What Teachers and Students Expect From One Another

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Teachers do talk about their students. They share among themselves their best and worst experiences in the classroom and compare their students’ performance and behavior. This they do either in meetings or just informally during lunch and coffee breaks.

Students do the same – they also talk about their teachers. When they are not within hearing distance of the educators, they discuss about them. Students tell each other (and their parents) how good or bad their teachers are – how much they like or abhor them.

It’s not only the teachers who could express satisfaction over good performance of students or show discontent for the students’  lack of effort in their studies. The students could do the same. They would show approval for the good effort put up by their teachers and convey disdain when they feel they are being shortchanged.

Both teachers and the students expect each other to perform well when they come to class. They both demand excellence. The teachers assume that their students have studied their lessons and have done their assignments. On the other hand, the students believe that the ones  leading the learning process, their teachers,  are prepared whenever they stand in front of them – that they have a lesson plan and they know how to execute it.

The most foolish assumption that teachers could make is to think that their students wouldn’t notice if they come to class unprepared. Students know if a teacher is not doing his or her job properly. It’s not only the teachers who could distinguish excellence from mediocrity.

Teachers require students to participate in discussions and other class activities. For that, they need to do their part. The teachers should never forget that there is a prerequisite to requiring the students to participate – motivation. Students expect their teachers to make them interested in the subject and to ask questions that make them think. They expect  them to explain clearly and give sufficient examples for them to be ready to participate.

Such are among the pedagogical skills that teachers are expected to manifest if they hope to succeed in making students participate actively in their classes.

Students expect their teachers to be competent. The worst mistake educational managers could do is to not strictly screen applicants or blindly disregard hiring procedures and standards for whatever reasons and end up entrusting to somebody mediocre – to somebody not trained to be a teacher –  the education of students. Knowledge coupled with the required pedagogical skills are what constitute competence among teachers.

Interestingly, competence and their correlates are not the ones that came out on top of the list of what students perceive as qualities of effective teachers. In studies conducted to determine what students consider as the best characteristics of quality teachers, those that relate to personality, not pedagogical skills, were the ones that consistently top the list.

In one of the said studies, among what emerged as the top five qualities of effective teacher as perceived by students, “the ability to develop relationships with their students” received the highest score.1 Of the four remaining, only “engaging students in learning” (ranked 5th) is related to pedagogy. “The ability to develop relationships with their students,” “patient, caring, and kind personality,” and  “knowledge of learners” were ranked, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively.

Students and teachers differ in their perception of the characteristics of effective teachers. In a study that explored student and teacher beliefs on good teaching,2 teachers rated constructs related to their abilities as teacher much higher than those related to their personality.  For the students, it’s the opposite. They gave preference to constructs related to the personality of teachers. Students who participated in the study rated “caring,” “content knowledge,” “safe environment,” “dependable,” “prepared” and a “teacher-student relationship” as most important when describing what makes a good teacher.

Again, emerging on top of the list, as viewed on the perspective of students, is a quality related to the personality of the teacher – “caring.” Note that “content knowledge” and “prepared” are related to pedagogy, the rest to the attitude and behavior of the teachers.

A very interesting topic for research is  who can best answer the question “What  are the qualities of an effective teacher, the students or the teachers?”.

Who is the better judge of what constitutes quality teaching –  the students or the teachers themselves?

Teachers also expect respect from the students. That is something not difficult to elicit from young people like the students who are (supposedly) taught by their parents to respect people in authority. But even if parents were remiss of their duties to inculcate among their children that value, the teachers are always in a position to be accorded respect. The teachers, however, have to understand that respect is a two-way street. Students also expect to be respected. Their being the persons in authority don’t give them the right to embarrass the students either directly or indirectly.

In a study on students’ perceptions of effective teaching in higher education,3 “respectful” and other correlated descriptors were mentioned by students in a number of times significantly more than any of the other characteristics, including “knowledgeable” (which got the second highest mark). Student-respondents said that they appreciate teachers who are compassionate and understanding of the unique and challenging situations that students sometimes experience.

One of the proven ways of ensuring successful learning is for the teacher to ensure that a good rapport between them and their students exist. And the best way to do it is by not only telling the students what they expect from them but by knowing also what the students expect from the teachers.

