Teaching is an art. In the Philippines, every teacher who gets their license from the government would proudly make that claim. After studying for a few years and passing a licensure exam, many would seek a teaching post in one of the public schools out of their love of children and desiring to somehow contribute to the building of the future through the education of the young. It is their noble calling.
Once in service, their eyes would be opened to the myriad of problems facing the Department , from lack of classrooms, books, and teaching equipment, to lack of teachers, caused by corruption but more on the implementation of unsound policies, where teachers are relegated to the task of just blindly following a guide given by the central office even if it doesn’t apply to the localities where the students and teachers are .That is aside from the fact that many of the listed lessons or competencies are not given much thought or consideration as to sequence and student readiness. A case for example is in one of the mathematics curriculum guides where a lesson on the determination of the vertex of a parabola comes before the students understand what a parabola is, what its graph looks like and how quadratic equations are manipulated or written in different forms,or solved. They also have these books they call learner’s material that are filled with entertaining graphics but lack proper presentation of mathematical ideas or principles.
If we want to keep teaching as an art , and make teachers truly responsible for their work, and at the same time make the government save more on education with better results, all we need to do is to look at the past and and understand how humans were being educated since we set foot upon the earth. Read How to Educate People (yourself included). In that system teachers must be a master of his craft , not on teaching methods because methods are meaningless without something to be transmitted from the teacher to student. We would all agree that a student would learn from a master craftsman doing his craft(or an expert doing his work), just by observing him, without the latter even uttering a single word. There should be no general curriculum from a central office and there should be no standardized testing so that teachers can teach according to the particular need and interests of each student so that by the transmission of expertise every ordinary human being is transformed into a masterpiece(an expert or master in a specific field), making teaching truly an art. Teachers should also be given the power to certify that a student is ready for college or university regardless of age because he has already trained and prepared him for such work and n this way teachers would become more responsible for the result of their work with the student because it is them personally certifying. There would also be no more need of plenty of classrooms because segregation by age and grade would be eliminated. Students would just congregate on the teacher whom they wish to learn a craft from, without compulsion or prodding. A teacher would only need a little room to consult with each individual student approaching him and he is free to do his own work and to study to keep up with the advances in his field so that he can transmit these to his students. Once satisfied with the student’s ability, the teacher can certify him as ready for a more advanced education or training like college or university, or he can give the student more training or education as needed. More on how this could be done in the public schools in the other posts. There are plenty of how to teach books, focusing on methods and just short of instructing teachers how to correctly open their mouths or how to stand, or fart, just to keep students’ attention but these books fail to realize that it is not the teachers who are causing problems, because if you randomly go to any school you will not find a teacher who is not dedicated and who has not the desire to help her students, but in reality the problems are caused by the bad policies of the Department which are more damaging than helpful to the teachers’ work.
If teachers are just given more freedom to do rheir jobs of molding a student in his field of expertise, education today would be much better. There would be no more need of standardized testing . Only the best would go into the teaching profession unlike today where most of the rejects of the other departments of the university or the weakest among siblings are advised to pursue teaching, for lack of another choice. If this happens, the hiring would also be easier because the Department knows that only the best students would pursue education and once hired there would be no more need to be watching every move the teacher makes because the fact alone that he wanted to pursue teaching means he wants to do the good thing and there would be less need for administrators and supervisors, who serves no purpose actually in education. They are only useful in stinking factories, not in learning environments. This would be a big savings for the government. There would also be no more bored students in our schools. See Homeschooling and Unschooling as Options.
As a teacher practicing the art, you should know that school grades are not determinant of learning, future success or even true individual ability simply because one can get good grades simply by giving the teacher the correct answer that she wants every time and most of the students who do this are those who cannot think out of the box, those who resort to rote memorization without understanding the lesson, and are only concerned about grades, not real learning, and may even be willing to cheat just to get the grades they want. Therefore, teachers should not focus too much on grades or the other statistics demanded by the Department as proof of learning, which are instead dangerous to students. Instead of studying to learn, it teaches students that studying are for tests only and schools go long way annually to prepare for this examination that they would do everything even just short of cheating with the consent of everyone, just to make the statistics look good. We should see why standardized testing and grades should already be scrapped from our schools.
Art is defined to be a human activity that involves the creation of something relevant or valuable from something ordinary. Could Leonardo have produced a masterpiece if a patron had given him a list and demanded that he do his work by following it? We would doubt it. To keep teaching an art therefore we should allow teachers more freedom to produce masterpieces(individuals who have found their calling and acquired expertise) from ordinary individuals. How will they do it? We can entrust it to them.That is why it is an art. We did not ask Leonardo how he did theMona Lisa,listed it down, and tell the others to do the same.
The US Army is a prime example of thorough planning before any operation is done. They found out however that many plans become useless or obsolete just a few minutes into the operation due to unexpected changes in the battlefield or moves by the enemy. Detailed planning was a waste of precious resources including time in the kind of work that they do. So they resorted to passing the Commander’s Intent, which is a brief statement of the purpose of the mission and the desired end state or description of what constitutes a successful mission, instead of a detailed plan so that the personnel concerned can make all the necessary adjustments and make decisions responsive and applicable to the variations in the battlefield conditions, yet still accomplishing the mission or the desired end. The same can be applied to education. It has no other intent but to help the child develop into his fullest potential .If it can be done without coercion, without segregation by age, or without being forced to sit in class, so be it. It would be better for everybody. Micromanaging stifles the work of the teacher.
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