Teachers’ Role in the Classroom

June 2019

After reviewing the reports, we received from the counselors who managed the counseling sessions at the different schools, it is evident that the students need teachers and parents who are willing to go an extra mile to give them attention and to seek out those who need special help. All teachers have a job description which details their scope of work. It will, therefore, take a teacher who has a special love for the children he/she teaches to go the extra mile to help where need is detected. We appreciate all the club patrons at the Choice Club meetings who take time to sit with us in the class sessions and mostly get home late on the club days. They organize the students and make sure that they are in class on time, so that we can begin the club activities on time. They realize and see the need for the mentorship and guidance that the girls receive. If they did not see the need in what we offer, they would leave us to work on our own which would make our work very difficult.

A good teacher should be patient, kind, tolerant and open minded. It is important that he/she be enthusiastic about teaching and have a sense of humor. Other significant traits of a good teacher include their being imaginative and creative, humble, self-disciplined, a good role model as well as a friend. A good teacher needs to understand the different environments the kids are coming from and not compare any child with another. Each student has specific unique needs and strengths; they all need to be handled individually. When a teacher makes herself available to all students, he/she is able to realize which students need extra assistance. A good teacher can help a student with their self-esteem by being honest in his/her relationship with the student, show the student the value of studying, and encourage each to be the best they can be. A caring and sharing nature will help the teachers know their students better. Since the students spend more time at school than at home, a teacher plays the role of a loving parent, fair, respectful, flexible and able to handle challenges without taking issues personally. He/she needs to be a careful listener and observer. A student with a question should be answered whether the question is related to the subject being taught or not.

Some students find it hard to open up to their parents because they are afraid of being judged, so teachers become their confidants. A good relationship between the student and the teacher is key. In the African culture, there is no such thing as depression and/or mental illness; parents expect you to be able to adjust to any situation and find a solution without causing much drama. But the reality is that mental illness is ‘very real’ which is why we have seen a surge in suicide amongst teens. Parents are too busy making a living to have time to talk to their children, and, as a result, the teachers are left to fill in the gap.

The counseling sessions we participated in with the different schools were of immense help. The schools really appreciated the counselors coming to the schools, and so did the students. We will continue to walk with them and offer help where possible.

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