References: 

  1. https://www.pearsoned.com/top-five-qualities-effective-teachers
  2. http://www.smcm.edu/mat/wp-content/uploads/sites/73/2015/06/Bullock-2015.pdf
  3. http://www.mun.ca/educ/faculty/mwatch/laura_treslan_SPETHE_Paper.pdf

Tunay Na Kaibigan

kaibiganSimple ang tanong. Kaylan masasabi na ang taong tinatawag kang kapatid, kapuso, kapamilya o kabarkada ay tunay mo ngang kaibigan at hindi nagpapanggap lamang? Nakakatiyak ka ba na ang fren o BFF mo, na minsan ay tinatawag mong sister o brother, kahit hindi kayo magkadugo, ay tunay mong kasangga at pinagmamalasakitan ka?

Tunay ngang napakasarap na magkaroon ng kaibigan. Iyong taong kasama mong tumatawa kapag ikaw ay masaya at kasama mong nagdiriwang kapag ika’y nagtatagumpay. Subalit hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay masaya ka, nakakamit mo ang iyong mga pangarap, at ang takbo ng buhay mo ay sumasangayon sa iyong kagustuhan. May mga panahong igugupo ka ng kalungkutan at kabiguan. Ito ang pagkakataong kaylangan mo ng balikat na iiyakan – ng taong kadamay.

Ang kaibigan bang kasama mo kapag masaya ka at masagana ay nandoon rin kapag gumagapang ka sa balag ng pighati at kabiguan? Kung siya ay nandoon kasama mong sumasagwan habang ang bangka mo ay tumatawid sa lawa ng kalungkutan at paghihirap ay mapalad ka sa dahilang meron kang tunay na kaibigan.

Hindi kasi lahat ng taong akala mo ay kaibigan ay tunay na nagmamalasakit sa iyo at handa kang damayan sa abot ng kanilang makakaya. May mga tao na gusto ka lamang kasama sa lakaran, inuman, kainan o kantahan. Wika nga sa English, “friends in good times,” lalo na nga kung ikaw ang taya.

Marahil narinig mo na rin ang idyom sa wikang English na “fair-weather friends.” Sila ang mga taong ituturing kang kaybigan kung may mapapala sila.

May mga tao kasing ang pananaw sa pakikipagkaibigan ay nakabase sa tanong na ,“Ano ba ang pakinabang ko sa iyo?” Kung merong mapapala mula sa iyo ay babarkadahin ka upang sa panahon na may kaylangan sila ay tatawagin o pupuntahan ka.

May ganyan bang tao na kaybigan ang tawag sa iyo? Mag-ingat ka dahil siya ay manggagamit – isang “user.” Maaala-ala ka lang ng ganyang uri ng kaibigan sa pagkakataon na may hihingin siyang pabor o kaya nalulungkot siya kaya kaylangan ng kausap. Kabilang ka sa listahan ng mga tinatawag niyang kaibigan dahil may mapapala sa iyo. Paminsan-minsan na may gagawin siyang pabor para sa iyo para hindi siya halatain. Pero kung lilimiin mo nang mas malalim ay makikita mo na hindi “symbiotic” ang uri ng relasyon ninyo. Makikita mong para siyang “parasite” na gusto laging kumabig. Hindi ka naman tanga para hindi mo mapansin na ang taong iyan ay  makasarili at nuknukan ng gulang.

Hindi sa naghihintay ka ng kapalit sa mga bagay na ginagawa mo sa iyong kaibigan. Hindi rin materyal na bagay ang pinaguusapan dito. Ang pagtulong natin sa mga kaybigan sa ano mang paraan ay pagpapakita natin ng kagandahang loob. At lahat ng tao, ano man ang estado sa buhay, may pinagaralan man o wala, mahirap man o mayaman, ay alam na dapat sinusuklian ang kagandahang loob kahit sa pinakasimpleng paraan. Subalit kung ang taong tinatawag kang kaibigan ay hindi alam iyan dapat eh magisip-isip ka.

Hindi lamang mga kaibigang may kagulangan ang pag-iingatan mo. Baka rin may mga taong traydor na ang tawag din sa iyo ay kaibigan. Sila ang mga taong kapag nakatalikod ka lahat ng baho mo ay isinisiwalat sa iba. Kaya’t kilatisin mo ng mabuti kung ang pinagsasabihan mo ng iyong mga problema at mga hinaing sa buhay ay mapagkakatiwalaan o hindi.

Mahirap magkaroon ng kaibigang makati ang dila na ang kaligayahan ay siraan ang mga tinatawag niyang kaibigan sa iba niyang mga kakilala. Kaya’t mag-ingat ka. Hindi nangangahulugan na kapag ang kaibigan mo may pinag-aralan na siya ay matinong tao. Hindi ibig sabihin na kung ang tumatawag sa iyo ng kaibigan ay pala-simba, nagnonobena at nagrorasaryo na siya ay isang santo o santa.  Ang siste nga ay kung habang nasa simbahan mismo kayo ay kung ano-ano ang kanyang pinupuna at sinasabi sa mga taong hindi naman ninyo kakilala eh magisip-isip ka na.

