As a student myself, I can safely say that we all have, at one point or another, sat in a classroom or lecture, looking at the speaker, listening to what they’re saying and thinking “My god… what an idiot.” It’s because when the teachers learn their craft, they learn the thirty years out-of-date version. They can’t comprehend the fact that the way people learn is always changing. Maybe it’s too difficult to change habits, maybe they just don’t think it will work, or maybe they’re just another brick in the wall, who knows? These teachers have missed a lot, and here are the most important things they’ve missed.
How to talk to young people
Weirdly enough, this has become a daunting task for many adults that are inexperienced dealing with teenagers. Sure, they were teenagers once, but that was years ago, when they had mullets and listened to Europe. Adolescents are far from that now.
Teenagers are, after all, the most emotionally extreme people alive. In fact, they’re kind of like ‘mock exams’; they’re graded a lot tougher to prove a point. But that’s something, surprisingly, most teachers haven’t picked up on.
A number of teachers seem to be ‘stuck in their ways’. They can’t seem to grasp the idea that people are different years ago then they are now. There’s a new language, nowadays. It’s something built on text messaging, Facebook and Call of Duty.
This is probably the hardest thing any human being can master. Sometimes it’s like talking to a brick wall; sometimes it’s like talking to a brick wall that has arrow launchers in it like from Indiana Jones. Either way, it’s not going to be easy.
It must be tough being a teacher. The on-going ordeal of a kid yelling “I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna!” must drive some people insane. It is times like these that make anyone wonder why they chose the job in the first place.
I do, however, have great respect for teachers for this very reason. It’s something they never could have learned in their college courses or from books, but from the job itself. Simply spending time with them gives these teachers the ability to, well – to put it bluntly – put up with them.
Seeing good in people
Depending on what and who they teach, teachers will meet a great deal of people. People react differently to the ways teachers act to them. Some are accepting, dedicated and disciplined, but some, for one reason or another, don’t take to it so well. For example, teachers for a state school probably have the most difficult students to teach.
State school students don’t choose to attend school; they’re obligated by law to be there. That means the most extreme of punishments to give students – expulsion – is not an option. So what can they do? Suspend them? That will drain their resources; having teachers take time out to look after them specifically. This gives students the confidence to do whatever they like in class, with or without the teacher’s, or even other students’, approval.
So one kid doesn’t like being there. He acts out by refusing to do work, swearing at the teacher, the whole shebang. After a while, the teacher’s patience runs out. This student is not only a bother, but to the teacher, is just an idiot. He’s just a horrible person who won’t let the teacher teach.
After awhile, however, the teacher begins to notice patterns. He notices that the student only ever really draws attention to himself about fifteen minutes into the lesson. He also notices his English to be quite good quality. This kid isn’t hoodlum; he’s a fantasist. He lives in his imagination, and when he does anything that doesn’t stimulate his imagination, he reacts with hostility.
That’s all! He’s not a bad person. That’s something that should restore anyone’s faith that people are basically good, and that they maybe act badly because they feel they have no other option. Being able to see the good in people may be difficult, but teachers may be able to see it more with younger people.
Teachers may be annoying sometimes, with their assignment-setting and nonsensical logic, but they have an interesting job. And even despite being stuck in their ways, they can learn an awful lot from their students.