By Aimad Bouzerour
By Aimad Bouzerour
Morocco World News
Tinejdad, Morocco, April 22, 2012
It cannot be but an incredibly astonishing experience when students judge their teachers, especially if we take into consideration teenagers who are amazingly frank, open, and intrepid. What made it even more appealing, in this case, was his practically begging request for them to speak with nothing but frankness. His insistence not to mention their names was still an exceptionally encouraging act which would diminish their fears of possible revenge on his part. That would certainly never take place, as the word “revenge” means to him self-destruction before anything else. To him, revenge is a sign of unbeatable weakness.
You definitely must come to the deduction that such a decision is deemed so thoughtless and thus a little bit silly….. You surely might wonder what if the remarks and judgments they come up with were to be scolding and hurtful. You would then go so far as to imagine how his reaction would be. Your imagination would grow bigger making a scene out of it. I am sorry then to interrupt your wandering imagination and end your various scenarios. It indeed does not delight me to do so, but I really have to in order to prove that there should be no doubt that a teacher who would take such an initiative must be a person who is ready to receive whatever commentaries his students may provide. Such a teacher should be open-minded and tolerant; otherwise, he would really endure a tough experience that would turn his bright day into a sullen cloudy atmosphere.
I was speechless and awed when examining the honesty that their simple but spontaneous scribbled notes brought. The papers which held their remarks would at first look so unorganized, uncared for, hence worthless. Nevertheless, they were the most precious sheets of papers I have ever witnessed. They were alike because of the fact that they reflected my real being. They mirrored all the positive things I have implemented in my teaching environment. Though you may apparently think that they held only positive remarks, but you would be wrong. They also contained some flaws of mine, which, to my surprise, were not numerous. An urgent question disturbs me: Were the few flaws my students mentioned a matter of self-improvement or just a fact of absent-mindedness on their part? I would like to involve you – as a reader- in interpreting the whole story. Thus, I will let you guess and then come to a precise conclusion all by yourself.
While examining the notes, a set of unusual mingled feelings of joy, sorrow, pride, repentance, satisfaction, and discontent dwelled in my mind. I could not help feeling like dropping tears at some moments as most students expressed unconditioned gratitude and contentment vis-à-vis the efforts I have been making so far. A set of thankful expressions were exploited so as to show their admiration of the invaluable knowledge, skills, and competencies they have accumulated thanks to my efforts. According to them, my being so serious, kind, understanding, open-minded, tolerant, active, funny, and frank made of me and the subject I teach very unique. Some of them expressed their luck to have me as their teacher.
They even mentioned that I usually treat them like they were my brothers and sisters. I have never thought that they were aware of such a fact. Teenagers are real talented observers. It really made me so proud and happy and thus ambitious to work harder so as to reach a better position. I know that I am not at all perfect and I am far from always being liked. However, the sweet words my students expressed made me so stoned with cheerfulness and satisfaction. They really made me willing to improve the way I treat them. I really do not intend to disappoint them. Thus, I really should make extra efforts in order to make them proud of me as is their case vis-à-vis me.
I did feel great remorse when some students disapproved that I seldom sipped of a cup of tea or ate cake in class. It was a surprise to me, as I never thought it was that wrong. Actually, it was only on a few occasions when I sipped a cup of tea or ate a piece of cake, especially when there had no time left to do so in private. Others scolded me for dedicating Friday’s afternoon for an extra session. A student used funny, but serious language, writing, “Dear teacher, don’t you know that Muslims do not work on Friday? He then continued “…Friday is a special day which is mainly dedicated to worship”. At first, I giggled over such a funny message, but I indeed repented of such an act afterwards. I never wanted to hurt any of my students’ feelings. It apparently was the case with the extra session I used to set on Fridays. Though it was so beneficial, it seemed some students were reluctant to attend it.
Here goes the story of a teacher who was judged by his students. You certainly can never have a clear image about your real being and your way of treating others unless you ask them to express what they really think of you and your actions. However, that does not mean they will be frank and reflect all of your strengths and flaws. They need to feel that you would be tolerant towards what their judgments are. As a teacher, the notes my students scribbled did me a great favor. That was the best reward I have ever had. They made me aware of my strong and weak points, and this is a great advantage towards self-improvement. I know I am not perfect and I could never be so; nevertheless, there is no harm if I try to be. An attempt to reach perfection would at least bring internal peace and content.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
Aimad Bouzerour is a contributor to Morocco World News
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