Tuesday, February 14, 2017
VISITING STUDENTS IN THEIR HOMES IS AN OLD CONCEPT STILL NEW TO AMERICAN TEACHERS.
I was just about to go to bed, when I saw the article. When I read the article that Elizabeth MacWilliams, principal of Carroll Magnet Middle School was visiting her students in their homes, I smirked, and then I laughed aloud. I hurriedly saved the article to consult it later. I was like, “Renaissance is coming to America.” It sounds strange to many people, but if you ask my students in 2001, I used to visit them at home. If you ask those in 2005-2010, I used to visit them at their homes. Visiting my students at home was to me a strategy to curb behavior issues by forming bond with the students and ultimately facilitating learning experiences. It was a great success.
The issue is that, whenever something is new in this country, if it is not done by an American, that thing is evil. Yes, you heard me well. When they do it, they start to pretend how they are forming concepts, even on things that have been researched upon like Anderson Cooper once claimed that he and Sanje Gupta had discovered a new disease in Cameroon called Buruli in their article, "Cameroon's Cursed Children". The only problem with their discovery was that the disease had already been divorced and researched by the World Health Organization since 1978. When I drew their attention to it, they quickly edited their work, without giving me the credit.
When I began visiting students in their homes, the other indolent teachers will complain on how "it is unethical, it is unprofessional, it is harassing the kids, it is violating the kids’ privacy," even when the kids and their parents were excited seeing me. The different was clear., Those kids misbehaved in their classes, but they were little angels in mine. Sometimes when they tried to reach students and they could not, I will ask them to give me the mails, and I will take it to their homes. Some of my Hispanic kids whose parents were illegal had two addresses; the ones they shared with the school because they did not trust them and the one they gave me, which was their real address where they lived.
Visiting students at home is one thing that all teachers should do. It is only evil to the evildoer. Paul said to Titus, “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” All those who think that simply because a teacher is visiting his or her students, he or she is going to sin are sinful people themselves whose lives is full of skeletons, so they think that everyone is the same.
When you visit the students at their homes, they see that you are genuine. They can identify with you in their plight or whatever condition they are facing. Look, we keep pouring money and developing theories, yet the schools are getting worse and worse. They are not improving. Anyone who is sincere will not pretend that American schools are improving. It is then time to change the old ways.
What is better than your students having your trust? My students have always trusted me. I have many letters they wrote to me, telling me of their personal struggles that they refused to share with their counselors and psychologists. When you can see through the souls of the students, that teacher increases the learning process significantly. Look, students will skip other classes, but they seldom skip mine, even though I do not present a clown act or the dog-and-pony show to them. They can see the trustworthiness, the empathy, and they can see the importance of building personal relationships. This act by Elizabeth should be a common principle with all teachers, especially in our current dispensation where depression, suicide and unworthiness of teenagers are on the rise.
It is time for schools and teachers to serve the kids and not themselves. Nowadays people teach as if they are protecting themselves rather than fighting for the interest of the kids. If you develop a strong bond with your kids and their parents, you do not lose sleep of an impending lawsuit. It will never happen. If in case it ever does, you will beat it with the words of trust from other kids. We must fight to reclaim our kids, for no amount of theory and discipline will redeem them. It is only our caring attitude that will bring the change we want in this world of ours. Long live teachers like Elizabeth, and even myself. I know you want me to be humble. Nah, if I don’t blow my trumpet, you folks would never do it.
Until then, all teachers should visit their students.
St Arrey of Ntenako.
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