By Kasmi Hicham
By Kasmi Hicham
Morocco World News
Meknes, Morocco, March 26, 2013
Reading about teacher’s role, one can only get surprised by the so many roles and expectations from him/her. The teacher is considered a multifunctional person who should be ready to do everything, an encyclopedic person with a vast knowledge that covers all areas, a skillful wise person who always has a way to deal with difficult situations, and most of all s/he should always be happy and ready to animate the classroom.
Reading about these roles gives the impression that teachers must be supernatural persons with extraordinary skills that are beyond the reach of the layman. This idea, however, brings some questions to the surface: is it true that teachers are supernatural? isn’t it the fact that teaching professions/theorists are bombarding teachers with so many tasks and roles? And isn’t it the fact that there are other “partners” who share the responsibility of student’ learning process?
On his reflection on the heavy literature about teacher’s role, Colin Richards (2000) puts a very wise and expressive quote:
The standards represent an impossible set of demands which properlyexemplified would need the omnicompetence of Leonardo da Vinci, the diplomatic expertise of Kofi Annan, the histrionic skills of Julie Walters, the grim determination of Alex Ferguson, and the saintliness of Mother Teresa, coupled with the omniscience of God. (Cited in Bubb. S, 2005. 6)
This quote simply refers to the unlimited demands put on the teacher’s shoulder. These demands, in fact, become clearer if we reflect on the teacher’s role:
1. S/he should prepare well organized lessons that meet the levels of all students.
2. Encourage students to participat
3. Develop a father-like attitude towards his/her students, always love them and help them resolve their problems
4. S/he should always remain calm and never get nervous while dealing with student’s misbehavior
5. S/he should always keep an eye on the classroom atmosphere and harmonize the class
6. S/he should always be careful while addressing his/her students
7. S/he should be creative and always renovates his/her teaching style.
8. S/he should like what he has, if he doesn’t have what he likes.
The affordmentioned roles, and others, are a part of the teacher’s daily life. What is even more striking is that whenever people are discussing the education issue, teacher is the first one to be blamed, and the famous sentence is repeated “we can never talk about a bad or lazy students, it is the teacher who is bad and lazy.” I may agree that no student is lazy by nature, but I strongly believe that we should reconsider that the teacher is always responsible, or s/he should always have a way to deal with every student, because there are other partners for student’s learning and development, and it is high time for them to assume their responsibilities.
The first partners are the family and society. It goes without saying that a major part of the student’s personality is constructed at home. Some students just don’t know the limits, they are always looking for a way to cause problems with the teacher, and never aware of the importance of education. Another type of students can’t focus and their minds are always out-classed. If we trace the reasons behind these cases, we are likely to find that they weren’t taught respecting the other at home from the first place, or they endure family problems that always occupy their thinking.
The second partner is media. It is undeniable that media shapes our mind and way of thinking. If we reflect on some of the famous Arab and western movies (Omar w Salma, as an example), we can easily notice that the hard working student is always marginalized and depicted as a person lucking social skills, with a bizarre way of dressing. On the other hand, the trouble maker is a “cool” popular person; he is mainly popular because he never hesitates to challenge the teacher, along with his classmates. Consequently, challenging the teacher and refusing to respect him/her is the latest fashion in the classroom.
The third partners are the teaching professionals or the decision-takers. It is high time to reflect on the status-quo of our education. The famous proverb “if you don’t have what you like, like what you have” can’t be applied in teaching. It is very difficult (if not possible) to keep order in a classroom containing fifty student and more and “transmit” knowledge to them. It is not correct to expect the majority of students to be highly motivated and interested in our traditional ways of teaching using a chalk and an ancient blackboard, while they have in their pockets the latest I-phone and at home a sophisticated laptop. Hence, rather than blaming the teacher for not attracting the interest of his/her students, one wise step is to provide him/her with necessary tools to do so, and here I m talking about ICT.
At the end, as a response to the endless blaming of the teacher, a teacher said: “send me students to teach, not criminals to guard.” I find this statement very important because it highlights the partnership between in-class and out-class worlds.
Before coming to the classroom, the student should have the profile of a student, s/he should know that the teacher is to be respected, that the school is a sacred place that his /her job in life is to learn and work hard. Based on this ground, the teacher can teach and make a change. So all the partners are required to categorize the tasks and roles, and each one should assume his responsibility, instead of pointing the finger toward the teacher.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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