Society’s Teacher

Do teachers like to teach?

Teaching is arguably the oldest profession in the world. Regardless of man’s differences, each culture, race and community has been transferring knowledge and skills since the beginning of time. Today, this transference occurs mainly in learning institutions and is done by specific personnel, who are proficient in given subjects of study.

However, it should be noted that teaching is like any other job whereby challenges and benefits are prevalent (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009). In the recent past, relevant concerns that relate student’s performance to the teacher’s commitment have been raised by parents. To this effect, there is a need to ascertain whether teachers love to teach or not.

Teaching is a profession of choice and should not be viewed as a fall back plan where everything else has failed. Teachers and governments all over the world have acknowledged that teaching practices can have a significant effect on the education of the population leading to significant impact on economic and social outcomes of their citizens (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009).

The teachers therefore play a pivotal role in shaping the future of a given community. With such a noble responsibility, it is obvious that those who follow this career path do their duties with passion because they know what is at stake in the event they fail in their duties. As such, it would be the correct assumption to declare that teachers love their work due to their belief system.

However, others have refuted this assumption claiming that over time, teaching becomes monotonous and boring. Therefore, teachers do not like teaching. In addition, it is a very stressful profession and the challenges far outweigh the benefits. Regardless of all these issues, teachers are very important.

In today’s society, parents do not have enough time to spend with their children. As such, teachers have become the parents and mentors to most students (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009). To mitigate the side effects of teaching, teachers should ensure that they change their teaching practices regularly and always ensure that they challenge their students. In so doing, class sessions will always be enjoyable.

Different ways of learning

Learning is the process through which we acquire knowledge. Due to our intellectual diversity, different people utilize different ways of learning. The most prevalent ways of learning include but are not limited to the following.

Visual learners are student who depend on their eyesight as the main tool for learning. They acquire useful knowledge by studying how the teacher moves and express their ideas. Through these attributes, the students are able to fully understand the content of the lesson (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009).

They prefer visual displays such as charts, illustrated textbooks, videos and hand outs. They prefer sitting in front of the class where there is minimal obstructions to their view. This type of learners tends to relate and perceive things in a pictorial manner. They are mostly lifelong learners because they hardly forget what they have learnt because they use everything they see as a memory bank (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009).

The other type of learners is called auditory learners. These types of students acquire most of their knowledge through verbal lectures, exchanging ideas and listening to what others have to say (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009). Auditory learners specialize in the interpretation of the message being conveyed by the teacher through analyzing the vocal variations (tone, pitch and speed) of the teacher.

They often benefit the most from reading aloud or listening to recorded audio or visual lectures. Auditory learners are greatly disadvantaged when it comes to learning through written materials. This is because they often take more time to process this information.

The third type of learners is the tactile/kinesthetic learners. As the name suggest, they learn best through a hands on approach. They benefit the most from exploring their surroundings, practical learning and touching (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009). They often have a hard time settling down or even sitting through a class as they are constantly distracted by their insatiable need to explore and experiment. In subjects where they have to settle down, they prefer writing down notes so as to understand the lessons.

Simply because a person has a dominant learning style does not necessarily mean that they are doomed or limited to their specific learning styles. Their weaknesses can be greatly improved through training. Training in this case refers to the measures utilized to sharpen the student’s cognitive skills which are vital in the learning process. Without these skills a person cannot effectively use or take advantage of other learning styles and this may consequently lead to failure in performance and even intellectual degradation.

It is therefore the duty of the supervisors to ensure that all students despite their weaknesses learn how to make good of their weaknesses. For example, if a student is a visual learner he can be trained on how best to utilize their learning skills and incorporate them during other lessons which require a different method.

Today’s classroom

Unlike in the traditional setting where books and pens were the order of the day, today’s classrooms are characterized by a high degree of laxity, technological advancement (laptop and desktop computers, on screen lectures etcetera). These technologies have revolutionized the way people used to learn and perceive the classrooms. For example:

Computers have greatly increased the research abilities of the student. With the help of computer systems, students are no longer confined to physical libraries as their only source of educational information (Berge, 1999). They can now tap into the vast resources that computers present through the internet.

