with my Colleagues in the profession

with my Colleagues in the profession
after our pinning ceremony

About Me

My Photo
EDUCATION: Any act or experience that has a formative effect on mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, Education is the process by which society deliberately transmit its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Four Ways Teachers Can Inspire Students


As I have written before, here and here, a teacher’s first job is to inspire students to learn. Konrad Glogowski has written along similar lines about passion-based learning’, and my Grade 8 students read his article and added their own thoughts on their class blog.
Reading their posts, I find some common threads about what teachers can do to inspire their students.
1. Be passionate yourself, and share your passion with your students. Most of my students agree that an uninspired teacher will not inspire students. “I believe that teachers being passionate in teaching is the key to everything”, writes a Grade 8 girl.
2. Explain why. Repeatedly my students say that when they don’t understand the point of an activity or lesson, they lose interest. History lessons seem to be a particular problem (“Who wants to learn history? The stuff in the past doesn’t matter anymore. What does matter instead is the future”) but any topic can seem irrelevant if its relevance is never explained. By chance I came across an article in Teacher Magazine in which comedian Bill Cosby is interviewed on exactly this subject. Cosby tells about a speaking engagement in which he discovered that one of the panel members was a math teacher.
3. Teach for understanding. If students find a topic boring, 9 times out of 10 they don’t understand it. “Whenever you stop understanding things, you also lose interest . . . “. (On the other hand, if the teacher finds it boring, we have a different problem altogether. See #1, above.)
4. Be supportive, kind, and open. Primary school teachers understand this. Unfortunately, too many secondary school teachers seem to think their first commitment is to the curriculum, not the students. They forget, too, that even though adolescents try to act older than they are, they still respond very well to kindness, and very poorly to its absence. (Who doesn’t, in fact?) Listen to what my students say.

Students clearly understand the importance of teachers being kind and open, and cultivating positive relationships with students. I wish every teacher understood this, too.

Definition of Education


The definition of education in common usage, that education is merely the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to students, is inadequate to capture what is really important about being and becoming educated.
The proper definition of education is the process of becoming an educated person.
Being an educated person means you have access to optimal states of mind regardless of the situation you are in.
You are able to perceive accurately, think clearly and act effectively to achieve self-selected goals and aspirations.
Education is a process of cognitive cartography, mapping your experiences and finding a variety of reliable routes to optimal states when you find yourself in non-optimal states.


The idea that the definition of education is the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to students is misguided.

While this definition of education is partly true it is grossly inadequate and is probably the fundamental source of the vast tragedy of “accountability” which treats arbitrarily inadequate results on irrelevant tests as proof that some school communities need to be punished.



The logic of “accountability” in this instance is taken to be a literal “accounting” of units of knowledge and information through highly orchestrated student performances of test taking skills.
This is the same kind of literalism that causes absurd behavior in religious communities, too. (At least, in education the fundamentalists are only fiscally killing their enemies and not literally.)




Two Problems With the Traditional Definition of Education as Delivery
There are two problems with this definition of education.


First, the definition of education using the delivery metaphor is too often taken to be literally true.
Knowledge, skills, and information, as we mean these terms in the field of education, are not literal units.
In computer science and telecommunications they deal with literal units of information in the form of electrical pulses that can be observed in a variety of ways.


In education we are dealing with entire realms and fields of both worldly phenomena and uniquely human narratives that have no literal, physical existence.
We use the term “unit” as a convenient way to organize our thoughts about a complex set of phenomena that is utterly incomprehensible without this metaphor.
What we know from the findings of cognitive and neuro-sciences is that even science and mathematics use metaphors to develop ideas about complex and otherwise incomprehensible phenomena.
If even our deepest scientific and mathematical understandings of the physical, literal world are based on metaphors, then it is neither surprising nor unusual to use metaphors in our defintion of education. (seePhilosophy in the Flesh, Lakoff & Johnson, Basic Books 1999, and Lakoff & Nunez, Where Mathematics Comes From, Basic Books 2000)


But it is a problem to take a metaphor literally.
What we learn from this insight into how we understand the world is that our understandings of anything complex, especially something as vastly complex as education, are based on metaphors and the challenge is to figure out which of the metaphors are most useful for creating the right outcomes.


The second problem with this definition of education is that it is pathetically inadequate for describing what is most important about both the process of becoming, and the results of being, an educated person.


