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Friday, June 5, 2015

The Teachers Who Don't Comment

A couple of weeks ago (or was it just one?) a celebrity came under (online) fire when she said in a forum about education (in which she was a panelist) that caning was no longer relevant in schools. Let's talk about that for a bit, shall we?

When she said that can is no longer relevant in schools, it does imply that she believes that there was a time in the past when caning was relevant. It's just that little humans have now moved past that amd are ready to not be physically harmed for the sake of education. She may or may not believe that, but it is certainly what was implied with the way she put it.

But of course, I doubt that she was drawing from any empirical data when she said this. I, personally, have yet to come across a research paper that studied students' achievements based on the rate of being caned (maybe I should look into that). More probable is that she feels like it's no longer relevant. Parents that she's come across probably hardly lay a finger on their children, and they've turned out just fine, probably. Teachers in the Western world have abandoned the cane and they seem to be doing just fine as well. So it's a reasonable thing to believe that caning is no longer relevant in today's classrooms.

But then we have the Facebook commenters on the matter. The people that say things like "let's see how you fare in a classroom of 30 kids and no cane!" and "who's this uppity woman to say how teachers should and shouldn't do their job? The teachers know what they're doing! Leave them alone!" or maybe even "if I hadn't been caned (belted, chaired, hangered, etc.) when I was a kid, I wouldn't be the person that I am today". 

They have strong reasons to believe that the cane is the way to go. They can only see disaster coming from the banning of canes in schools. Kids will lose their sense of discipline, will become spoiled and will lack focus to excel in the classroom. They'll only play around and not take the teacher at all seriously and will grow up believing that they can get away with anything, since the worst that'll happen is probably a "time-out", whatever that means.

The biggest reason for them being as "successful" as they are at life now is because their teacher didn't spare them the cane. If it weren't the case, they argue, they'd probably be sniffing glue and asking strangers for money to buy more glue and be sleeping in some ditch somewhere. They believe that if they aren't caning their students, then chaos would reign in the classroom and their students wouldn't learn anything at all. It is what is called tough love. They don't do it out of spite. They do it out of the care in their hearts, to not see these kids ruin their own lives because they don't know what's good for themselves. They really do believe that, and who can blame them? That was how they were raised, and that is the only environment they were exposed to, so how could one expect life to be any different for anyone else?

But then, there are the teachers who, upon reading the news article of said celebrity, just shrug it off as a person saying whatever they want to say, and having every right to do that. The teachers who don't leave any comment because they know that their struggle isn't in the comment section. The teachers who don't try to seek validation in the form of likes on a Facebook status. The teachers who, when the bell rings, go right back at it in class and give it their best to do what they think is best for the students. The teachers who realise that they are only capable of making the tiniest of significant change in the lives of the students that they teach (if they're lucky), but it's that tiny significant change that bring them joy and fulfillment and strength to go through another day of helping others, inspiring others to be better than they were the day before and develop a love towards knowledge. The teachers who are more interested in having their names inscribed into their children's hearts than in the comment section.

Those are the teachers that deserve the most likes, and yet, so often are overlooked because they didn't bother posting a comment.

1 comment:

Nur Suharziani said...

Dear sir,
I totally agree with you. The real teachers are too busy educating hence they read and 'go'.