Monday, December 15, 2008

Teaching with a hand of steel (Euphoria Dec'08)

School happens to be an enjoyable experience for almost everyone, we long for the days when all we had to do was be with our friends, study with them, play with them and share gossip about our favorite teachers. Remember the teachers? How we loved them, looked up to them, and how ecstatic we felt when spotting them by the beach with their families, as if they were celebrities! Well, when you come to think it, they were our celebrities, the centerpiece of every conversation we shared and it’s all because of their unique personalities and the tremendous impact they had on us that until that day we might not be fully aware of! It’s such a blessing to be able to choose your school, meet nice friends and be taught by honorable teachers with the right to speak up when facing any “bizarre” reaction from them.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford this luxury; there are people who strive, struggle, persevere and all for one simplest goal, educate their children.
Which school? The most affordable one
Who are the teachers? Doesn’t matter
What are the principles and ethics of such school? Don’t even care as long as my child will gain the necessary knowledge to be better than myself.
The same scenario happens every time less privileged parents admit their “precious” child to school, having to give in to harsh circumstances and endless demands personalize their hard to notice financial conditions.
They want the best for their babies and this is the best they can afford.
They want proper education but proper is misunderstood in our country and as the wise Egyptian saying puts it “who doesn’t have, doesn’t need”!

The parent’s catalogue:
Parents can be easily categorized into four groups:
A. Submissive parents who can be easily abused by the school and the teachers as well and all for the sake of their child’s welfare. Thus they can very well accommodate abusive behavior towards their child as long as it’s “nothing serious”
B. Impartial parents don’t really care, as long as their kid gets the necessary education. How it’s done? It’s really a matter of perspective here even if the teacher had to spoon feed the information!
C. Vigorous parents usually suffer from egoistic problems that it becomes more of how can you yell or hit or whatever the thing the teacher does to MY child? All he/she cares for is the possessiveness of the child, but what’s right or wrong, what’s accepted and what’s not is never the case here!
D. Over- sensitive parents die a little inside every time something happens to their child, everything is always a big deal regardless how small or trivial it may be.

Cry over the news!

A teacher kills a student because the 11 year old student didn’t do his homework!
A mathematics teacher in Alexandria is being detained for murder charges after beating an 11 year old student to death for not completing his homework. The teacher claimed that he only intended to discipline the boy. After using a ruler to scare him, the teacher confessed to have taken the young boy outside the classroom and hit him violently in his stomach. The young pupil fainted and later died in hospital of heart failure.
Keep on crying!

Samira, a young girl from a rural area in Egypt that no longer feels her left hand fingers as the beatings from her teacher left the tendons in her fingers destroyed and her fine motor abilities damaged. Samira waves her hands in the air as if to shake something off when she talks about the ten lashings that her teacher often inflicted. "The tenth is always the worst, because the teacher hits the hardest of all."

And a little bit more!
And so it happened to Mina, who received beatings from his teacher, as way to force Mina through physical punishment and lower exam grades with demands that Mina hire him for private tutoring.

Fat TEACHERS throw at us to chew!
First let’s agree that there are honorable teachers out there, with a live conscience but like every earthly segment there happens to be those with a “deadly” one. Let’s break this whole issue down to pieces; first what causes “some” teachers to break out?! After giving this whole matter much thought, I came up with three solid reasons as to why teachers loose it?

A. They never had it begin with:
That’s quite self-explanatory for how many times did you meet somebody, anybody, that you thought was all normal but turned to have a little twist in the head?! I’d say hundreds! And that’s the problem because the people I meant earlier were of the everyday encounter type, the simple if you don’t like them loose them bit. But teachers teach, interact, affect and build characters? Does that mean we have to subject teachers to psychological tests?! Why not, if they have to do any of the preceding they absolutely should, after all no one will want a sociopath creeping their child out!

B. Money fanatics:
It’s no surprise that teachers- especially those working for public schools- don’t make much, nobody seems to do anyway, which makes tutoring their only hope. But how can disadvantage family pay extra fees for tutoring when they can barely afford pens for their kids?! One thing…
Force them to; starting with bad grades to badmouthing, to public humiliation and then moving to painful spanking until submission is achieved.

C. Sufferings in general
Patience is a priceless gift that is also a must for any person who wants teaching as a career. But what would anyone do when…
- His/her entire world is falling apart
- Carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders
- Generally dissatisfied with their lives and frankly don’t see the point of what they’re doing.
Isn’t this all of us? But the only difference is that we only have ourselves
to bombard this negativity onto…

You know what? Once, in primary school, we as in the entire class were abused, not physically, not verbally but financially! I remember this teacher named Madame Magda, she used to teach French and mother’s day was just around the corner, so as strictly ordered by the school, no gifts were allowed only flowers. Accordingly we gave her flowers but she didn’t seem happy, she didn’t even say thank you! The next class she talked about how disappointed she was to have received such “useless” gifts and that she prefers more practical gift! One of the examples she mentioned and I remember the most was an alarm which according to her “would help her wake up to come and teach us every day” and because we had the right to speak at my school, she was fired the very same day!

Schools are the contributing entities where teachers master development. No one has the right to hit anybody’s child and certainly no one has the right to kill masking discipline, the only thing they’re required to do is teach!

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