Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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423 words

Teachers usually don’t have the best reputation. Partially because most people suffered from bad teachers at school in some way or another. But even more so because of the people you meet at university who study to be teachers are in large parts not the brightest lights. Of course some of them are good and have the potential to become good teachers. But they seem to be a minority.

Many of the others seem to be people who don’t really care about at least one of their subjects (you have to study for two subjects to become a teacher in Germany) and aren’t good at it either. How should someone who didn’t understand things properly himself be able to pass that on later in class? Badly, I’d say. It will end up being a bunch of factoids served to the kids to remember for the test rather than something they actually learn and that can be inspiring.

And it seems in many cases that this doesn’t happen because studying a subject turns out to be harder than expected or because people become disillusioned. Rather, quite a few pick a subject they don’t like, aren’t able to cope with and don’t care about from the beginning – because it increases their chance of finding a job, say – and then just sit through their lectures, cramming for exams and just passing. They don’t give a shit. They’re not interested in anything but a job with decent pay and good holidays. (I know that once class preparation and marking are taken into account, teaching at school can be a very stressful job – but the people I’m talking about aren’t the ones who’ll let that stress come to them.)

Anyway, this afternoon I overheard a bit of a conversation before remembering that I should submit myself to the iPod’s reality improvement field. And there was one teacher student who just didn’t seem to care for anything. Her friend was telling about how people in cultural studies were living in Africa for years, trying to get an idea about some old cultures. Or about other people going to polar regions… and guess what she was not impressed at all. The only reaction was a shrugging ‘who’d want to do that’. Not a somewhat reasonable ‘not my type of thing’ but what looked like a complete lack of understanding why anyone would be prepared or even eager to do these slightly uncomfortable things.

With that degree of enthusiasm and open-mindedness what will classes with this teacher look like?

November 16, 2006, 0:21

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