Being The One Who Cares: A Good Teacher
In order to be a good teacher I feel that one needs to be open and
understanding of different events that might take place in the classroom.
Students today are not treated the same as they were during the beginning of
education and we have a variety of students which attend our public schools.
There are girls, blacks, whites, Hispanic, and Native Americans and a number of
other different races participating in our classroom studies. This is a
wonderful accomplishment in our society. The variety of backgrounds which are
found in the classrooms gives our young students a better understanding of
different races and nationalities. However, with growth there are always
problems. Because there are students from different backgrounds, we must cater
to all their needs. There may be students in our classroom with completely
different religious beliefs or no beliefs at all. Teachers must understand each
student and their personal beliefs to make their learning environment
comfortable. Every aspect of our society has changed, we live in a more
promiscuous society. Our children are having children. We as teachers must
educate our student to the deadly effects of unprotected sex. I feel as
teachers earn tenure, they are more likely to effect the students in a more
personably manner. Having a stable and open classroom, I feel the students will
learn more and be a respected citizen in our society. In this project I will
discuss, prayer in the classroom, AIDS and tenure.
Prayer in school is a controversial issue that must be considered and
dealt with as quickly as possible. All people should feel free to worship and
have loyalties to whichever religion they choose. If no religion is chosen,
then the feelings of the person should be considered as will. Everyone has an
opinion on this subject, but everyones opinion should not become an issue.
Rather, the opinion should be offered in order to be accepted or rejected by the
individual. I feel that a time should be set aside during the day to allow for
mediation or introspection. This time could be used by the students for
thinking, prayer, meditation or for private reflection. Therefore, those who
choose to participate can do so privately. Since it is a quiet time, no religion
is stressed, so whichever seems to be more important to the student, the student
has the option to choose.
An alternative to quiet time is to rotate prayers among all religious
faiths with equal time being provided for all groups and religions represented.
The schedule may be rotated daily or weekly between such choices as Christian,
Jewish, and Catholic. No shame should be placed on the students because of their
personal beliefs, and adults must never censure, or in any way make light of a
students belief. Also, no student should be forced into or required to
participate; all children should be allowed to either join in, or to sit quietly
during this time. Like most things, this can be used as a positive tool for
teaching respect for others.
I feel this issue should be decided by individual school systems and not
mandated by the courts. However, if the school does choose to have a religious
moment, all religions should be represented. This issue is a very private one,
and no one should be judged by his or her feelings. Also, no student should
ever be made to feel less than acceptable for their personal belief. Teachers
should keep in mind that not all children share the same beliefs, therefore, if
one or more students choose not to participate in the prayer or quiet time,
alternatives should be offered to them. Reading may help the others to be quiet
while those who choose to participate do so. If a child chooses not to
participate, it should not become an issue between the student and the class or
the student and the teacher. No student should ever be held up to ridicule.
The teacher should try to make all of the students feel as comfortable as
possible whether they participate or not.
If the subject is handled properly, this may help contributed to a
better understanding of the difference among people. By teaching students that
people are different at an early age, it may alleviate some the hostilities
between them as adults. Also, this will teach students tolerance to views that
are different than their own. Students learn from what they see, if they see
and share prayer with their friends and classmates they will seem less separate.
The students may prove to be more willing to accept the difference between
themselves and others. With this, a breakdown of prejudices may occur.
Prejudice is developed from fear of the unknown. Because some are different
than ourselves, we may feel that they are somehow less than we are. Students
should be taught at an early age that there are differences in and among people
the unknown becomes less feared. By giving children the chance to share their
most personal beliefs without fear of ridicule, they will become more tolerant
and educated about the many different views shared by those around them.
Teaching is not always done from a book. Students learn from teachers
and the teachers should also learn from students. We should always be open to
new experiences and willing to learn from them. If the teacher is not familiar
with the student's beliefs, he or she should take the time to learn about the
religion from the student. If the students learn acceptance of difference as
children, they will be more acceptable as adults. This issue may be difficult
for all to accept, and even if one child feels uncomfortable with it - it should
not be forced upon them.
I feel that if religion was in our classroom, then the subject of sex
would not be a difficult subject to talk about. In today's society children are
faced with many problems, and an important issue that should be included in any
educational program is sex education. Children should be taught early what sex
is about and how to be safe when involved in a sexual relationship. It is very
unrealistic to believe that children will not have sex. Since it is almost
impossible to convince them that it is dangerous, it is imperative that they
know exactly what can happen if they choose to have sex. Young people have a
tendency to see themselves as immortal. they must understand that yes I can get
AIDS; yes I can die, and there is still no cure for the AIDS virus.
AIDS is a topic that everyone has heard about, but young people may not
be fully aware of how it is transmitted and how it can be avoided. By teaching
this in our schools, we can at least be sure that each student knows the danger.
Aids education should be included in a sex education class, and the curriculum
should include educating the children about the many different sexually
transmitted diseases including AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Herpes and other
incurable sexually transmitted diseases. Students need to be taught that if the
choose to have sex they should protect themselves. Pregnancy is not the only
issue that should be considered although the subject should be thoroughly
discussed. AIDS is now the most pressing social concern to be taught to
While informing students about the dangers of unprotected sex, condom
usage should be discussed. If the children still feel that sex is acceptable
for them personally, condom usage should be stressed. If they are aware that
the transmission of AIDS may be stopped by proper use of a condom, students may
choose to use them. It should also be noted that there is a chance that a
condom will fail. Condoms should be termed safer sex and the only true safe sex
is abstinence. Even so, condoms should be made available to the students.
