25 April 2016
The Perspective of a School Teacher
Teachers play a very important role in our society and understanding their value sometimes comes hard to people in this day and age. When I decided to interview this teacher, I had a knowledge that she would be able to give me just what I needed. My prior experience in working with her allowed me the foreknowledge to the fact that she was very invested in student’s lives and success. It had been a long time since I had went to this certain school and I was not sure if I would find her or if I would be able to have access to any teacher.
I began by entering the new school building; it had been completely renovated since the last time I was there. I approached the office and asked for the teacher. Since it was lunchtime for the kids, I knew that she would be in her room working on some papers. When I got to the room, I knocked before entering and made sure she was not busy with something important or had prior plans. Getting straight to the point I had known some of experience as a teacher but I wanted to find out some more. “You know I’m an English teacher and I have been for over 10 years but before that I taught Chemistry.” She told me about her experience at a school that was sort of a correction facility. “It was in the inner city. There were always huge fights that would happen. Security was everywhere and we all sat at the edge of our seats.” She told me about how it was so hard to connect with these students. “Let me tell you this: most high school students HATE Chemistry. Now imagine having their extra worries and risks and still trying to care about some science class.” She spoke about how she tried to make the class interesting but with all the restrictions of the school, it was very difficult for her to do so.
“The most common problem I see in every class I have ever taught is the inability to focus. Kids and teenagers get restless and they start problems here and there just for the sake of doing something.” She talked about how most students dislike working for long periods of time. “When we would have in class essays, maybe 30 minutes in and one student or another always begin to act up.” She mentioned how the effect towards the rest of the class would then be that they would be disrupted and then it would always cause a difficulty to get everyone back to silent and writing. I asked, “How would you regain control of the classroom and get everyone to settle down then?” To which she replied, “You know that I hate yelling. But if the class got to loud, I would first get their attention and then explain to them how every minute they waste is a minute they lose from completing their paper, which would result in more homework for them.” She does not like to give referrals to the office or principal. “I find them to waste everyone’s time. The child loses the lesson, I have to disrupt my lesson, and the principal has to stop her work to deal with them.”
I questioned her on the changes, if any, she has ever noticed with the children that exhibited behavioral problems. She explained to me how sometimes it is hard to focus and give attention to every student, especially in public schools where she is teaching. She told me that trying to get students interacted in something they love is one of the best ways to help alter their negative behaviors. “I have saw students become completely different and more enthusiastic when they joined a certain club or team.” She showed me a bookshelf packed with books that she always recommended students to borrow from. “It was my small way of trying to help students find something that they love. Maybe a certain book could awake their love for reading or perhaps a particular subject.” On the ways to deal with behavioral problems and preparing new teachers she told me about how it was important to get to know the student before drawing conclusions on them. “We don’t get to witness many aspects of their life, how do we know what they go through?” She further explained how building a connection with the student could create a way for you to being to assess their problem. “I really recommend that new teachers try to be sensitive and aware of all possible cases with children. The biggest issue I have seen among teachers I worked with was that they treated all children the same and they clumped them into one big category.”
I believe that she tries to have an open mind towards all of the problems a student could face. She seems as though the type of person who would try to get through to the student before just giving up and handing them off to punishment. Her thoughts make her an asset to this school because many times behavioral issues are overlooked and immediately categorized as just disruptive bad actions. To me it seems as though she views all her students as unique and allows them all their full opportunities.