Wednesday, 16 November 2011

THE TRUE ROLE OF A TEACHER

THE TRUE ROLE OF THE TEACHER
Mwita Samson
As teachers our priority should be the learner and not money as most of us think today. I hope if we do our work effectively prioritizing the leaner as the target of our career our demand for money will be much easier than it is today. Just imagine I was thinking one day, “today the teachers’ morale has undoubtedly dropped drastically, this has consequently resulted to many students’ failures.
When teachers threaten to tool down, hopping the government will worry at the results of the strike, yet it doesn’t make any sense. If the students are failing before the strike is on what different does it make for them to fail as a result of the strike? No different” and that’s why to my opinion the government doesn’t care when teachers, threaten to tool down.
If we digest what at times William Osler (1849-1919) said “the successful teacher is no longer on the height, pumping knowledge at high pressure into passive receptacles. He is a senior student anxious to help his juniors” we can move a step ahead.
Let us think of the many young children whose dreams are dying in our hands. How many dreams have we already killed in the past and we are busy killing many others, just because of our strong and uncontrollable appetite for money.
Of the scenario I pointed out above if we had decided that we are helping our juniors to materialize their dreams through our hands and consequently we come up with good results, if today we say we are going to tool down until we get our wages increased it could definitely make sense, when the government considers the consequences of the strike. When the students are passing excellently today then the strike could possibly affect the results. But because many are failing today it doesn’t make a difference if they fail tomorrow because teachers have tooled down..
Let’s take little time to think about ourselves. How many of us wished to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, or any other prestigious profession, so called, but we ended up being teachers. This is because someone somewhere did not perform his/her duty effectively. Are we trying to revenge for that to the innocent children who were not there when or dreams were being slaughtered mercilessly by teachers who had great appetite for money than to their learners’ achievement? Of course we ought not to. We are closing the future of our learners and ours too.
I personally had part of my dream crippled by the same sort of teachers. I strongly wished to be a doctor, though by the time I was too young to decide on which part I would specialize. The only thing I had made sure from the start was that I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket. I also had a slow but steadily growing interest for being a teacher as well, if I didn’t make it through the medicine. As for the first case I couldn’t figure out for which subjects I was going to be a teacher. I worked hard, keeping both dreams alive because each one was a necessary substitute of the other.
Eventually, because I couldn’t make it through the subjects that would lead me to be a doctor, I automatically fell into teaching but in Arts. Despite that I did excellently in my ACSEE to allow me pursue any degree program offered by the subjects I did; still I opted to remain focused on where my heart has been directing me for years. I am now a teacher specializing in English and Literature particularly.
Although we have had many people pushed into the teaching profession against their consent, there is still a small chance of hope within my heart –which I cannot throw away –that may be one day we shall have teachers who consider the failure of their learners as their own failures and not the failure of the government. I still have that hope and I carry it from year to year.
The following questions constantly grow in my mind about my fellow teachers who have poured much of their time to blaming the government for failure to provide the basic needs for learning. These questions are such as:
Have we as teachers exploited all the possible means immediately available at hand?
Have we used our own creativity where the methods acquired in colleges don’t seem to help?
Have we tried to work collectively by solving the problems as a team and not individually?
Do we realize that our priority is the leaner and not extremely higher salaries?
The answer for these questions may not be that “we haven’t” in all cases, but in most cases we haven’t.
To quote what a famous Neurosurgeon Ben Carson –who is also my role model, wrote in his book “Gifted Hands” he says
“Some people are born to work and some are pushed into it by their moms. But doing what must be done as quickly and as well as possible, has been my strategy for everything including medicine. We don’t necessarily have to play by the strict rules if we can find a way that works better, as long as it’s reasonable and it doesn’t hurt anybody”. He adds: “someone told me that creativity is just learning to do something with a different perspective. So maybe that’s what it is –being creative.”

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