N Touch
Thursday 16 August 2018
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Commentary

The power to effect change

ANYONE DESIROUS of entering the teaching profession must do so with a clear desire to be an agent of positive change. As the various education institutions of society increasingly abdicate their responsibilities to nurture and shape the future, schools are being burdened with the task of performing their traditional role, as well as take up the slack where others fail.

As such, the role of the school has been radically altered and redefined. However, in attempting to educate the whole child without the requisite resources and commensurate support, schools and teachers’ performance are still primarily judged based on the academic performance of their children.

This makes the task even more daunting and often leads to frustration and hopelessness, especially in schools where the majority of the student population is underachieving. In such a scenario the blame game becomes the norm with the children being the casualties of a system that did not cater to their peculiar needs.

This configuration requires a new determination and resolve on the part of the teacher when one considers what is at stake. In this regard helplessness, anger, frustration and blaming are not options. Rather, it now falls upon the teacher to rise to a higher challenge and calling.

Non-action or looking the other way by assuming it is someone else’s problem to fix has not taken and will not take our society out of the negative fallout of a failed education model. The teacher of today must be able to rise to a new challenge brought on by the incredible advances in communication technologies.

Teachers must possess the right combination of will, determination, conviction, passion, patriotism and love for children like never before. They must understand that as agents of change they must redefine their role as shapers of the future. Their commitment to task must never waiver.

Schools are places where the future is created and designed.

They must keep abreast with their ever-changing role. The teacher of today’s classroom must not only be au courant with the myriad of communication technologies available, but must also be able to connect with a generation of young people who has been socialised quite differently.

Every effort must thus be made to know and understand the learners before them as a first step to ascertaining their true learning needs. Such needs are increasingly broadening in scope and complexity; this challenges the competencies of the traditional teacher.

The power to effect change cannot be underestimated by teachers. They must embrace that power with a passion, conviction, and enthusiasm like never before. Their willingness to be creative in their teaching approaches has never been so essential.

Creating analytical thinkers demands teachers who themselves are analytical in their own modus operandi. Innovative thinkers will be the outcome of innovative teaching approaches. Daring teachers will inspire daring students to push the boundaries of achievement and success.

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