Assessing The Teaching Profession
In recent years, several trends in education are beginning to take hold. A growing trend affects the teaching profession in particular. A popular understanding is that a person could only teach when he or she holds certain skills. Without such skills, teaching is not possible, at least not at a professional level.
I believe there is more to teaching. A person does not have to have some specific sets of skills to teach. Teaching does not have to take place in a particular location (that is, a school setting). Teaching should not be the specialty of a certain group of people (that is, teachers).
Nonetheless, the growing trend I will discuss in this post is the recent effort to standardize the teaching profession. The belief is that teachers must teach according to certain sets of expectations. The problem is that such an approach does not bode well for the profession. Sometimes, it hampers teaching itself.
Teachers Cannot Teach
Many teachers feel they cannot teach anymore. Others feel they are not teaching at all. Many of them oppose the standardized approach the profession.
Traditionally, the act of teaching falls within the scope of teacher’s discretion, with some measured restrictions of course. Back then, teachers were the only lords in their classroom. Over the last few years, this is no longer the case.
Often, teachers have no say in the school curriculum. They have to teach what the school wants them to teach. Often, the expectation is that teachers must teach a certain way.
Teacher’s Power in the Classroom
A teacher’s power and influence in the classroom are not the same as before. That reality sometimes forces teachers to give up on themselves and on students. Standardizing teaching has not necessarily improved education or the teaching profession for that matter.
Little by little, a teacher’s power in the classroom has dwindled. Teachers often have no tangible effect on what students learn, when they learn, how they learn, and why they learn. Some teachers see themselves as another tool in the classroom.
Sometimes, teachers are there to legitimize the school curriculum or a particular policy. Often, they do not approve such policies. That is where the misfortune lies.
I believe there is a need to rethink approaches to teaching. Standardizing the teaching profession is not the best we could do. If we do not change our approach for teachers, do it for students. Sometimes, they are the most affected by standardized practices.