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KIyer Post time: 2013-10-28 14:36
you looked for something that was not there... why ever would you look for 'hidden' humour in my p ...
I looked for humour in your comment as, initially, I couldn't believe that you were serious. However, after reading your further comments, I now realise that you meant every word. I must, respectfully, disagree with your assertions.
You state that you grew up with the ethos that "it is the student who has to have the motivation and drive to learn, that a good student can learn even from a bad teacher, but the best teacher cannot teach a bad student." I would suggest that the mists of time have somewhat clouded your memories and that things were not quite as rosy as your glasses would have you believe.
I would ask you, where does such a hunger for knowledge spring from? We all know that, when we first start going to school, it is for the purpose of learning but I don't believe that any child has ever, of its own initiative, leapt out of bed and pleaded with its parents to begin learning calculus or study the historical impacts of ancient Greece, for example. There has to be a spark, there must be an incident that causes a student to become interested in any one subject in particular and it is this, I would assert, that a good teacher can and must create and nurture.
A good teacher will know how to light those sparks in students’ minds that create a hunger to know more, irrespective of subject, in ways that a bad teacher never can. Every student is different and each may require treatment which is unique to them in a class. Some students may need to be given orders while others respond better to soft and friendly words of encouragement. A student might need difficult challenges to bloom while others will blossom from cajoling or gentle persuasion. A student may have a difficult home life and need their confidence boosting while others can be more exuberant and need toning down. These are but a few examples and it is the teacher’s job to find ways to encourage every student to learn and achieve their full potential.
Many Chinese don’t want to learn English. They are Chinese and see no reason for it. They believe that they will always live in China so why should they bother to study this foreign language? They are not bad students, merely unwilling and unknowing, yet a good teacher will find a way to create a desire to learn this alien tongue. A bad teacher will consider such students as disruptive and not worth bothering with. Every student has potential unbeknownst to themselves, a good teacher will help them to realise and develop this. A bad teacher won’t care.
In my school there was a science teacher who, for two years, read aloud from a book on physics. We learnt almost nothing in those two years. On the other hand, we also had a teacher who, through his enthusiasm and obvious love of the subject, managed to create a fascination for Shakespeare with the entire class.
I say again, there are no bad students, only bad teachers. How many potential geniuses has the world lost because of bad teachers?