miércoles, 7 de septiembre de 2011

Back to School: Ready...

Are you ready for a new school year? You´d better!. It looks like it´s gonna be a tough one. Why tough?

Tough, because the summer has really been a mild winter from the point of view of the weather and we are all still longing for sunny and warm days.

Tough, because many students do not usually look forward to going back to school but lately quite a few of those are just unwilling to do so while willing to let it show; some even compare it to a prison sentence.

Tough, because students are very savvy these days, especially in relation to ITC, which is a subject most middle-aged and senior teachers find hard to keep up to date with.

Tough, because the general attitude towards public education has not been all too encouraging lately; on the contrary, the spending cuts and the crisis have been and still are the perfect excuse to be cruel to education (not a very intelligent attitude, let me tell you. Let me quote our Minister of Education, Ángel Gabilondo "si invertir en educación es caro, no invertir es carísimo" investing in education is expensive but not doing so is even more expensive.)

Tough, because the number of students per classroom will not go down; in case you hadn´t thought about it, this means less quality time for students and lots of work for the teacher but, who cares? The teachers´reputation has been damaged so badly lately here in Spain that quite a few people think the teachers´work merely consists of being physically in the classrooms - they just ignore the time we all spend correcting homework and tests, preparing the classes (by the way, just to let you know, the classes are different every day and every year because the students are different so what you prepare for one group may or may not be useful for another), reading books to select the most suitable one for their level, talking to parents, talking to students, answering their emails, looking for entertaining but productive activities, meetings with colleagues, guard duty in the corridors ...

Some students, will be able to see the funny side of it, though - which usually means the teacher won´t...

Tough, because parents are more and more demanding. While in the good old times, they supported teachers and seemed to be proud and respectful of them, right now many of them are daring enough not only to tell  them how they should teach the subject but to ask for a good mark for their child - regardless of whether the student deserves it or not.

But I don´t want to look too pessimistic. Both teachers and students have to do our best to get the best atmosphere at school so maybe we should  take some of this advice into account:

Here´s the chance for teachers to put their skills at motivation into practice. Let´s just hope we know how to...Being one of the semifinalists in the Premio Internacional Educared 2011 will certainly encourage me.

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