I must applaud the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) for dealing with the defaulting teachers through either disciplinary action or dismissal from classrooms.
What a shame! I’ve been writing every single year during October to highlight the good about teachers for World Teachers’ Day. I will still continue to write, though, because there are very good, dedicated and hardworking teachers out there, inasmuch as there are the not-so-good ones.
Finally, the TSC is acting on these matters and bringing them to closure. Teachers who abuse people’s children and are guilty of other conduct unbecoming of an effective teacher must be dealt with, so that they can leave the public system and be barred from re-entering it.
What is the TSC doing about teachers who do not teach the people’s children? What is the TSC doing about teachers who write work on the chalkboards and leave the classrooms to gamble, play games, or just simply malinger on the job?
What is the TSC doing about teachers who put students to write work on the chalkboard? What is the TSC doing about teachers who do not explain chalkboard after chalkboard of writing?
I tell you, Mr Editor, so many other injustices are being perpetrated by some of our teachers: lateness, or failure to be present at their time-tabled classes, and actually remaining there supervising the students when they’re supposed to; marking the learners’ notebooks; actually covering the curriculum, and using effective teaching strategies.
But the parents are not foolish. Parents and students are going to the various departments of education in the respective regions to complain to the heads of departments.
Mr Editor, teaching was said to be a noble profession — a professional profession. Teachers are supposed to behave and act professionally on and off the job. They are supposed to be dressed as professionals.
Does the TSC have a clear picture of what is going on in the public schools in East Berbice? It’s too late to do anything now. We’re coming down to the close of the academic year 2007-2008. Teaching has finished and examinations have begun.
But will we allow the same mistakes to recur in the new academic year? Many schools across East Berbice are without professional leadership. Their staffs are falling apart; demoralisation is at its highest, financial skullduggery is bursting at the seams. Sir, it’s a cowboy arena, if you ask me.
On the flip-side, how much can teachers do for the children? They only spend five hours of their days with us. Do parents expect us to wave our magic wands and make them better children within that time span? Certainly not!
We have much workload to deal with. We, after all, were employed to teach; and that comes first and foremost, at least for me. Therefore, it is pertinent that parents get off their high horses and start being real parents to their children.
Spend time with them, talk with them, do schoolwork with them, check up on their behaviours in the schools, talk with their teachers, attend PTA meetings, become involved in the life of your child and his/her school. It will pay off in the end. Teachers are certainly not super machines. We have our limitations, too.
A writer in last Saturday’s Kaieteur News was right. I agree with them. To be an effective teacher one must love children. You must have a love instilled within you for children.
There must be a passion, a drive that propels you every single day of your teaching career to love these children. Some children receive more love and attention from teachers than they receive from homes. And I am talking about the love that a parent has for a child.
We should be the mothers and fathers of these children. We must know our students. To know them, we must spend quality time with them, talking, listening and learning about them.
Well, parents are supposed to do that as well. My point is that teachers have a very important job to do. But if nothing motivates them from within to do that job, then we will be back to square one.
The teachers charged with molestation practiced a different kind of love. One might even question if it was love.
So I am urging the TSC to act on my points in this letter. They are very serious indeed. I am not making allegations. I am not a stranger speaking from the outside. I am inside the system and I see what has been happening.
Again, I end with the Latin proverb: Teachers are ‘in loco parentis’ [in place of a parent]. Ponder upon that statement for a moment.
Leon J. Suseran
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