People often wonder whether teachers get paid enough. Is teaching a good and flexible career choice or is it a thankless job, babysitting kids who hate being cooped up. Many teachers complain that they don’t get enough benefits (Chicago Teachers strike in USA certainly brought that question to mind).
The need of the hour is to make education not only more interactive but more flexible where both the child’s and the teacher’s needs are adequately met; otherwise, it would breed resentment, in whoever feels sidelined. Not only a teacher who feels taken advantage of, can willfully damage a child’s ability to learn; a frustrated teacher may not even realize that he/she is doing it unconsciously. Tenure, added benefits and extra incentive for teachers to make knowledge more fun/ interesting may go a long way in fixing the problem.
There, however may exist another better alternative? What if you have to teach only a few hours a day? I have tried it for few sessions, where I was paid by the hour and teaching a small group of children (Keep in mind that this was a very small group of children; 3-5 at a time). The kids were more attentive and less prone to mischief. They scored higher on exams, when they were allowed to eat and drink, freely during the class and they asked more questions (which I always encouraged). The results were astonishing to the rest of the teachers who were more prone to complaining about misbehaving students (the students reported that their classroom were bland and their lesson plans uninteresting).
I believe (after years of observations) that different kids learn differently. Some have photographic memory(they recall pictures easily and faster than anybody); hence they are better taught with visual media. Some learn by making mistakes and a teacher correcting them helps them realize where the improvements needs to be made (those who were working with tools). Some students learn by touch, taste and smell (young kids prefer this) and some learn from their friends (copying their behavior and gauging other people’s reactions). There are also some, who learn by arguments (aggressive debates and confrontation where kids press their boundaries). Then again these are my personal observations.
What I mean to imply, is that rote memorization as is many teachers won’t to do, is rather a odorless, tasteless way to teach kids of many different types, same things. Is it a wonder that so many of them are uninterested in class. For those who sing the praises of homeschooling, I prefer kids to be taught by masters in an easy environment (Home/ School). I can just get together a small group in the neighborhood and hire good teachers on an hourly basis (e.g. College undergraduates make excellent tutors). Open to interpretation.