The Heart of a Teacher
The Heart of a Teacher
As I leaned on my headboard, I found myself heading towards the enjoyment of reading this article about how the real teacher teaches with his/her heart in the classroom. And so I started reflecting on what kind of a teacher I am. Teaching at first has not come in my wildest dream but since the family whom I came from cannot afford to send me to exclusive schools or well-known universities where I can pursue my career (fine arts – which I wish to pursue), there’s no way out but to take up the course of education.
I fear the fact of entering this path because in the first place, it’s not my first choice and it’s none of my choices. I think I had only the nerve to enroll since my mom is also a teacher. It was funny to recall when my professor in the graduate school, Dr. Irapta, asked who among us had experienced role playing as a teacher at home during our childhood, pretending that it was a real classroom scenario. I wasn’t sure how would I answer that question since the real thing is that I hadn’t.
But years went on and I started and learned to love what teaching has to offer me. And I think that I already possess what this article is trying to imply, the heart of a teacher. With this, I do agree with the statement that quotes “We became teachers for reasons of the heart, animated by a passion for some subject and for helping people to learn. ” It is very evident on us who consider teaching as a vocation wherein we put our heart not only to the occupation itself but to the student-learners and the subject as well.
Sometimes we’re carried by the fact that we create harmonious relationship with this community of teachers, students and subject. We’re driven by some objectives, not only for the salary but our mission and passion to help the innocent ones to get them out of their shells and discover the reality of unbelievable ideas and concepts in this world. But, we cannot deny the fact that many of us lose heart as the years of teaching go by for so many reasons. The question becomes: How can we develop and sustain, in ourselves and each other, the heart for good teaching?
Good teaching requires courage – the courage to explore one’s ignorance as well as insight, to yield some control in order to empower the group, to evoke other people’s lives as well as reveal one’s own. This means overcoming fears that block good teaching and learning. When our fears as teachers mingle and multiply with the fears inside our students, teaching and learning become mechanical, manipulative, and lifeless. Some tend to be distracted with the external forces around them; some were disillusioned with the factors and techniques for reclaiming their hearts and for keeping each heart open.
When we lose our heart, we need an understanding of our condition that will liberate us from this condition. We need to keep our hearts open to students so that we can make teacher and students and subjects be interwoven into the fabric of community that learning and living require. We, teachers must try to connect ourselves, as well as our subjects to students so that we can create good rapport and learning environment. There must be an inner dialogue of reflection.
“Seldom, I ask the “who” question–who is the self that teaches? How does the quality of my selfhood form–or deform–the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, and my world? How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes? ” In relation to this, we need to recover the heart to teach by reclaiming our relationship with the teacher within. Listening to the voice within is somewhat easy to do and in fact, helped me to simply reflect on what I have done in a day’s work.
The same thing as putting my heart while reading this article and finding solitude and silence just to cope up with the question in me, “How can I develop the capacity to stand my ground in the midst of the complex forces of both the classroom and my own life? ” We must reclaim our relationship with the teacher within. A teacher who invites me to honor my true self-not my ego or expectations or image or role, but the self I am. The voice of the inward teacher reminds me of my potentials and limits as I negotiate the force field of my life.
What we teach will never “take” unless it connects with the inward, living core of our students’ lives, with our students’ inward teachers. We can only speak to the teacher within our students when we are speaking with the teacher within ourselves. How does one attend to the voice of the teacher within? Some particular methods are solitude and silence; meditative reading and walking in the woods, keeping a journal, finding a friend who will simply listen. I merely propose that we need to learn as many ways as we can of “talking to ourselves.
” However, conversation with my peers feels like being at ease, trusted and able to trust and above all, it helps me cultivate a sense of identity and integrity that allows me to feel at home wherever I am. I experienced sometime in my own teaching when I lose touch with my inner teacher and my own authority. During those times, I tried to regain it by wielding the threat of grades but when the voice within authorized me to teach, authority comes as I reclaim my identity and integrity, as I remember my selfhood and my sense of vocation.
When the teachers struggle to survive from losing their heart, I guess it would also be practical to have some fun and techniques that ordinary teachers can use in everyday class. The same thing with my experience, I use different techniques, much practical techniques, such as motivating the students and getting their attention to focus on the subject, which will result to staying alive of the students inside the classroom. It is also a daily scenario in our faculty room where they argue about what to do with the students.
Some questions their own limits and potentials when it comes to dealing with the relation between the subject and students’ lives. I won’t forget when my co-teacher told me how he was envious about my strategies and techniques on classroom management and on my way of teaching; how do I make my class in order and teach with my heart while during his class with the same set of students, he fails to control the discipline and fails to earn full respect of the whole class which must be evident on their way of interaction.
While listening to his clamors, I was thinking of the best techniques I could offer him, but, to my surprise, it came to the point that he was planning to quit teaching. I don’t know why he had that thought of giving up until I read this article. I realized that he has lost his heart and he must be able to understand his condition so that he can avoid himself from truly losing it and recover from it instead. This teacher must talk with the teacher within him and find out how to overcome this condition.
As I go on reading the article, I found the statement that says, “The institutions in which they work are the heart’s worst enemy,” which is indeed correct. Some leaders operate with a deep, unexamined insecurity about their own identity. These leaders create institutional settings which deprive others of their identity as a way of dealing with the unexamined fears in the leaders themselves. Institutions continually try to diminish the human heart to consolidate their own power, then, the individual self of a teacher is left with a discouraging choice.
In the end, the teacher will be distant from the institution or will maintain external vigilance against institutional invasion. Teachers have leadership capabilities waiting to be unlocked and engaged for the good of the schools. But if the teachers in some schools or institutions will not be given chance to grow not only professionally but also inwardly, there’s a tendency that the teacher might withdraw from teaching. The question is, “how can the institution educate students if they fail to support the teachers’ inner life?
” We must create enough spaces and trusting relationships within the teachers’ workplace. With this, we may be given opportunities to grow inwardly as teachers and we can be able to tell our own struggles and joys as teachers so that healing can happen within us – not only for our sake but our teaching and students as well. With this, we can bring back our hearts to teaching and reclaim our identity and integrity in teaching.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 24 October 2016
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