Embracing teaching as a career guarantees a life of arduous toil. But working with children is one of the highly demanding jobs which endlessly test one’s reasoning, temperament, attitude and personality.
A large number of teachers hate their jobs except for the commensurate salaries and other fringe benefits that come with it.
However, it’s no exaggeration to state here that an unfriendly working condition, lack of experience, negative personality traits and poor remuneration, jointly promote inefficiency among employees, especially in an environment where management is short-sighted and teachers are ignorant of which qualities every child wants.
Teachers deserve financial/job security as part of their motivation needs; school management desires an all-rounded growth for every child, teamwork among staff, and lax government policies to achieve its long/short-term goals; but in truth, children and their parents, by extension, suffer like the grass on which two elephants chose to battle.
Here are some qualities every child or parent wants from teachers:
NEUTRALITY: A teacher should understand that taking care of a group of children from different family backgrounds demands great wisdom. Every child wants to feel loved, and be loved in the true sense of the word. Some times, the desperation for love comes with a tinge of jealousy for “losers,” but a wise teacher knows how to equally share love, kindness, and attention among children.
Over-pampering a child attracts envy from others who feel unloved or desire such level of special treatments. This negative attitude from a teacher also breeds stubbornness in favored kids.
Although parents desire the best for their wards, none would ever wish for his/her child to become a subject of hate and corrosive jealousy.
My Advice: Avoid having any form of preference for your students, and always treat every child with the same measure.
HONESTY: Anyone who spends time with kids must have realized that they have elephant memories and are very good at spotting lies. A teacher must learn how to keep promises, keep to agreements, and serve as a good example to children.
To earn your respect from kids, do not deviate from your threats of punishment or promise of rewards. Proven integrity builds trust in teachers no matter the pain or joy felt by a child because they eventually get to understand and appreciate your incorruptibility.
My Advice: Students are very good at politicking, and for sure, they’ll try to impair your moral values through different strategies but you must let them know that word is bond.
Better still, don’t make rules if you’re so not strict to mete out punishments. Delegate such responsibilities to an assistant, or make it clear that defaulters will be referred to a higher authority.
PUNCTUALITY: Students know when you’re late to work, even before they learn about time. Their retentive memories make them a bunch of accurate time-keepers by mere sight – unless there’s no clock hanging on the wall.
Lateness is often understood by children as carelessness and lack of affection from teachers.
Punctuality isn’t only necessary during lessons or meetings; it should be applicable to nap time, lunch time, snack time etc.
My Advice: Students will always appreciate seeing you wait around before it’s time. If you wish to lose their attention and respect, try being late a few times.
HUMOR: Most academic institutions and recruiters look out for First Class certificate holders before sending out invitations for interviews without taking into consideration the fact that an equally smart teacher may have graduated with a Second Class Lower or Third-Class degree due to some reasons. A child’s educational development isn’t only about academics and moral ethics; games and humor play major roles in actualizing an all-rounded knowledge.
Show me a teacher who combines humor and games during lessons, and I’ll show you students who’d rather stay hungry in school than eat exotic meals elsewhere.
Having a great sense of humor makes teachers lovable. It is the key to instilling passion for classroom lessons among students.
My Advice: Use competitive group games during classes to foster close interaction among children. Individual games also help in promoting independent thinking and critical reasoning, but applying some nerve-calming humor tends to reduce learning difficulties.
PATIENCE: Teaching isn’t a job for quick-tempered persons; it’s for the meek at heart. Just like our aged parents, kids hate irascible persons and would give anything to stay far away from such teachers no matter what qualifications and experience you’ve obtained or your country of origin.
Children are all special in their own ways; they learn in unique ways and at their own pace, so wise teachers do not compare kids’ abilities.
No student should be judged based on his/her learning skills, instead, helping such kids discover their innate skills and nurturing them to greatness is the calling of every dedicated tutor.
My Advice: Every choleric teacher who has love for children should first consider going for a rehabilitation therapy. Kids can’t be forced to learn, and anger widens the relationship gap between educators and students.