Prelude: Happy Teacher’s Day

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It’s that time of the year again. 16th of May is the day for all teachers, of all sizes and from all walks of life. Life was not being so forgiving to us teachers, at most, some would say it sucks, but not all. Some says it was their ‘calling’, some say it was an honor bestowed upon them by God, some say it’s because of good salary, hefty allowances, frequent and long school holidays. Whatever the reasons was, here we are, all in all, with the title ‘CIKGU’ that comes before our names. Stand proud, because THAT title landed you on the helm of our nation’s future.

So to speak…

There’s an enigma that plagues the ‘CIKGU-CIKGU’ of Malaysia. 20 years ago, we’re comfortably sitted in our class, teaching and doing educational works. Flip the news and you’ll see glorified teachers in creaseless three piece suits receiving awards of the highest order in our society. News Headlines during the pre-national level teachers’ day would go like…

JASAMU DIKENANG: CIKGU X GARAPAN BANGSA, CITRA MASA DEPAN NEGARA

or

KEJAYAAN SMK Y: PENGORBANAN GURU² SEWAJARNYA DICONTOHI

or

PAK Z: TOKOH GURU YANG DISANJUNG, TOKOH MASYARAKAT YANG DIKASIHI

Would you find such enticing news nowadays? Flip any news within the past 2 years and you’re bound to see news like this…

KES GANGSTERISME DI ASRAMA SMK F: WARDEN DAN GURU DISIPLIN DIDAKWA

or

MEROTAN PELAJAR: GURU DIHADAPKAN KE MAHKAMAH SESYEN

or

KAJIAN: RAMAI GURU BERHUTANG PADA ALONG

or

GURU DIDAKWA KERANA BERPOLITIK DIDALAM KELAS

…and yet, many people would say that the teaching profession IS inexplicably EASY. Some even went a bit overboard by labeling teachers as ‘a strain in our nation’s resources’. When it comes to teaching and teachers, everyone of us is GREAT. No one has ever endured the sacrifice we have to give in when we sworn our oath as a teacher. And many would surmise that a GREAT teacher is anyone who has PhD in Nuclear Science or Temporal Mechanics (duh!) But what makes a GREAT teacher, GREAT anyways?

What makes a great teacher? Teaching is one of the most complicated jobs today. It demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; and a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Here are some characteristics of great teachers:

Great teachers set high expectations for all students. They expect that all students can and will achieve in their classroom, and they don't give up on underachievers.

Great teachers have clear, written-out objectives. Effective teachers have lesson plans that give students a clear idea of what they will be learning, what the assignments are and what the grading policy is. Assignments have learning goals and give students ample opportunity to practice new skills. The teacher is consistent in grading and returns work in a timely manner.

Great teachers are prepared and organized. They are in their classrooms early and ready to teach. They present lessons in a clear and structured way. Their classrooms are organized in such a way as to minimize distractions.

Great teachers engage students and get them to look at issues in a variety of ways. Effective teachers use facts as a starting point, not an end point; they ask "why" questions, look at all sides and encourage students to predict what will happen next. They ask questions frequently to make sure students are following along. They try to engage the whole class, and they don't allow a few students to dominate the class. They keep students motivated with varied, lively approaches.

Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people. Great teachers are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. Teachers with these qualities are known to stay after school and make themselves available to students and parents who need them. They are involved in school-wide committees and activities, and they demonstrate a commitment to the school.

Great teachers are masters of their subject matter. They exhibit expertise in the subjects they are teaching and spend time continuing to gain new knowledge in their field. They present material in an enthusiastic manner and instill a hunger in their students to learn more on their own.

Great teachers communicate frequently with parents. They reach parents through conferences and frequent written reports home. They don't hesitate to pick up the telephone to call a parent if they are concerned about a student.

We’ve been there, we’ve done that and we ARE what is stated above. We are GREAT teachers to start off with no matter what limitations we are enduring, it is good to know that all is in good hands. After all, the helm of our nation’s future is in our hands.. second rated opinions are merely ‘coffee talks’. Happy Teachers Day ^^

Happy Teachers Day

3 comments:

Amanda Christine Wong said...

happy teacher's day mervyn! :D

Daniel Chiam said...

HAPPY TEACHERS DAY TO YOU TOO! :D

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