Ano pa ba ang ibang uri ng kaibigan ang dapat iwasan?

May mga kaibigan ka ba na sa tuwing kausap mo ay puro tsismis at kasiraan ng ibang tao ang laging bukang-bibig? Tandaan mo ito – kapag wala ka at kausap niya ay ibang tao, isa ka sa mga pinaguusapan nila. Pinagpipyestahan nila ang mga problema at sikreto mo. Tiyak iyan.

May kabarkada ka ba na kapag kausap mo ay puro pamimintas at paghuhusga ang ginagawa sa iyo? Iwasan mo na siya. Okay lang na sabihan ka sa mga maling ginagawa mo pero alam mo kung ano ang pagkakaiba ng pagpapayo upang itama mo ang isang pagkakamali  at pagsasabi ng pagkakamali mo para pintasan at husgahan ka.

At kung may kaibigan ka na minemenos ka’t minamaliit, aba, ora mismo, lumayo ka. Ang tunay na kaybigan ay dapat pinapalakas ang ating loob at naniniwala na may kakayanan tayo. Gusto nilang tayo ay magtagumpay at makamit natin ang ating mga pangarap sa buhay.

Meron kasing mga grupo ng magkakaibigan na kapag sama-sama sila ay kaylangang merong isa sa kanila na pagtsismisan, merong hahamak-hamakin at merong pagtatawanan. Sa madaling sabi, kaylangan nila ng “punching bag” – ng kaybigang pagtitripan. Huwag kang pumayag na ikaw iyon.  Umiwas ka sa ganyang uri ng grupo. Mero’t merong kang mahahanap na mga kaybigan na may paggalang at tunay na pagmamalasakit sa bawat isa – mga kabarkadang alam ang pagkakaiba ng biro sa lait.

Hindi tayo perpekto. Walang taong perpekto. Kaya’t kaylangan natin, bukod sa pamilya, ng mga kaibigan na tutulong upang maiangat natin ang ating sarili at mapagbuti ang ating pagkatao. Iyon bang susuporta sa pakikipagtunggali natin sa mga hamon ng buhay. Hindi iyong lalo pang magpapabigat sa ating mga dalahin. Kaylangan natin ng mga kaibigang bukal sa loob ang pagtulong at hindi pansariling interes lang ang iniisip,  kaybigan marunong magbalik ng kagandahang loob, sa ano mang paraan, hindi mo man ito hinihingi.

Kaylangang natin ng mga kaibigan na nakatampuhan mo man, may nasabi man kayong hindi maganda sa isa’t-isa, sa paglipas ng panahon, kapag muli kayong nagkita, nagkapaliwanagan ay muli ninyong yayakapin ang isa’t-isa. Ganyan ang tunay na kaybigan. Minsan nga, matindi man ang tampuhan ninyo, kapag nagkita kayong muli at nagyakapan ay ni hindi na kaylangan ng paliwanagan.

Isa pang palatandaan ng tunay na pagkakaibigan ay ang pagiging bukal sa puso ng pagtulong sa bawat isa. Hindi na kaylangang hingin, hindi na kaylangang sabihin. Ano mang bagay na makakatulong ay kusang loob na ibinibigay o ginagawa natin para sa ating mga kaybigan.

Ang tunay na kaibigan ay iyong naaalala ka kahit walang kaylangan, iyong tipong bigla kang yayayaing mag-kape dahil nami-miss ka.

Huling tanong, “Anong uri ka ng kaibigan, tunay o nagpapanggap?”

 

On Perspective

HARDPEN'S PORTFOLIO

writeawriting-com

I do have a friend who would usually be mistakenly identified as me. There were many instances that  people in the university where both of us are teaching called me by his name and him by mine. Why? None of us is a dead ringer for the other but very likely that our  similar built, height and rounded face would make people commit that mistake.

Seemingly bemused, he asked me one time, “Why would they think I am you? Do I look as old as you are?” I paused for a while, smiled then told him jokingly, “No, I think I just look as young and handsome as you are.”

As my friend laughed at my response, I thought that the contrasting way we looked at the issue has opened an opportunity for me to revisit the topic “perspective.”

That (perspective) is one of the most amazing things about us…

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