Whenever I have pushed people to really delve into what they mean when they talk about a person being educated they quickly abandon the notion that educated people have a greater quantity of information or that they have the traditional evidence of instructional bookkeeping like diplomas, degrees, certificates, etc.

An Educated Person

What truly makes a person educated is that they are able to perceive accurately, think clearly, and act effectively according to self-defined goals and aspirations.
An educated person is also respectful of others regardless of their power and status, responsible for the results of their actions, and resourceful at getting what they need, both, personally and for their family, organization, and /or society.


It is true that the educated person needs information, but an educated person is not dependent on the information they have stored in their heads, because they have the ability to find information, create knowledge, and develop skills when necessary.
The delivery model inherently defines education as an interaction between a teacher and a student, since delivery requires both a person who delivers and a person who accepts delivery.
Achieving the status of being educated does not require a teacher.
The delivery model does not make any meaningful reference to the qualities of an educated person and the resulting system of schooling based on this definition of education has proven to be a highly unreliable producer of educated people.

A Proper Definition of Education

The common definition of education is simply wrong when you consider how education actually occurs.
A proper definition of education will have to cover these four important aspects of how we become educated:
  1. The necessity of having and manipulating knowledge, skills and information
  2. The helpfulness of teachers, without requiring them
  3. The constant need to see through the inherent illusions that arise from our unconscious thought processes, and
  4. Our ability to influence our states of mind
Based on these four criteria I define education as a process of cognitive cartography.


Cognitive Cartography Definition of Education
What all learners are doing is developing a map of reliable methods of getting from negative states of mind to positive states of mind.
The units of knowledge skills and information are points on the map, but what makes the map useful are accurate portrayals of the relationships between the points and how those points can be used to arrive at the desired states of mind.


Let’s pretend you want to get to Los Angeles from Seattle.
I make two points on a piece of paper then label them Seattle and Los Angeles, but, having given you two points of information is totally useless, so far.


The two points can only become a map after I depict actual relationships between the two points, such as indicating which way is North and then adding a connection between the points, such as highways, trail systems, or public transportation options like buses, trains or airplanes.
But even that is of limited use because if you do not know how you relate to the places I have already drawn, then the information is still useless.
In order for the map to become useful, you have to know where you are and how your position relates to the points and lines on the map.


All of this is true in education.
"Units" are useless until they are effectively related to each other and even connected units are useless until the person with the original intention to travel can fit themselves into that particular picture of the world in a way the gets them where they want to be.
The key quality of an educated person is the ability to move from negative states of mind to positive states of mind and assist others to do the same.
This covers all situations where there are problems such as poverty, conflict, and pollution as well as problems like depression, ignorance, or ambition.


Navigating the Human Mind
The world that we are concerned with in elementary education is the human mind.
Children need to learn to navigate the terrain of their own minds so that they can effectively navigate the real world that confronts that mind with all the challenges of earthly human existence.
Therefore, what is elementary in elementary school is gaining control over your own behavior and learning to coordinate your behavior with others.
The most fundamental lesson of elementary school is governance of behavior, our own and other people’s.
The mastery of our own individual behavior requires us to realize that just because we think something does not make it so.
Our minds, especially when we are children, are highly productive illusion machines.


Young children live in a magical realm in which thinking makes things happen.
The popular success of The Secret, a motion picture length infomercial on the power of positive thinking, shows that magical thinking is not limited to children.
The task of becoming an adult is mastering the process of disillusionment.
By the time children are of school age they have a lot of ideas based on a combination of the way their brains are built and how their experiences have shaped that building process.
We build up a vast repertoire of concepts, mostly unconscious concepts, about the world and our own minds.


Unfortunately most of those concepts are basically wrong except for accomplishing the simplest childish intentions.
The eternal moral challenge of living as a responsible adult is to persistently inquire into how our concepts of the world and our own minds mislead us into causing our own and other people’s suffering.
The way that we rise to meet this moral challenge is by examining how our own mind deceives us, through practicing empathy for the states of mind we cause in other people by our actions, and actively taking responsibility for preventing and alleviating suffering in every way we can.
We all know from first hand experience that positive states of mind are both the most enjoyable states and the most productive.


If we can ensure that everyone is capable of optimizing their own state of mind and assisting other’s to optimize theirs, then everyone will have maximum opportunity for enjoying life and being productive.
Consistent attainment of positive states of mind is better known as having a good attitude (you were probably wondering when attitude would come in.)
Thus if everyone can achieve a good attitude and help others do the same then the world will be a better place.
Thus education, the process of attaining and assisting others to attain a good attitude that enables a person to perceive accurately, think clearly, and act effectively according to self-selected goals, is fundamentally about attitude no matter what age or level of schooling you are concerned with.




