By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, January 13, 2012
While reading a collection related to teaching and learning, I came across a Richard Henry quote that has stuck with me: “He who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” My experience as a teacher has proved this to be true. Furthermore, it is when this principle is not followed that teachers lose their passion and relevance.
There are numerous ways a teachers’ skills may diminish, and in the end stagnate. Some stay fresh by continuing to learn, and follow developments in their specialty. Teachers’ own learning is rarely discussed because they are assumed to be experts in their field and so must be doing a good job in the classroom. It is of great benefit to the community, and ultimately to teachers themselves, if they are kept accountable to keep learning and growing.
The training undergone by new teachers often makes them forget what it means to learn. In assuming a new and single purpose, the focus on preparing lessons, the importance of learning more and new things is forgotten. Teachers should stay current with educational research and read inside and outside their field.
Complacency—or worse, narrow-mindedness—are huge handicaps. And if we teachers do not think it necessary to read in our specialties, or revise and reassess lessons, then our careers will not flourish. That so many teachers, especially here in Morocco, do not publish articles or essays is proof of a complacent attitude.
It is worth examining why teachers are not motivated to continue to grow in their own learning, and why so many can be found sitting in cafés and watching football matches one after another. It would be refreshing to see this time in cafés used to discuss the calamitous education system, or for writing something noteworthy for the community to read.
It is necessary to discuss the competence of the teaching staff when discussing the deplorable education system. Some of those who read this may find it shocking to criticize teachers, but I feel we must be realistic about the current standards, and so help encourage continual growth and enthusiasm.
For example, my high school English teacher spoke in our mother tongue more than in English. This technique might have been fine: the teacher spoke in Arabic so students would find it easier to participate. Only participation did not always mean contributing to lessons; many raised their hand to tell a joke in Arabic or Berber. Clearly, my teacher was not motivated to help us learn English.
And a teacher who is not inspired in the classroom can not be expected to prepare adequately outside of class. It probably is no surprise that this same English teacher did not take his bag home but left it under the desk so he would not have the trouble of bringing it in the next day. The message behind this example is that this teacher ceased to learn, a case in point for so many. And we can no longer wait for change, but must find ways now to improve standards in the classroom.
Edited by Jasmine Davey
Omar Bihmidine is high school teacher of English. He obtained his Associate Degree at Choaib Eddoukali University in 2008. His writings take the form of short stories, poems and articles, many of which have been published in Sous Pens magazine, in the ALC magazine in Agadir, and in the late Casablanca analyst newspaper .
The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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