Friday, March 12, 2010

The Real Challenge in Teaching

Recently, I realized that the most challenging part of my career as a teacher does not lie in my students' diverse attitude and behavior but in the type of institution where I belong. I am talking about the personal and professional support that I get from the school. The success of every teacher usually draws inspiration from the support they get from the parents, administrators and other education stakeholders coupled with trust and confidence. I believe there's no teacher who would come inside a classroom with a hope of destructing the students' lives. Every teacher hopes to improve the life of every student he/she encounters that's why providing support to teachers is an imperative since the support that a teacher would get would also support the development of the learners. I extremely feel disheartened to learn that there are education stakeholders who still look at teachers as mere individuals who need to follow what they want for the learners and not as professionals who deserve trust and respect for upbringing the society where we live in. My professor in the graduate school of education once cited an anecdote which tickled both my mind and my heart. According to him, when we notice that our children become physically ill, we immediately run to the doctor to seek advice or treatment for our children. Nobody would usually run to a doctor to dictate the professional what type of medicine should be prescribed. In short, we entrust our children to the doctors. The same thing we do to lawyers when we have legal problems.

As a teacher, it's very rude to you as a professional when you notice that somebody else is doing the job which should have been done by you. It seems like you are the worst professional in the world who is not entrusted of anything. If you implement activities in the classroom, people around start to criticize what you are doing. I am not wondering why a Filipino celebrity once commented that teachers are mere repeaters. "They just repeat what they have learned." Well, teachers would become repeaters if they would not be given the chance to become more innovative just because some officials in the education sector and even in the government as a whole seem to be more knowledgeable than them.

For teachers, starting a project or introducing something new in the classroom is usually a problem especially when you are surrounded by pessimistic individuals who seem to be very satisfied for what they are and objectionably think that innovations are nothing but new problems which would only disturb their practical routines. Sometimes, parents would come to you and tell you that what you are trying to do is just a waste of time and besides their children still have lots of things to do at home. There are also times when administrators disapprove you plans and proposals just because they do not coincide with theirs.

As for me, I know where I stand and I stand to the belief that I know my students more than anybody else at school. I am with them everyday and I personally experience in my classroom the kind of attitudes and behavior they have. Nowadays, lots of teaching methods and strategies came out and all of them acclaimed effectiveness in the classroom. They normally add confusion to teachers as to which method or strategy to use for they all claim to be supported by research. However, the caution is in every teacher. We're the one who are staying inside the classroom and we know which method would work and would not work for our students.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Teachers are the only people who actually know what is going on in the classroom. We are better off without those people who constantly dictates how we should teach and how we should manage our classes.