 By: Don Berg

Friday, May 25, 2012

Is the K-12 model good for the Philippine education system?

The enhanced K-12 program, or the Department of Education’s (DepEd) proposal to overhaul the basic and secondary education curriculum by adding two more years to the system is arguably one of the most drastic and controversial programs of the Aquino administration.
The program is proposed to start in school year 2012-2013 for Grade 1 and first year high school students with the target of full implementation by SY 2018-2019.
K-12 has been met with criticism from youth and student groups, teachers, parents and the academic community. The DepEd, for its part, appears determined to enact the program with its proposed budget catering mostly to preparing the grounds for its eventual implementation.
The DepEd argues that the K-12 program will be the solution to yearly basic education woes and the deteriorating quality of education. Critics, however, counteract that the education crisis needs to be addressed more fundamentally and adding more school years would only exacerbate the situation.

Dissecting K-12
The K-12 model is an educational system for basic and secondary education patterned after the United States,Canada, and some parts of Australia. The current basic education system is also an archetype of American schooling but with a 10-year cycle.
DepEd reasons that it is high time to adopt a K-12 system, attributing the low achievement scores and poor quality of basic education to the present school setup. Following wide protests over the proposal, the departmentreleased its official position defending K-12.
Below are the main arguments and corresponding counter-arguments from critics.
1. The K-12 will solve the annual growing number of out-of-school youth. Students and parents, however complain that it would be an added burden to poor families.
While public education is free, a political youth groupestimates that a student would still need an average of P20,000 per school year to cover transportation, food, school supplies and other schooling expenses.
Also, based on the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey, families prioritize spending for food and other basic needs over their children’s school needs. Two more years for basic education would inevitably translate to higher dropout rate.
2. The K-12 will address low achievement scores and poor academic performance of elementary and high school students. DepEd says that the poor quality of basic education is reflected in the low achievement scores of students. Results of the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), however, negate the connection of the number of years to the performance of students.
According to results of the TIMSS, the length of schooling does not necessarily mean better scores. In fact, some countries with the same or shorter school cycle garnered the highest scores while those implementing the K-12 model or more years of schooling got lower scores.
According to a study released by former Deputy Education Minister Abraham I. Felipe and Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) Executive Director Carolina C. Porio, the DepEd’s arguments are “impressionistic and erroneous” because there is no clear correlation between the length of schooling and students’ performance.
The said study shows that fourth graders from Australia had respectable TIMSS scores despite having only one year of pre-schooling, while Morocco (two years of pre-school), Norway (three years) and Armenia and Slovenia(both four years) had lower scores than Australia. South Korea, which has the same length of basic education cycle as the Philippines, was among the top performers in the TIMSS, while those with longer pre-schooling (Ghana, Morocco, Botswana and Saudi Arabia, three years) had lower test scores.
Test scores of Filipino students, meanwhile, were lower than those garnered by all 13 countries with shorter elementary cycles, namely, Russia, Armenia, Latvia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia,RomaniaMoldovaItaly, Egypt and Iran.
In the high school level, Singapore that also has a four-year high school cycle, got the highest score. Ironically, the Philippines got a lower score together with countries that have longer high school cycles like South Africa, Chile, Palestine, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
For the pre-college level, the Philippines also got a low score, but so did the United States, which has a 15-year basic and secondary education cycle. Students from Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, all with shorter education cycles, got higher scores than America students.
3. The DepEd has enough resources to implement the K-12. Interestingly, countries whose students got high scores in the TIMSS were the ones whose governments allotted high public spending for education.
Despite nominal increases in the total education budget, the government has been spending less per capita on education. The real spending per capita per day dropped to P6.85 in 2009.
From 2001 to 2009, education’s portion in the national budget has steadily decreased. This pales in comparison to neighboring countries - Malaysia, 7.4 percent and Thailand, 4 percent. It is also lower than the four percent average for all countries that were included in the World Education Indicators in 2006. The country is also lagging behind its Asian counterparts in public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public spending.
In a statementPresident Benigno Aquino III said that his administration is prioritizing education and, as proof, the DepEd budget will increase by P32 billion in 2011.
However, according to Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Banez, “Even if you combine the DepEd and SUCs (state college and universities) budgets, it will only equal to three percent of the GDP, a far cry from the six percent GDFP-amount advocated by the United Nations.”
The UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) recommend that governments spend at least six percent of their GDP for education.
Former Education secretary Mona Valisno stated in a separated study that DepEd needs at least P100 billion to fully address the shortage of 93,599 classrooms and 134,400 seats and P63 million for textbooks and scholarships.
Proponents of the program allude to the experience of St. Mary’s Sagada – a school implementing K-12 that has been topping the National Achievement Test in Mountain Province. However, aside from the K-12, the school also has a 1:20 teacher to student ratio and is not suffering any sort of shortage in faculty or facilities.
Critics of the K-12 assert that while government resources have been found wanting and insufficient for the present 10-year cycle, how will it be able to afford to fund a K-12 model?
4. The K-12 will open doors for more jobs for the youth, even without a college diploma. DepEd says that a K-12 program will improve the chances for youth employment as it is aimed to improve technical-vocational skills through focusing on arts, aquaculture and agriculture, among others. The K-12, it further states, will ensure that students graduating at the age of 18 will have jobs, thus making them “employable” even without a college degree.
However, critics are quick to note that the Philippines, that has a predominantly young population, also has the highest overallunemployment rate in East Asia and the Pacific Region. According to World Bank study, the country also has the highest youth unemployment rate. Young Filipino workers are twice as likely to be unemployed than those in older age groups as they figure in the annual average of at least 300,000 new graduates that add up to the labor force.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported in 2008 that 50 percent of the unemployed 2.7 million nationwide were aged 15 to 24. Of these, 461,000 or 35 percent had college degrees while about 700,000 unemployed youth either finished high school or at least reached undergraduate levels.
Therefore, the persistent high unemployment rates, may not be necessarily linked with the present 10-year cycle but instead with the country’s existing economic system and the government’s job generation policies.

