Teachers: The belief and motivation system

So right now I’m just waiting for the final few of my housemates to leave for a night out before I go to sleep. I’m taking a rain check on this one, mainly due to lack of funds and energy! So because of that I’m tucked up in bed while they’re in deep discussion.

They’re debating the smarts of people who go to private school and those who go to public school.

Half of the remaining few are from Australia which, they claim, boasts what sounds like a relatively high average of privately educated children. While the remaining few, who are British, were publically schooled- like myself. However they’re talking about the academic strengths of an individual going to either- naturally it would be assumed that privately educated kids are smarter while publically schooled children may not be so. Going along with this train of thought it’s easy to back up, the typical cultural capital a child who gets sent to private school (e.g. finance, social awareness) is much higher. This means that their parents will push upon them the importance of education, the after affects, and they will have more personal resources. Meanwhile a publically schooled individual is typically from a less well off family, which could mean less resources at home and less encouragement from their family network.

Personally I agree with this if you take it at first sight. The study I did for my dissertation supported that cultural capital is still very much one of the biggest factors in one’s education. However pushy parents can also dissuade ambition or cause rebellion. And sometimes a kid just isn’t that naturally academic, maybe they prefer sports or art.

Instead I feel it’s the teachers who have the most influence, negative or positive, as opposed to the school or the parents. Apart from their family, a child’s teacher is typically the imain regular adult they will see in their day to day lives.

Now I don’t mean throw a genius in to teach primary school maths, I highly doubt a bunch of 7/8 year olds would find Einstein amusing in the least. But while being at camp, and working in other settings, I’ve quickly come to realise there are born teachers. Individuals who walk into a classroom and bring inspiration and motivation as cliche as that sounds!

Of course the same teacher won’t work on an entire classroom of 30, or 100 or so kids in a year group. And that’s why there should be flexibility in the curriculum and delivery. This would allow for the teacher to adapt to the needs of the children for the best possible development of, hopefully, the majority.

Think back to your childhood- did you get inspired by a teacher? Are you in fact a teacher yourself?


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