As a teacher I work very hard, planning and preparing classes to insure that the students are challenged, motivated, and engaged. It is not easy, many factors are working against me. The main one is that the students are so used to getting through their school day in a form of cognitive hibernation.
Einstein said “ It is a wonder that imagination survives formal education”
As education professionals we no longer have any excuse. Multiple intelligence theory, bloom’s taxonomy and the basic psychology of education has been well established for decades now. We understand the way children learn and the factors that affect the process.
Yet still, in classrooms all over the world (I am willing to bet) students are being bored senseless, not because they are a generation of hedonistic, pleasure seeking, MTV watching demons but because teachers fail to engage and inspire them.
There are a multiple number of reasons and factors that lead to this classroom genocide of our children :
1) The education system was not created for unique individuals to learn and discover the world around and within them. It was created to pigeon hole each member of society. This is by far the biggest obstacle. WHY do we send our children to school for 6 hours a day over a period of 12 – 20+ years ? What benefit can all that ‘preparation’ have when the ‘real life work’ they are being prepared for will last a mere decade longer than the education process ?
2) A lot of teachers are disenchanted with the profession, the conditions, the salary, the administration, the class sizes, the curriculum etc.
3) After 4,5,10 years of teaching generation after generation, some find it difficult to recreate the enthusiasm they found for their vocation.
4) And YES, children are changing. Society has changed. Kids today are used to MTV – images and sounds flicking and changing every 5 seconds or so. Even CNN and other news channels are sensory overloads. Monotone teachers and a couple of photocopies have the same effect on the student as shooting them with a strong tranquilizer. Text books full of pretty colored pictures of people in the 1980’s don’t compare to what these kids can access when they get home from school every day; the latest news + clips from all over the world as it happened just minutes ago, via the internet.
And yet I accept NONE of these excuses !! No principal or colleague may see. The students themselves may not even complain. You may have a million and one reasons why you go into a class and teach a mediocre lesson but God knows. He will reward you for what you do in secret. Not just give away money but going the extra mile because you know that if you inspire your students you are affecting them, their peers, their family and everyone they come into contact with in the future.
Study, learn, grow as a teacher, being inspiring, teach with passion, give 110%, do more than the administration expects of you, more than the students expect of you, more than you did yesterday. You are shaping the future generation.
Three quotes to finish.The first two are from famous people but I must appoligise as I have lost the names of the original authors. The 3rd is my own.
1. “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
2. “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.
It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions.
And the actions which speak louder than the words.
It is making the time when there is none.
Coming through time after time after time, year after year after year.
Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things.
It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.”
3. If you can’t commit, get out of the way and let someone who can do your job !!
God Bless You, especially if you’re one of those who go the extra mile, day after day.