5. Filipino graduates will be automatically recognized as “professionals” abroad. In the present 10-year cycle, the DepEd argues, the quality of education is reflected in the “inadequate preparation of high school graduates for the world of work or entrepreneurship or higher education.”
What the K-12 program aims to achieve, therefore, is to reinforce cheap semi-skilled labor for the global market. With young workers, mostly semi-skilled and unskilled workers now making up an estimated 10.7 percent of the total Filipino labor migrant population, it comes as no surprise then that the government is now programming its youth to servicing needs of the global market.
Labor migration, however, has resulted in the brain drain of Filipino skilled workers and professionals. Ironically, while the DepEd and the government mouths a so-called “professionalization” of the young labor force in foreign markets, their significance to domestic development and nation-building is sadly being undervalued at the expense of providing cheap labor under the guise of providing employment.
While proponents and advocates hail the K-12 model as the “saving grace” of youth unemployment, critics argue that it will only aggravate the country’s dependence on labor export and the inflow of remittances that do not necessarily contribute to substantive and sustainable nation-building.

A Filipino Education
Lastly, the DepEd justifies the K-12 model by saying that the present short basic education program affects the human development of Filipino students.
Ultimately, regardless of whichever “model”, what the youth and country direly needs is for the development and establishment of an education system that caters to the needs of the Filipino youth and the society in general.
The crisis of the Philippine education system, in all levels, is stemmed not on the superficial, in this case the number of schooling years, but rather on the conditions and foundation on which it subsists. Unless the government addresses in earnest poor public spending, high costs of schooling, the predominance of a colonial curriculum, lack of transparency and accountability amid widespread corruption within the sector and the development of the country’s science and technology for domestic development, all efforts will remain on the surface.
And neither 10 nor 12 years would make much of difference.







10 things you should do if you plan to review on your own to get a license for Teaching.

1. Know your weak and strong subjects. Allot some time on reviewing the lessons of your strong subjects. And enjoy the review so you could easily remember what you are reading. But alot more time on your weak subjects. Well, at least if you are weak in math for example, make sure you didn’t miss reviewing the concepts of what is covered in the test for General Math.

2.
Understand theories and concepts. Review the different methods of teaching. Imagine how these ideas would be applied in a real teaching environment. If you are already teaching then that is great, since you can easily imagine how the theories and concepts are applied in the real world.

3.
In my opinion, the exam is more of your analytical skills, so strive hard to improve it. Once you have understood theories and concept, make sure you know how to differentiate them and explain them in your own words. At least by doing these, you can easily recall them when you are taking the exam.