The internet’s connectivity has also led to more collaboration among students in their quest for knowledge thus further enhancing their educational experience. For example, students can join chat rooms and hold productive discussions about school work. Websites billboards can also act as forums through which students can exchange ideas and help one another therefore greatly increasing their performance in class.

It has always been acknowledged that students vary in levels of intellect and reception. In most cases, teachers cannot set a constant pace while teaching because the levels of understanding per students differ. For example a mentally disabled student may be slower in grasping some concepts than their normal counterparts in the same class.

Computers have helped solve this predicament as they act as private tutors (Berge, 1999). Students can set their own pace and the level of challenge that they are best suited in. this helps in building their self confidence and esteem making the learning process fun rather than frustrating.

In the early years, one had to physically attend school facilities for educational purposes. This locked out multitudes of people who had the will to obtain an education but lacked the time to make it happen.

Computers have changed this by enabling learning to be more dynamic by use of online classes. Students can take classes from wherever they may be and at any time by using virtual classrooms. However, parents should supervise computer usage because there are other bad influences that can come from the use of the internet and computer applications.

Social challenges come to school

In the recent past, schools have been characterized by an increase in social vices among the students. Preti suggest that school violence, bullying and drug abuse may be caused by “peer’s rejection” (Preti, 2008). As such, these issues should be addressed to ensure that harmonious coexistence prevails in our schools.

Arguably one of the factors that have led to the increase in the rates of social misconducts in school is the increased possession of firearms by school age children as well as the relative ease of access to drugs. Cornel (2006) reports that “more than three-fourths of the murders committed by juveniles involved guns.” While guns by themselves do not result in youth violence, their presence plays a critical role in escalating aggressive behavior as even ordinary disputes and arguments can escalate into killings.

Another not so subtle cause of social misconduct in schools is the media influence on children. Specifically, violent video games have been blamed for some of the worse social challenges (shootings, drug use and abusive language) in schools. This is because the correlation between video-game violence and increased aggression amongst the youths is unnerving.

Cornel (2006) hypothesize that it is no coincidence that recent cases of high school and campus violence are in most cases perpetrated by individuals who habitually played violent video games. Studies indicate that the reason for increased aggression with increased exposure to violence scenes is because aggression is largely based on the learning function of the brain and as such, each violent episode is in essence one more learning trial (Dill, 2009).

Presently, the measures that have been most exploited to aid in the prevention of school violence is the imposition of stringent punishments and rules against possession of guns or knives.

Dill (2009) articulates that trying to prevent student’s social unbecoming solely by implementing physical security measures which are designed to deter or prevent children having weaponry and drugs in school is not enough. Addressing the core issues of bullying, isolation or mental health is also needed to ensure a better chance of preventing social challenges and therefore making the schools safer for the students.

Is gender a learning style?

According to Carol S. Dweck, (PhD) a doctor in psychology there is a difference between how males and females learn. Campbell (2001), states that gender plays a pivotal role in how different people learn. However, the author clearly explains that gender is not a learning style but greatly influence how people learn.

To support this claim, Campbell (2000) asserts that women are perceivers while men are experimenters. This means that women have a high tendency to take up art subjects while men prefer sciences. This would explain why there are fewer women in “hard fields.” This can further be attributed to the fact that women often adopt different learning styles from those utilized by men.

In addition, women would rather read books and are very competitive. Men on the other hand prefer discussions and interactive subjects. These attributes show the different learning styles that different genders prefer. Therefore gender only helps in exploring the perception capabilities between men and women but it is not a learning style (Campbell, 2000).

Despite all these differences, it should be noted that gender is only a small portion of the general equation. The intellectual ability of men and women should not be distinguished by their gender because through training, they can overcome their weaknesses and compete on the same level. In as much as gender is not a learning style, the various weaknesses showcased by different genders can be used to help the students adapt to learning styles that would help them overcome these weaknesses.

