Monday, January 31, 2011

Respect thy teachers

Miss, how come you didn't give marks for this?"
"Because the argument you have written here is wrong."
"But, the answer is correct!"
"The answer does not really matter in mathematics. It is the argument you should get right!"
"That's very unfair! You should give marks for the answer!"

The discussion went on between this teacher and the student, until the teacher walked away from the class with a broken heart. Strange isn't it? A few decades ago, the first advice from a parent to a schooling child is not to hurt the feelings of a teacher. Therefore, this is an alien incident for those who grew up in the society where the teachers were treated with much respect.

At that time, the teachers had the final word. Students respected and listened to them. They believed in them a lot. They were the parents at the school. Unlike in some foreign countries, in the Sri Lankan society, teaching is considered as one of the most respected and sacred professions. It is more like a service than a job. The teacher is person who is respected by any person.

The relationship between the teacher and the student depends mostly on mutual respect.
Teachers are like candles. They give the light of education and guidance to hundreds, wearing themselves off. Therefore, they are the guiders of the future generation. If they teach good manners to the student, he/she will become a good student. Every member of the society is a student of a teacher. Consequently, if those people are good, then the society becomes a wonderful place to live. Teachers often are unsung heroes. They receive a paltry salary and are blamed when a student does not learn, regardless of the learner's ability, but they love their jobs.

People who are forced into teaching do not last long. It takes fortitude, interest, and love of learning to stay in a teaching career. Consider the requirements needed to get into a nursing school and the heavy emphasis on science-based courses. Nursing is not for dummies. Nurses must be intelligent, decisive, knowledgeable, and confident in their ability to think critically. It was probably a teacher somewhere, who was instrumental in making a person as a nurse.

The biggest reward for most academic teachers is seeing students learn. To see a light bulb turn on or see a student experience an "Ah-ha!" moment is worth everything.
The secondary reward is to see students succeed in their careers, turn into wonderful citizens and leaders, and move forward in various professions.

Sometimes, teachers can be too involved with the students. They become friendly with them and love them as their own children. However, students should understand this in the correct manner. When a teacher is friendly, it does not give the licence to the student to treat the teacher as a casual friend or talk to her as they are at the same level.

This friendliness with a teacher should go in line with respect. If the student wants to benefit from the teacher, love and respect are must ingredients. A student who treats teachers with respect, will always receive their blessings.

However, how do we respect? Do we know what to do? Respecting is not blindly accepting every little thing a teacher says. Yet, to have faith in what he/she says. Believe in your teachers.They show you the correct path. Concentrate on what he/she is teaching. Take their advice. The favourite student of the teacher is not the one who matters but the one who listens to and follows his/her teachings.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly this is true. Kids these days have very little respect for anything.

    It's a shame that the teaching profession doesn't get it's due recognition. After all, where would the Doctors and the engineers be without their teachers?