4.
Don’t take for granted subjects under General Education. Remember that you have to pass all three sets of tests including General Education. Don’t assume this test is easy since you took this up when you were in Elementary or High School. Remember that a lot of years had passed. So brush up your memory especially the basic mathematical equations and basic science concepts.

5.
Prepare everything before the exam. Make sure you have read the test guidelines many times. Check your calculator. To be sure, check the allowed calculators in the PRC’s list. If you don’t want to buy a new one though, make sure you have a non-programmable calculator. But don’t take my word on this because I wasn’t sure if other proctors had allowed calculators not in the list, although my friend said she didn’t even check the list and just grab a basic calculator with her. Proctors check each calculator before the exam starts.

6.
Take enough sleep before the exam. Make sure you don’t feel drowsy while taking the exam so you have enough time to answer them all. I think that’s the reason one of my friends fail.

7.
Eat well and use the restroom before the exam. You are not allowed to go out while taking the exam.

8.
Avoid erasures. In my alma mater, where I had my college years, we took some of our exams in Scantron. So, I was used to answering tests by shading the boxes or circles. I knew how erasures could make a bad score. So before you shade it, make sure you are shading the right answer, or at least it is your final answer. If you need to erase it, make sure it is clean. But I still don’t think it is a good idea.

9.
Follow instructions. Listen to what the proctor is telling you during the exam. If it is not clear, ask the proctor.

10.
Most of the time, you haven’t reviewed whatever appears on the real exam. What will help you answer the exam are your basic understanding of the Education topics and your analytic skills. Don’t overdo it though because you might miss the right answer. Other test takers define it as common sense.

Hope this helps. =)

Monday, January 10, 2011

TEACHING EXPERIENCES

             When teachers discuss ways in which their college experience could have better prepared them for the reality of the classroom, they almost always mention increasing the amount of field experiences in the classroom. While it is hardly possible for students to be exposed to the full range of situations that they might be placed into in their first teaching job, this is one area where "more is better".
Teaching is a very complex activity. It involves planning for learning, organizing materials, prioritizing ideas, interacting with students, learning to "monitor and adjust", "differentiate instruction" for students of various abilities, and learning how to accomplish goals that sometimes seem to be mutually exclusive, all while keeping "control" of a class and meeting the expectations of parents, administrators, and peers. Real-world practice in ANY of these skills is beneficial to future teachers. TA and tutoring experience, work with scouts and youth groups, class presentations that include responsibility for assessing the learning of the audience, and a variety of related experiences are all helpful. Work in schools, especially work that involves more than observation, is particularly beneficial: experienced teachers make it look much easier than it is, and future observations are much more worthwhile after a student has had some experience. Science students were often "good at science", and were often in "honors" courses, so it's especially valuable for them to work with classes or students who struggle with science. While it is important for future teachers to be enthusiastic about their subject, they will be expected to work with all kinds of students, so it's important that they find out whether they genuinely like working with students.
            Teaching experience should be "early and often". Through these experiences, future teachers learn about themselves, and whether teaching is something that they can and should do. Since communication with an audience is a big part of the jobs of many professional scientists, those who decide that K-12 teaching is not for them will still benefit from the insights they gain through school experiences.

THE BENEFITS OF TEACHING AS A PROFESSION AND A VOCATION

           Teaching is a noble and a prophetic job. There can be no better and greater joy or happiness for a devoted and dedicated teacher than to see his students learning more and more and improving their living standard. A good teacher derives inner happiness and immense satisfaction from his sincere and selfless service. He considers his job a great source of service to mankind. The radical improvement he brings in his students is his immediate source of pleasure and great satisfaction.
A good teacher always looks forward to improving his knowledge. The more he learns, the more he comes to know how much he does not know. His thirst for knowledge is unending and insatiable. His constant urge for learning more and more always keeps him happy and cheerful. The downpour of knowledge gladdens his heart and thrills his soul.
        Teachers enjoy good number of holidays or vacations to be benefited from them to gain more and more to enhance their knowledge and skills. They can also give a proper time for their family and meet their needs properly.
       A good teacher is a also a good and effective reformer. He uses his teaching as effective tool to help society avoid and stay away from destructive habits and satanic temptations. He motivates and inspires his students to be stronger to combat satanic and evil forces. He urges them to be useful and productive member of society and a good citizen of their respective countries.
Teaching has a lot of benefits. The most important benefit is job satisfaction. If a teacher finds appreciative, discerning and hard working students, he feels his labour is amply and effectively rewarded. This is what every good teacher craves for. But in order to reap all these benefits of this great profession, a teacher is supposed to be sincere, selfless, dedicated, hard working and dutiful.

