Vibrant with age-A A +A
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
WHAT do you do about a teacher who was once okay but now doesn't seem to be doing so well? This question seems to generate a new wave of concern among us. Surprising as it may seem there is a considerable controversy as to the answers to this question.
At any rate I know of someone who felt she was shortchanging her students every time she took a leave of absence due to her ailment. Out of what she thought as delikadeza she sought an early retirement despite having just assumed her master teacher post, a post that would entitle her to a much higher salary. Responding to inner criticisms, she relinquished her post out of personal judgment that she was no longer contributing best service to her clients. Now, that was honorable, wasn’t it?
If only we give this view a degree of choice and consideration maybe we wouldn’t cling to our post if we know that every working day all we do is wish it was a Friday. Students decry the lack of stimulating factor among teachers. They feel they are losing a great deal in their education with vapid teachers.
As we mature, many of us experience a reversal. Nevertheless, age- though it affects our performance-should not be an excuse for us to become disengaged in work. For a host of reasons, passion for work should still figure and strike a strong chord with us. Our school principal in Baguio City NHS, Dr. Elma Donaal is a good example of a worker who appears to get vibrant with age. Like her, teachers should not tire coming up with varied strategies designed to raise the level and love of learning of all kids in their classroom. We can do this in spite of the inevitability of decline in age.
We can’t deny that there are some middle-aged teachers, embittered by years at the chalk face, overlooked for promotion, who would only see out their days in the hope of a new early retirement scheme. These teachers are observed spending more time behind a desk than in front of a class. Usually, non- compliant students or those who have problems understanding sit at the back of the class. Teachers who stand or worse, sit, at the front of the class for an entire period increase the odds that these students will drift off into deviant behavior.
When the teacher is at the front and isn't aware of what every child is doing, the students at the back will often be playing on their gaming devices, reading comic books, even text messaging friends on their phones. Hence when teaching any class, teachers should walk around the classroom and check on what each student is doing. That not only keeps them paying attention but, if they have problems with an exercise, they're much more likely to ask you if you're standing near them, rather than 20 feet away at the blackboard.
Fortunately, there are a good number of senior teachers who had retained their vitality and enthusiasm and were able to enrich us with their accumulation of knowledge. They are a delight to have around. Their years of practical experience make them highly valued resource in the education sector. They have at their disposal a repertoire of good practices which make them indispensible. They are good role models to novice teachers.
Front and center in the efforts of these seasoned teachers to improve students’ learning is improving the quality of their teaching. They maintain that teaching is the one process in the educational system that is designed specifically to facilitate students' learning. Of course, there are many other factors that influence learning in a significant way, such as students' home and social life, and the resources of the school and community. We do not want to minimize the importance of these for the well-being of children. But much of what our society expects children to learn, they learn at school, and teaching is the activity most clearly responsible for learning.
It’s time we shake up the way we think and let us take a fresh look at classrooms. Each teacher should seek to make learning more stable and interesting by taking seriously the commitment that the teaching profession entails.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 05, 2012.