Not simply teaching the ABCs-A A +A
Bahin sang Bubay
Monday, October 15, 2012
MANY teachers would probably agree with me that education in private institutions or even in the public sphere are most often limited to giving technical knowhow and measuring students’ capacities along the standards set in the traditional way. Often than not, the practical ‘lessons’ such as on how to survive the day to day challenges in life and what approaches or attitudes should be adopted when it comes to the nitty-gritty problems in our daily lives are left out for the family or relatives of the students to teach.
While this is of course, understood as something that ordinary educators cannot anymore tackle considering the outlined lessons from the books, mentors are at times faced with a dilemma about student’s attendance. Co-educators find it a dilemma when absences or tardiness comes to a point when it disturbs grading systems. After all, how can any particular student pass the subject if he/she does not come to class?
Now the problem is that, being human that we are, teachers naturally feels troubled even if only one student appears to be delinquent in meeting the requirements of the subject. But then, it’s a misconception, I should say, to think that when the children come to school each day, they left behind concerns in the family.
Some teachers would probably say out of frustration that it’s easy to ‘fail’ any student who does not meet their expectations. Easier said than done, I guess, because most often, the teacher also finds it problematic, to say the least, if any one of her ‘children’ is having problems with academics, or even attendance in class.
Most of the time, the teacher feel obligated to find out the reason(s) of the student’s problems. Moreover, not all teachers have the time enough to do so, considering the lessons set by the Department of Education that they have to follow. And so often than not, there is no way that teachers can help, especially if students do not open up themselves.
Some teachers who are also saddled with their own personal problems naturally would not be able to sense if some of her wards are undergoing any physical or psychological challenges. Just like any other human being, each of us is also having our own set of challenges in life, and that does not exempt mentors.
Moreover, teachers are trained to teach the technicalities of education and that does not include being sensitive to what is and cannot be seen by the naked eye, like the students’ psychological or mental make-up when they come to class for their lessons every day. That is why it becomes problematic for mentors when certain student/s in her class miss on their attendance, are always tardy and remiss with their assignments.
When that happens, some teachers are sensitive enough to take the initiative to find out about her problematic student’s situation, just to be of help.
These are areas that are not even asked of a teacher, but most of the time a true educator does, because she is no longer only an ordinary mentor in her class, she has become the extension of her student’s family. However, when it comes to addressing the unseen problems among students, that’s where the teacher’s involvement becomes limited. Because unless the individual student has the courage enough to share his/her problem to the mentor, it is only then that the teacher can assist.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 15, 2012.