A profession is a job which needs specialized training, and teaching is certainly that. A vocation is more all-encompassing; it is a calling, a way of life, and teaching is especially that. You are involved with your students not just during working hours but they become a part of your life for the ten months they are in your classroom. There are always a special few will remain in your memory and your heart for the rest of your life.
The salary is good. In the province of Ontario, where I taught, your pay rate increased as you gained years of experience. It also increased as you passed more courses, either professional courses or university credits. I often found that trying to juggle working, raising my own children, doing Homework for university, and trying to keep my house from looking like a disaster area, resulted in not being able to give my best to any of these tasks. I would strongly urge anyone thinking of entering the profession to get as much education as possible before you actually start teaching.
The holidays are good. There are about 180 actual teaching days each year. Single teachers find summer holidays are often useful for taking courses without distraction. Mothers of young children may opt to spend that time with their family for a few years. The choice is yours. For those with school-aged children, it is helpful to have weekends and holidays off with the family.
However, it must be remembered that teachers do a lot of work outside of school hours. Every evening, there is marking to be done. The children soon learn whether or not you check their work carefully. If you don't do so consistently, there will be a quick drop in the quality of assignments they hand in. Also, there are lessons and seat work activities to be prepared for the next day. I often spent two hours or more at the dining room table each evening. The advantage here, I guess, is that if you don't have an active social life, you won't miss it.
If it's near report card time, you might also be writing comments for one group each evening. I found that trying to do more than several at once, when I was tired to begin with, resulted in some that sounded as if they were composed in Loopy land, and I'd end up doing them over later.
Another advantage of being a teacher is that the job is so engrossing, you have to forget your personal problems while you're interacting with the children. That job eased me through a divorce, the deaths of both my parents, a second marriage and the adjustments thereof, menopause, and hundreds of other little ups and downs that we all face as we proceed through life.
For 5 1/2 hours a day, you are completely with the children, in the classroom. Human minds are not equipped to focus with two topics at the same time. The mornings and evenings may be hellish, but when that school bell rings, you're a teacher, composed and in command of the class. It's expected of you, and somehow, you always manage to measure up.
In later years, when one of your students becomes a doctor, a scientist, a leader in industry or distinguishes himself in some other way, you can smile with pride and say, "I taught him in Grade Three".
Is there any other profession or vocation which offers the potential for such satisfaction, or personal fulfillment?

TEACHING IS A VOCATION- A CALLING

Teaching is more than a noble profession. It is a vocation, a calling.. The teacher is the most important person in any civilization, as on him depends the molding of the nation. There are not many born teachers, but there are those who love teaching, and there are those who enter it as an occupation. The chief qualification for a teacher is his or her love for children; from there can follow the training by good teachers and professors of techniques and principles. Good teacher-pupil relationship is very important.
A teacher must know that he or she is teaching, not only a subject, but a child. A teacher must know each child in his or her charge – especially in his early years – his temperament, his academic capability, his health, his bent, his home background and anything that may be hindering him from doing his best. This will equip teachers and help them to educate. Each child must taste success at the beginning by beginning with the simple to the complex, the concrete to the abstract, the known to the unknown and to develop at its own rate. This will give him confidence. A good teacher, by his/her methods will be able to motivate the pupil, awaken his interest, and arouse his curiosity. Teachers can make learning pleasant. They must exhibit energy, enthusiasm and cheerfulness, and never cease to learn themselves. A teacher who ceases to learn becomes irrelevant.
Here I wish to make a comment on the role of the Head teacher or Principal. He must at all times give valuable support to his teachers. He, himself, must be a good teacher and his relationship with his teachers and parents must be good at all times. He must be able to command respect and, with his influence, get his staff to work as a team and, together, rally the support of parents. A vibrant Parent-Teacher Association is a necessity as it will help in the child’s interest, and also in the education of the parent.
If an individual is well educated; if he is given the right information; if he is trained according to his bent; if he has a right sense of values, if he has learnt to think positively, to make good judgments, and if he is able to realize his uniqueness in the mosaic which is indivisible humanity – he will be well on his way to make this world a better place for himself and others.