t, you’ve got to give them all the opportunities you didn’t have – right? Let’s not bring money into this, because as I’ve said money is a fluid matter depending on your socio-economic scenario.
The issue I feel is the barrage of knowledge and the pressure on everyone to learn! Yet we forget how to learn; we forget the joy of trial and error; the wonder of discovery when it’s been ‘discovered’ by you for the first time! I didn’t utilise many of the opportunities I was presented with till I finished my O Levels. My bone of contention with my mother, my school (and life in general) was that I had to learn in Sinhalese and that was hard enough. I became learned a lot later and funnily it was because I stopped everything I was doing and studied, by myself! I was smart, because I read. That’s it. I was not science-y, I wasn’t mathematically inclined. I regret these things now, but is it fair to project this onto my 5 year old and my 3 year old? For me to hound their Teachers and ask them to please broaden their mathematical knowledge because I have a BA and the Teacher only has a Diploma?!? I don’t know.
Schools and education are really overrated, because honestly we take so little from our academic knowledge into the real world. What we do remember are the social experiences that we’ve had…isn’t that enough? To have a good time? To laugh, play and enjoy childhood? School-goers are children too…do they deserve this? If a child can get by in the world, and live a happy and fulfilling life isn’t that enough? Some of the most educated kids in the best universities commit suicide, because they’re emotionally stunted; they’re unable to perform basic functions on their own – they’ve been busy book learners. Is that the projected trajectory of my children??! Success juxtaposed with emptiness??
All I do know is that everyone needs to be open minded. If we can be liberal about new methods of learning and technology, we can be broad minded about people too. We can accept the trials and tribulations of every villager necessary to raise our kids (because it takes a village to raise a child – in case you missed that cliche) and help each person along the way. A little help can go a long long way, not only for your child but for everyone.
Also, our education systems need to be revamped, but with all that marching on the streets nowadays let me leave that can unopened…for now 🙂