quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2012

Teachers in 1952 and in 2012... are they really different from each other?

     Here is a short film from 1952 about being a teacher. Before you continue to read, I'd like to ask you to watch it first. Besides being very funny (Goofy is the best), it's only about 6 minutes...6 minutes of great reflections!

     After watching the movie, there is a question that crosses our mind, it's inevitable: What is the difference of the teachers in 1952 and the teachers today? Why this cartoon was made? Despite being funny, can we interpret the video as a critique to what was happening at the time? But what was happening in the 50's?
     Children were going to school, drivers respected the children crossing the street, the students were full of energy, the teacher prepared himself to enter in his classroom (with an armature), everybody saluted the teacher singing "Good morning to you , good morning to you, good dear teacher, good morning to you!", the teacher confiscated objects which shouldn't be used in the classroom (it includes a gun), he made the call in the classroom, after that he asked for the homework (children gave him apples), he disciplined a student (George, the terrible), while the teacher was explaining the Geography lesson, in context (he was using the paper of the day), his students were doing everything thinkable, anything but paying attention to the teacher. Students went to the break-time (the patio got completely dirty) and returned from it very reluctant. The class restarted and as the student couldn't answer a very simple spelling question (how to spell the word CAT), he cheated from his classmate and even cheating he couldn't give the right answer because, as the students who don't study ever, he wass not competent even to cheat correctly! The students were avid to go away but the teacher stayed after the period, to organize the classroom before he left. At the end of the day, a father went to school to question the teacher's position, but this father didn't even listen to the teacher arguments because in his opinion the teacher was definitely wrong. So, why, on earth, would he waste his time with a chat? And after all that, the teacher was correcting the student's tests.
     Of course lots of things have changed, such as the school structure and the technology influence, but we can observe that there are also lots of things that still remain the same. If we don't consider the good-morning-teacher song, could we really say that the 50's teachers are different from us? We are always confiscating cell phones in the classroom, we strive to prepare a classes and lessons with a contextualized approach, when it's possible, we give our best to educate (or discipline) the students and many of us work a lot of hours after our class, in the school events. Related to parents, I think I don't need to write a word. It is obvious that we have great teacher who receive very good salary, work in a supportive school and have an amazing relationship with his/her students. But unfortunately we know that we can't generalize, the great majority faces a very different situation. If being a teacher has become such a hard job, how come we still have people insisting in doing it? That's one of the great mysteries of the universe. Inner calling, (vocation), love, promise, lack of choice and others. Each one has his/her own reason, but there is no doubt... children from the 50's are very different from our kids nowadays and if we do want to keep the learning process effective, things must be changed, urgently! But the changes must be done for better, always!  As Nelson Mandela said once: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." So, taking into consideration the conflicts around the globe and how people are growing apart lately, education is more than necessary...it has become a very valuable commodity.

Post Question: Are you satisfied with your classes in our school? If you could change something about it, what would you like to change? After watching the video and reading the post, write about the similar and the different points between your classroom nowadays and Goofy's classroom.
Tip: How are you going to celebrate Teacher's Day this year? Would you like to have some tips? Take a look at these suggestions - the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th are just great! Get inspired!

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