Often viewed all over the world as the last ring in the chain of the society, this humble species starting to disappear day by day, the teachers, are not only underpaid and sometimes overworked, but also seen as the blaming goat of everything that goes wrong in the system. The students are often evaluated only as robotic being that should know every law of physics and every rule of grammar, but not evaluated on the real basis of their beings.
The so-called failure of the students can mean a weak score in standard test or a poor grade during a test paper. Everyone should know and remember the time when they were students and had bad days and good days or even simply they have that simple reluctance towards a subject, just because his mental structure was opposite.
Trying to understand better the situation in with schools are involved now, let us refer to a statement that was delivered by a non-US teacher in an emotional article he wrote for Indian Express. He sees his life as poured into the field of education, receiving in return a rich harvest of bright students who remember their teacher. (Mavinkurve 2) Truly a teacher’s goal should be to form humans with character and value. Education is more than the simple transmission of data and numbers. If it does not include the character’s shaping of a person and the kind of mentality one will possess after finishing school, education is just a plain method to get across a message without a structured content. Teachers should mold characters, not robots.
The success of a teacher depends on his experience and on his natural-born abilities. Everyone can judge, but few can perform the job. There are often parents protesting that a teacher can not control their child, but the issue does not concern the education received at school, as long as the parents themselves are not able to control the child at home. In many cases, it happens that even if a teacher strives to take his students on higher levels of knowledge, the child can not overcome the education received at home and the attitude inherited from his parents.
Teachers’ tenure might seem something unconceivable for a businessman, but it is in fact a measure for protecting the teacher to some extent. There are students and students and the teacher cannot be held responsible if one student is not capable of more. The goal of school is not to get everyone at the same level of performance, but to get the best from each student. The strange thing is that the best from one student may not be the best that certain tests want it to be. A teacher is efficient if he or she succeeds in motivating the student strong enough to make him overcome his level and be as good as he can. Not everyone gets to be the President, but everyone needs to get out from school knowing that he can do his best and succeed in his limits.
Besides this misunderstanding of evaluating the teacher’s performance, tenure fights for the right of the teachers to be good teachers, even if they might be viewed by the students as persons that try to make them study more than they think it is comfortable. There are cases when a good teacher was dismissed from a class, because the students felt somehow frustrated that they had to study a lot in order to get high grades. In these circumstances, the teachers are not blamable. On the contrary the fact that you cannot fire someone just because he tries to get the best of you and you are too lazy to work means a true certainty that things are on the right path. For the ones that still believe that tenure is a lifetime security for the ones that misbehave and refuse to do their job, they should search the historical facts from 1972, when the first teacher was dismissed, and until now. It is said that an average of 50 teachers a year are fired from their job. The conclusion could be that there is a great amount of control inside the system and a teacher cannot do whatever he wants without being responsible for the actions.
Molding young characters is a mission of a lifetime. The entire success of a nation depends on this. The way the young generations are carved can be the most accurate prediction scale for the future of a country. If teachers are not valued for who they are and what they do, sooner or later, this category of devoted men and women, who master the destiny of our children, will perish and along with it any hope for a normal and humane society. Bringing up new generations of children whose values are not crime and drugs, but understanding, prosperity, unity and tolerance should be our mission. It is not only about the teachers. Educating a child involves the entire society: from the resources given by the government, the schools’ management, teachers’ abilities and parents’ support. It is not about who gets the higher score, it is about who gets the higher character.
Mavinkurve, Aishwarya. ” A teacher’s mission”. Indian Express. 7 April 1999: 2.