REading FOreign LITerature

Problems that Teachers Come Across_

Taking up the profession of a teacher you set a difficult task in front of you, because you take an active part in upbringing of children. Teacher is a very specific and valuable profession that requires complete dedication, love of the subject, love for children and lots of enthusiasm.

A good teacher treats his pupils with respect and values them as individuals. He understands that each child is unique and has special talents and capabilities. That's why he educates each pupil with special attention to his or her interests and encourages each one to make his best in life.

While I'm at it, it would be wise to mention that there are also a lot of problems which faces a young teacher. One of them is children's misbehavior. There's no doubt that a pupil's background can account for his bad language, misconduct as environment, family's position, the atmosphere which prevails in the family, friends - all that make great impact on child's personality. It's up not only to parents but also to teachers to find some way through them, because pupils spend most of their time at school.

Psychologists assume that children are like plastic clay for a teacher to mould and if he or she uses well-conceived aims, makes the best of any situation, his work will bear fruit. So teacher must be very creative, quick-witted and resourceful.

But sometimes even if teacher reads a lot of books on the psychology of teaching in an effort to discover some way of providing the children with the sort of intellectual change to which they would respond, the suggested methods somehow don't work. It's as if you are trying to reach them through a thick pane of glass, so remote and uninterested they seem. They do any task without question or protest, but equally without interest or enthusiasm and if their interest is not required for the task in front of them, they sit and stare at you with the same careful patient attention a birdwatcher devotes to the rare feathered visitor. In such situations it's to teacher's advantage to be self-possessed, calm, self-assured, determined.

Sometimes you take great pains with the planning of your lesson, using illustrations from the familiar things of their own background, create various problems within the domestic framework, and try to encourage their participation. But it's still as though there is a conspiracy of indifference and your attempts at informality fell pitifully flat.

And there's always a couple who chat while you are explaining some rules. When you catch them napping, they look at you so innocently. One or two interruptions during a lesson are usually enough to destroy its planned continuity. You feel angry and frustrated when they rudely interrupt that, which is being done for their benefit. Some teachers are not able to cope with their feelings in such situations. One teacher frequently screams and yells at his children. Another furiously bangs on his desk. A third teacher throws an eraser across the room. One teacher slaps the child, another raps the children on the knuckles. One teacher is tearing up papers, another charges back and forth along the room, letting off steam. It's the way how teachers express their anger. It's a well-known fact that the teacher faces numerous occasions when anger is normal and inevitable. A teacher who denies his own feelings is wrapped in stress and struggle. Excitement, interest and enthusiasm are blunted, if not completely obliterated. Besides, feelings should be considered honestly and realistically. It's superhuman never to feel anger, shakiness or helplessness.

The first important criterion of acceptable anger release is that child not be blamed, attacked or insulted. Though children frequently face anger from adults, they do not always adjust to it in ways that foster their own growth. Teachers report that children often react with confusion, they are bothered or their faces appear troubled. Some children are especially sensitive and hurt at the teachers anger and a few children are even frightened. Sarcasm or biting remarks that touch areas of special concern for children can be remembered with special misery and for many years.

There're occasions when in rage teachers use corporal punishment. I feel utter disrespect for them. Such punishment destroys a child's personality, makes children cruel and heartless. Teachers who use it don't care for children, they care only that children confirm to the rules. Some children become liars to prevent the unpleasant act. They absorb in themselves and live in isolated world without developing.

I agree that it is impossible to bring up self-confident, strong-willed citizens without any punishment, as it keeps them under control. Real and qualified teachers keep children from breaking the rules and make them act in the right way.

But we should point out that not all kinds of punishment are acceptable. It should never be humiliating, never contemptuous.

There should be a code of conduct at each school where the rights and responsibilities of pupils are written, governing, smoking, lavatory use, language, what may and may not be brought to school. There should be rules concerning absenteeism and tardiness to class and the penalties such as detention, exclusion from normal routine, exclusion from privileges, collection of litter, suspension from school, setting extra work and expulsion.

But it's better not to apply to these methods of punishment and try to avoid unpleasant scenes. We should be strict but consistent and tactful. It's to our advantage to employ various techniques to engage pupils, maintain an excellent pace and not to let children's interest flag.

Much depends on teacher. He must be open-hearted, generous, well-balanced, versatile, objective, amiable and love children. If you have contagious enthusiasm for teaching treat children on an equal basis, they are sure to attend your lessons with pleasure and capitalize with every second.

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