PIMA COLLEGE’S BEST CHOICEby Lyn Olsen on Oct. 28, 2012, under Education
The best choices I made in life were the choices I would never have made, and teaching was definitely one of them.
I swore I would never teach, but over 15 years ago I was desperate for a decent job, so I took a job teaching at Pima College, and ever since it has been one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, despite all of the negatives I have encountered there, that is the power of teaching. Since then, my respect for teaching has grown enormously because I have seen up close and personal that few actions can equal the power of education to change lives, even my own, that is, if it is teaching…but what we have today is resembling teaching less and less.
Teaching has become less of teaching due in part to what is a most disturbing and all too common mindset wherein a person believes they are superior while others are “inferiors”. While this mindset has caused world wars and enslaved people, it is also destroying our schools today.
When educators believe they are superior, they act as elitists who are thus omnipotent and all-knowing – that is, they are always right and so they know what is best for everyone else.
“This professor does not accept responsibility for misinformation…Professor actually sent out email saying ‘don’t tell me your personal problems.”
When educators believe they are superior, they see their students (and everyone else) as imperfect and, therefore, “inferiors,” who they can then blame for the wrongs they, the educators, do, so it makes their wrongs right, which I have witnessed repeatedly in discussions and meetings with educators.
“She is by far the worst instructor I have ever come across, extremely rude.”
When educators believe they are superior and their students “inferiors”, the essence of teaching is lost and replaced with intolerance and discrimination by the educators, subsequently students lose hope and drop out because they have been thoroughly convinced by these educators that they can never succeed.
“You can’t offer a different/opposing idea or opinion to her if you want to pass the class…at the start all the seats were full, at the end only six students remained.”
When educators believe they are superior and their students “inferiors,” their interaction with their students becomes minimal and nonproductive tainted by their lack of empathy for their students, particularly in online courses.
“It was an online class. I had to swim by my own. Her responses to questions were “read the book”. The online platform was very bad, with plenty of bugs, and no help from the teacher, this class was a nightmare…This teacher is the worst teacher that I have ever met. No instruction, no response.”
When educators believe they are superior because they know it all, they do not seek out, but rather reject, the expertise of the experts, so their incompetency is magnified by their refusal to recognize what they are doing wrong, thus thwarting any possibility to correct what is wrong.
“I expected at least some instruction…NOTHING! Teacher was not interested in teaching or the students learning anything. Never talked to him even once.”
The truth is simple, but critical – The responsibility is ours, the educators, and thus the fault is ours too, for this is our job, to teach imperfect students so they can become better. To accomplish this, we educators must have, and cannot lose, the heart for teaching, for our students. So, if an educator doesn’t like students, doesn’t like teaching, or doesn’t like the salary, then they should leave our schools, so respectability can be restored to the art of teaching and room can be made in our schools for the many good teachers whose hearts have been broken by the retention and persistence of incompetent educators in our schools, who have broken the hearts and wills of our students.
Let us teachers become, “One of the best teachers I ever had. Most knowledgeable with a great sense of humor. Willing to go out of his way to help with ALL issues. Now that I took this class – I will miss him terribly!”
(quotes courtesy of ratemyprofessors.com)