Teachers who dislike the profession should quit – retired educator
Teachers who do not have a genuine love for educating young minds should be asked to leave the profession.
Retired educator, Andrea Bowman, who was the keynote speaker at the CW Prescod Memorial Lecture, shared her belief on Monday with those in attendance at Frenches House.
The lecture was one of the activities of Teachers’ Solidarity week, which is being held under the theme “The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher”.
In her address, Bowman unpacked the theme, noting that it was most likely coined in the context of academic education and teacher advocacy, given that education can also take place outside of the classroom.
She also noted that in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the right to education is equally important as a child’s right to food, clothing, shelter and security.
“We know of experienced teachers who have many degrees in their subject areas as well as being professionally trained, yet their resentment for their students allows them to consistently treat their charges to comments like ‘I don’t care if you submit this assignment. I am getting paid at the end of the month’,” Bowman, who is a past headmistress of the St Vincent Girls’ High School, said.
“Yet these persons turn up for work every day. Many are punctual while they allow their ritual to eat away at them, making them ill in their dogged quest to earn a living.”
The former headmistress said that children’s instincts are sharp and that emotions tend to power intellect. She added that individuals learn best when they enjoy what they are doing.
And she believes that teachers who are professionally trained, but dislike their profession are in no position to provide students with a healthy access to education.
“The mere fact that such teachers have gone through the process of being trained means that they know the requisite ethics and emotional stances that they need
to adopt but they simply cannot help themselves,” Bowman said. “What compounds the discomfort of this situation for us all is that these teachers are not faceless. They are our colleagues who we know and like. We may even empathize with their very real struggle but our duty to the profession asks that we show them the door.”
As such, the keynote speaker suggested an adjustment to the solidarity week’s theme to read “The right to education means the right to an authentic, qualified teacher”.
She explained that the insertion of the word “authentic” serves to be inclusive of the qualities needed by qualified teachers that are necessary for the transmission of education.
Three qualities highlighted by Bowman were honesty, empathy and confidentiality.
The CW Prescod Memorial Lecture was the second event held in commemoration of Teachers’ Solidarity Week.
A hall of fame for past presidents of the union will be unveiled today, the annual general meeting will be held tomorrow and on Thursday, teachers at various schools will take part in a potluck lunch.
The week will culminate on Friday with a march on rally beginning at 2 p.m. from the Peace Memorial Hall.