Student diversity

Students differ due to their racial and ethnical background, sex, intellect and physical attributes (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009). This diverseness can be beneficial or detrimental depending on how it is perceived by the school community. However, diversity is very important in facilitating equitable distribution of learning resources in schools. This is because different students often possess varied learning needs.

Student diversity can be handled by evaluating how the minds of the students operate in regards to acquiring knowledge and how they perceive it. According to (Sadker & Zittleman, 2009), there are two mind sets that can address all aspects of student diversity: a fixed and a growth mindset.

The authors state that people with a fixed mindset often believe in the basic intelligence that they are born with. They often doubt their abilities because their minds cannot perceive beyond what they believe they can manage and as such they lack the motivation to try harder because they are afraid to loose.

On the other hand those with a growth mindset perceive challenges as an opportunity to prove and test their mental capabilities. After an experiment she carried out about these two mindsets, it was discovered that those who applied the growth mindset performed better than those with a fixed mindset.

She also gives an example of race car drivers and says that mistakes are inevitable in their line of work but what makes a difference between the winners and the losers is basically how they handle those mistakes. However I believe that no matter the mindset one posses or our diverse attributes, success depends on the efforts that we put and this gets down to the learning process. If the teachers apply a learning technique that best suits you then you are bound to excel no matter the mindset.

Student life in school and at home

When we think about achieving balance, we often relate that to life and work. However, students have to go through the better party of their lives living two separate lives: school life and home life. In essence, there is a very distinct difference between these two lives.

At school, students are expected to conform to the set rules and guidelines. Some get to face social challenges such as stiff competition, peer pressure, bullying and peer rejections (Sheldon & Sanders, 2009). Weaknesses in school are viewed as a basis for criticism and school life to many students, is always frustrating. In addition, school life is result-oriented. The teachers expect great results at the end of it all while fellow students judge you by your ability to pull through when need be.

On the other hand, home life for students is a quantum of solace. This is where they go and unwind, relieve all the pressures of school life and actually face some positive energy in form of support, care and sincerity. At home, students are able to reveal their weaknesses and get mutual support without much criticism (Sheldon & Sanders, 2009). In addition, they get a chance to relax and be themselves (minimum pressure in regards to expectations) without fear or malevolence.

School settings are arguably very challenging and unforgiving. The only refuge that students have is getting moral support from home. As such, parents and guardians should ensure that they get involved with the school life of their children by ensuring that they find time to discuss school and how it affects the child (Sheldon & Sanders, 2009).

If due concern from home is lacking, life may become even more frustrating for the students. Communication is the only remedy that would ensure that school and home life is addressed and balanced for the betterment of the student’s welfare.

References

Berge, A. L. (1999) Interaction in Post-Secondary Web-Based Learning. Educational Technology, 18 (1), 5-11.

Campbell, K. (2000). Gender and Educational Technologies: Relational Frameworks for Learning Design. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia 9(1), 131-149.

Center for the Prevention of School Violence (CPSV). (2002). Just What is “School Violence”? Retrieved 25 October, 2010 from: http://www.ncdjjdp.org/cpsv/pdf_files/newsbrief5_02.pdf.

Cornell, D. G. (2006). School Violence: Fears versus Facts. CA: Routledge.

Dill, K, E. (2009). How Fantasy Becomes Reality: Seeing Through Media Influence. USA: Oxford University Press.

Preti, A. (2008). School Shooting as a Culturally Enforced Way of Expressing Suicidal Hostile Intentions. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 36:4:544-550 (2008). Retrieved 11 May, 2010 from: http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/content/full/36/4/544

Sadker, D.M., & Zittleman, K.R. (2009). Teachers, schools, and society: A brief Introduction to education (2nd Ed.) New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Sheldon, S. B., & Sanders, M. G. (2009). Principals Matter: A Guide to School, Family, and Community Partnerships. USA: Corwin Press.