Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How a Chick is Hatched

A professor writes in the Catholic Peace Weekly about a problem in education. A survey made among  elementary, middle, and high school teachers nationwide showed that almost 90 percent changed their attitude towards teaching from the past. When asked:  What has changed? More than half want to go through a year without incidents. Nearly 30 percent of the teachers would not punish or scold a student for bad behavior or notify the parents.

One teacher confesses he is so afraid of the complaints of parents that he shivers and teaches like a machine. Another says he teaches as a way to make a living. Education within the country has entered a stage which will be difficult to change. Why has this happened?

Was it the teachers, students,  parents,  society?  It is impossible to give an answer. In a way, they are all to blame and all victims. They all inflict pain and receive pain. In any event, since the teachers are  responsible the blame rests with them.

As one educator said: teachers are not laborers who produce goods mechanically. They are artistic workers who empower students and consequently require a deep theoretical background and long academic training. If a teacher is like a machine and is only in teaching to make a living they should leave the profession.

Teaching is a holy profession a sacred work which must be approached with all sincerity. There is a four character idiom that indicates the nature of education in the Asian context. It's interesting and a meaningful example showing the relationship of teacher to student. It may be expressed with the tick tack expression in English.

When a chick is ready to hatch, it pecks (tick) with its yet immature beak on the inside shell of the egg. The mother hen hearing the sound pecks (tack) on the outer shell and lets the chick out. The chick inside will suffocate if it doesn't leave the egg within three hours so it pecks with all its might and with the help of the mother hen it is freed from the prison to be born into a new world. The work of a good teacher.

Herman Hesse says something similar in Demian. The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. "Who would be born must first destroy a world." Education is helping a student to come out into a new world with the help of teachers and others. The problem is that students do not want to break eggs and teachers give up in helping the students in breaking the egg. When the teachers give up trying to help the student break the egg they give up being teachers.

Education is not to fill a child's head with knowledge but to give them a desire for knowledge and wisdom. They are both on a journey in learning. They are both students. He finishes his article by quoting the words of Vinoba Bhave a devoted follower of Gandhi: "Do not be discouraged,let's continue doing good. If you do not give up you will soon harvest."

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