Actually I am going to write about the role of teachers…
A Few weeks ago Nesrin and I had to go to school to deal with an issue, one that people in general would think of it as a small or non-issue.
The meeting was regarding Isabela, my youngest daughter, a sharp and outspoken beautiful little girl that has been taught to be independent, to have a voice, and to stand up for what she believes in.
Our visit to the school was requested by us because we observed a pattern happening with three of her teachers. These specific three teachers were constantly complaining about her behavior while other teachers were very pleased with her. These three teachers believed that Isabela does not respect them; she is argumentative and is a free spirit.
At home we make sure that we reinforce strength of character and “believe in yourself” philosophy to our kids! We encourage our children to stand up for themselves even if it is with a teacher or any other adult. You are the only one that can protect your self worth! No one can intimidate you or minimize your self worth!
Submissiveness or passiveness is a phenomenon that is taught at home and/or school. People become passive to events that unfold in their adulthood due to how they were raised.
So, after listening to the teachers complaining about Isabela, we believe that she has a normal behavior for a child her age. Also, a teacher must find the way to earn respect from her/his students. Finally, not all students learn the same way, some are more fidgety than others so a teacher must learn to adapt to each child and find solutions.
Teachers have to be passionate about their careers and it can’t just be a job. They must have a purpose, without it how are they helping kids to grow? Enthusiasm can not be fake; kids can feel it!
Anyway, after the meeting at school I asked myself:
How can a teacher create an interaction that will make kids want more classroom time?
How should a teacher get a kid excited about school?
- First and most important, Teachers must encourage kids to express their opinions and they must listen to them. Encouraging them to ask questions, make connections and make choices. Despite the fact that sometimes teachers may not like the opinions or responses, but that is honesty an opportunity to understand the child.
- Teachers must offer positive reinforcement that will inspire kids to keep learning and challenging themselves. Teachers must celebrate achievements, no matter how small they are.
- Teachers must show enthusiasm for a child’s interests and encourage them to explore subjects that fascinate them. Teachers must focus on the kid’s strengths, and persuade them to develop new talents.
- Teachers must find the way to make the program fun and interesting where discipline becomes almost non perceptible. A teacher must become a kid’s Champion.
While writing this piece I came across a New York Times article: Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain and borrowed 3 paragraphs from it:
“Everybody believes that teacher quality is very, very important… What this paper and other work have shown is that it’s probably more important than people think. That the variations or differences between really good and really bad teachers have lifelong impacts on children.”
“Perhaps just as important, given the difficulty of finding, training and retaining outstanding teachers, is that the difference in long-term outcome between students who have average teachers and those with poor-performing ones is as significant as the difference between those who have excellent teachers and those with average ones, the study found.”
“…having a good teacher in an early grade has a bigger effect than having a good teacher in later grades.”
Our meeting at school concluded with:
We chose this school because it was the best fit for our kids, and your job is to motivate the kids, not bring them down.
If Isabela is misbehaving or not doing her work, she needs to deal with the consequences, NO question!
Yet, she should NOT be punished for being confident and having a voice.
Sometimes the lack of understanding of the individual student leads to a hazardous misunderstanding that can form an uncertain path for that student by being labeled a certain way.
“Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability and at the heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and intelligence” ― Ken Robinson