Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Teaching the Teachers

An author came to see me this morning with a manuscript for a book he wants printed, to be distributed to teachers in schools. It is about identifying the best of all students. In his opinion, many students fall through the cracks due to a prejudicial misunderstanding of the student, which is then perpetuated throughout school, turning an otherwise extremely capable person into one who is forgotten and consigned as someone not worthy of needing any extra attention.

It is just those students who are too advanced for the class. They are held back because their ideas are NOT in keeping with those of the Teacher, which may be of higher quality, and often put the teacher to shame, being too challenging.

The current teacher training process does not arm potential teachers to the existence of such students, and for teachers to be alert to identify such who are NOT THE NORM in the class, and instead of being held in high esteem and encouraged to develop their thoughts, are actually discouraged, punished, and worse failed, due to a teacher’s prejudice. Contrast this with foreign lands.

The manuscript is in Sinhala, with the author a teacher in a Primary School, who read out a page from his book, which were words from a student telling the teacher  in verse, how he felt when he was belittled by the teacher in front of the class, in a way that would educate the reader, a teacher to how the student may think if he was treated in that way, and to be more sensitive to people’s feelings. To be psychologically minded is an essential part of a good teacher, something that even teacher training schools fail to alert, and educate potential teachers on.

I believe that this is one of the main reasons, why the brightest and cleverest minds on Earth who begin pre-school in Sri Lanka, end their schooling at age 18 in Grade 13 as complete zombies without any ability to think on their feet, merely due to all their enthusiasm and creativity being suppressed, and removed from them during their schooling years, by inexperienced teachers and teaching methods.

That is why I have in previous blog entries, even suggested that going to school in Sri Lanka is actually BAD for many people, as it does not open their horizons, but actually closes those that are open! 

Upon talking to this teacher, it was apparent to me that he should be training teachers in a Teacher Training School, instead of being a teacher in a local primary school. He will be extremely useful to potential teachers, in homing their teaching skills and in identifying gifted children, something we are JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH in the state sector, at a COST! 

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