Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Teach and Inspire

I want to be a teacher

To tell the truth, I really did want to be a teacher. I'll get the chance to see the young generation and educate them to face life. I love teaching; evident from my usual tutoring session with my batch mates. It was an appealing career for me.

I did not become a teacher.
Instead I'm on the road into becoming an economist (Or would I?)
Although I'm quite frustrated back then because everyone opposed my aspiration to become a teacher (at least a lecturer) because of this simple and absurd logic:

 "Kenapa nak cikgu? Tak rasa rugi ke?"

Tak rasa rugi? TAK RASA RUGI???
Okay, I admit I once thought of this before but later in life I found it stupid and insensible. Why is the profession as a teacher is viewed as 'rugi' by the society? Isn't a teacher supposed to be a very noble and respected profession? But yet, nowadays, becoming a teacher is viewed as a 'last resort' or 'a way to easy money'

I find quite the irony. The society opposes the 'geniuses' or the 'bright students' from becoming a teacher, and forces (in most cases) into the science field like Medicine or Engineering. Yet, the society itself are forcing their children to be like those 'geniuses' but where can they find their inspirations? With the number of teachers dropping with the lack of enrollment of new teachers and veteran teacher retiring, we can assume the number of quality teachers to be rarer too since if those assumptions were true, then only mediocre SPM graduates will be teachers.

I am here not to say ALL teachers are bad or worst or etc. But I find it's sad to see such noble profession to be seen as 'last resort' or 'a mediocre career'. We can't blame the society fully for this paradigm. Being teacher is really not a dream job for many. Stressful environment, pressures from all areas and inflexibility of time. So, maybe that's the problem. Being a teacher now is merely to finish up the syllabus, mark papers and hope that the grades will push the school up the ranking.


You see, education here now in Malaysia is moving into a rank-based system.
It is no more a 'good' or 'bad' school
But it's more to 'a number 1 school' and 'a number 10 school'
Due to this fact, the school administration will do anything and I mean ANYTHING to move up the ranking because the higher the ranking, the 'better' the school will be, attracting more attention and of course, financial assistance.
Like I said earlier, the school will do ANYTHING to achieve this and among those things are 'rigid-academic How-to's' focusing the boosting the student's performance. Hence, ALL teachers are required to follow this 'guidelines' ensure they will do a good job and hence, get a pay raise.

So, where's the flaw? Isn't that good? Won't it be beneficial to the students aka future generations?

On paper, yes. But think about it again. If that method is truly a universal solution, then it's better to fire all the teachers and replace them with computer programs such as Score A or such. Why? It because by adhering to a strict guidelines on how to teach and rigid goals, it removes the flexibility of the teacher and worse, the human touch of the teachers.

Teachers, contrary to popular beliefs have another job rather than teaching and educating. They are here to INSPIRE. When I say inspire, I don't merely suggest those deep motivational quotes or something. To inspire is actually unleashing and unlocking the true potential of the students. We acknowledge the fact that every student is different and unique to his or herself. Hence a large deal of flexibility is required to tackle each one of them and recognizing their true potential.

But the problem is?
The rigid academic guideline and ridiculous expectations to climb up the ranking of course.

Because of this, the teacher profession is viewed as rigid, dull and stressful by the society. Thus, the society prevents those bright students and 'geniuses' from the teaching profession. Thus, the number and quality of teachers dropped. And society will perceive teaching profession to be worse and worse. And the cycle repeats.

So the solution is?

Recognize the flexibility of the teachers back.
Give them chance to be creative
And explore their subject with the student
Inspire the student and acknowledge their potential
Because ultimately, rankings and grade are mere numbers
But inspiration and motivation from a great teacher will last forever.
I'm here because of the great teachers that had taught me before.
And truth to be told, NONE of them adhere to the 'rigid academic guideline'
They teach what they think to be relevant to the students and the subjects and they did it with enthusiasm and creativity.
They didn't view their jobs as stressful and thus they make bonds easier with the students.
In short, they are simply awesome teachers.

To all future and current teacher out there,
I'm respect you guys.
Its a noble profession you guys decided to take on.
So make the best out of it.
And change the society's perception against you.
It might be daunting
But it may need just one teacher to start and make a difference.
Because your student will follow


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