Although some feel that the distribution of condoms in the schools will increase
sexual activity, I feel that this will only protect those who have already made
the decision to be sexually active. In order to encourage condom usage,
teenagers should be taught the proper way to use them. By distributing condoms
and showing proper usage, young people will become familiar with them. This
will help them to feel more comfortable and be more willing to use a condom.
Condom machines should also be installed in both boys and girls restroom.
The students are then able to purchase condoms privately. This will also
encourage condom use because the student will not have to feel intimidated about
buying condoms in public places. As long as condoms are easily assessable and
teenagers know how to use them, we may be able to slow the epidemic of AIDS.
Sex education and AIDS awareness go hand in hand. By developing educational
programs to teach safe sex, they will be able to make an educated decision on
whether or not sex is right for them. Although we do not like to think that
young people are sexually active and in danger of contracting diseases, it is
irresponsible to believe that if we do not talk to them about it they will not
do it. Children are curious an feel that it cannot happen to them, and peer
pressure often causes young people to act without proper considerations.
Teenagers will experiment therefore we must prepare them to make responsible
decisions. Their decisions could make a life changing difference in their lives.
Education is the best method we have to inform them of the many factors
involved in casual sex.
It has been found that students are more likely to trust a teacher who
has been in their schools for many years. They might remember their older
brothers and sisters talking about a particular teacher. A student may feel
more comfortable talking with a teacher regarding a academic problem as well as
a personal problem; especially if they feel the teacher knows a little about
their lives without revealing a lot of information. A teacher may help the
student make a wise division regarding school or a boyfriend or girlfriend.
This leads us to the issue of tenure. Tenure is a status granted to teachers
after a probationary period. This is sort of job security, which prevents a
teacher from being dismissed from work except for legally specified causes and
through due process procedures. Tenure is given to a teacher after a three year
probation. The teachers are given three one year contracts that may or may not
be renewed after each of the three years. If you do not receive a dismissal
letter before the forth year, you will automatically receive tenure. During any
of the probation years you can be dismissed for any reason. After you receive
tenure you can only be dismissed for one or two reasons. If you are proven
incompetent after receiving tenure you can be dismissed, and the only other
reason is on the basis of moral turpitude. Tenure goes with the job, if the job
has been abolished there is no tenure. For example: A physical education
teacher that is tenured can loose their tenure if physical education is
As in all things, tenure has a negative side to it. Teachers may be
tenure status but may not have the qualifications to hold the positions any
longer. Many teachers who achieve the tenure status might feel they no longer
need to continue to broaden their knowledge or stay current with the changes in
education. This can foster a lax attitude, and lifetime tenure may induce
laziness, stifle incentives or contribute to a lack of performance in the
classroom. Although this does not apply to the majority of teachers; an
attitude such as this will deprive the students of the learning they deserve.
If the administration feels that a particular teacher should be dismissed due to
the lack of knowledge or the teaching abilities, tenure can also be used to
delay or block efforts to force the issue.
Tenure cannot and does not guarantee excellence. A teacher is either
dedicated to the profession or is simply getting a pay check and three months
off during the summer. This is a critical point, and students will be deprived
of a good education if the teacher has this attitude.
Tenure will not guarantee a teacher's interest in his or her students.
All teachers should take pride in the knowledge that every student is interested
to his or her care that they are going to provide the best entrusting that they
are capable of giving. This means the teachers need to take the time to get to
know every student in their class. Tenure cannot prevent abuse of either the
system or of the student. It is abuse of the system when the teacher hides
behind tenure. Abuse of the students occurs when he or she does not receive the
very best education the can receive.
Tenure is intended to show regard for scholarly achievement. It is in
large part a quest for security in ones profession. It is meant to be
protection against injustice of any kind, and it should not be used as a shield
for incompetence or lack of commitment. Tenure should be treated as a privilege
and an honor. Dedicated persons in the teaching profession will surely agree
The merit pay system is an alternative to tenure. Merit pay is a better
system of rewarding a dedicated teacher or instructor. In this system the
teachers are given a pay raise based on their work, not based on the number of
years they have taught. This system will weed out the people who use teaching
just as a job. I feel that if teachers are paid by the merit system our
children will be better educated. Our teachers will value their position and
impose themselves on the children's education. It is a proven fact, the more
you reward a person the higher the results will be. We need to reward our
teachers for the job well done and in turn our students will reward us with
their job well done. Whether in the classroom or after graduation in their
chosen profession. Education is the greatest gift of all. I think it would be
a wonderful feeling to find out that the students which I have taught
remembered me for the excellent job I have done.
I feel that the student teacher relationship is an important
relationship. If the student respects the teacher they will receive the best
education possible. If the communication is lost, some students may stray from
the classroom activities and loose the sense of the nature of a good student.
If the teacher is a veteran teacher then the students are more likely to
come to them regarding any problem. It may be a problem with their studies, a
problem with another teacher, or even a domestic problem. Whatever it may be,
we as teachers should act In Loco Parentis.
I can relate to the problems in today's classroom. I feel its important
for respected teachers to earn tenure, not only for themselves but for the
students as well. Familiar teachers become the students friends, and topics
such as sex, AIDS, teenage pregnancy and religion might not be so difficult to
discuss. We need personal discussion in our classroom. What goes on inside the
classroom directly affect what will happen inside the classroom.