Friday, December 11, 2015

Being in Bed with Mosquitoes: the Teacher Scene

“Being in bed with Mosquitoes: The Teacher Scene”

Some of us, during the course of our lives, will try to swim along with the ebb and others against the tide. However, eventually, we all have to swim, willy-nilly, else sinking would be our end. This also includes the world of ideas that people conjure up which consists the most difficult step to starting up an idea, a project, or course of action and this is the kick-off. This fact is corroborated by Statistics that show that 90% of start-ups fail even before starting. So, what is about investing in being a teacher for you? how do we know whether it will be an epic win or a complete fiasco for our career? Since I’m from Algeria, a typical Middle Eastern country, in our patrimony, a teacher is considered to be the legitimate heir of the oracles and prophets because as the former enlightens the minds and hearts so as the latter. Indeed, Prophets use the power of miracles as a proof for their prophecy; while teachers use the power of endurance as a proof that a white paper can be filled with many wonders that have the potential to change the world. This dynamic of change is mainly conveyed by means of language with its broader notional definition that is a set of symbols whether graphic or auditory encoded and arranged in a systematic way.
The question is how these symbols are able to ignite the sparkle of change to the nominal and phenomenal as it is expressed in the Kantian terminolgy.

Being a mosquito or a green teacher doesn’t mean weak:
What I know is that to start you have to be a hero because you will be resisting your own pandemonium, to continue you have to be in love with endurance, to reach the end you have to be a walking dead against your priorities discourse. So?... what do mosquitoes have to do with that?”. I decided to include this tiny insect, which is causing much turmoil, because of its physical tininess doesn’t prevent it from letting its buzzing heard while we are hitting the hay, turning around, looking for some free blood to tuck in. They can be nasty by turning our dreams into nightmares and by making our beds into a battle field between our hands and them in which we are not likely to enjoy the cosy night that we would normally enjoy when these ninja insects are absent.

If you are or were a boy scout or spent a considerable time camping in forests, you would have probably been introduced to mosquitoes the first day you settled your tent. So, mosquitoes have that bad reputation and I guess that few people looked at them as a source of inspiration (you may be scratching your head now:” mosquitoes?”) and even many may think that they are unnecessary creatures that have escaped nature or nature escaped from them. Mosquitoes cannot be hindrance for humans in their quest to carry out their noble mission implicitly or explicitly. The imagery that I’m trying to conceptualize between mosquitoes’ action and new-starter teachers needs your objective view towards these insects who are fighting to live as you are.

Brave the world sifu

The world of teaching contains many questions that some of them are bigger than me and need much sweat and toil to come up with that magical potion of answers but I can contemplate about some and by that I would like to approach them from a “why” perspective leaving out the “how” perspective another time if time allows for that. There is a common belief that teachers have to attend infinity conferences, infinity seminars and networking with the gurus and hippo’s of teaching industry and if they don’t, they are just anathema. Also, many get trapped in that term: “lifelong learner “in which it may cause a misunderstanding that hinders their advancement instead of fostering it. Added to that ammunitions, it’s critically compulsory to have been graduated from a prestigious university that its ranking is above all. The above-mentioned elements are not wrong and they should be encouraged; however, this doesn’t allow you to sit at your laurels where it may happen that you are in a condition and environment these elements cannot be afforded.

So, What if the university where you are studying is an isolated boondocks or your finance is against your will in the seminars and conferences that seem to be everywhere except in where you to live ?. It can be a deception for young teachers, young professionals and those whom the Lady Fortune turned its wheel against them.  Many teachers who are involved in the teaching industry are striving on to bring up the next generation, be they competent or incompetent This should not be completely based on competence nor interest nor even talent but rather commitment because this latter creates formers if teachers labor enough. Many teachers are aware of that and they break the records and achieve milestones silently; they proceed forward unnoticed by conference organizers and ELT monks even if the scale of their change is not that large but it’s effective in their respective environments and it is just a local change they heading for.

You can it

In that frame, even if you are as tiny as mosquitoes, you can reach your expected social change via your profession in your environment or with your little darling brats you’re teaching. As a teacher, I have to have the feeling that I need to make a change whether I want to or have to. But can teachers who are not in the spotlight ignite the small change? I have some bad news:  the environment is never optimal nor is it friendly for teachers every time and this can originate from educational systems and education policy makers who belittle them on the ground of “ you are just a teacher” thinking that their sole métier only consists  of feeding the chicken. Teachers have to be aware of The beautiful changes they can reach and it’s up to them whether to keep this desire of change within themselves or beside it as Rousseau framed it once upon. However, I prefer that you, as a teacher (I’m also addressing the mosquitoes) make someone hear it from you so you can tell people what small changes you could, you can, or you will be able to do.

To end with, one of the greatest leaders of the modern world, Abraham Lincoln, comprehended that and interpreted it in a canonical manner when he said :” With malice toward none, with charity for all,  with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in”; and therefore, you can also strive on as long as your mind is not your limit.

I would like to see your opinions if you are or were a new teacher: did you find it easy? hard? maybe trick? did you ever have thoughts that you are too small to make a change?. Share with the world

Mehdi Zouaoui
Education Consultant
Middle East Development Network(MDN)

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