老師對小朋友重不重要? Are teachers important to children?

有一個好朋友問我說:“對小朋友來說老師重不重要?” 她在學校工作,在思考為孩子安排在哪一個老師的班上是一件重要的事嗎?學生和老師不能相處有很重要嗎?

我不知道她真正想的是甚麼。我聽到的是, “對小朋友來說老師重不重要?”

我想過我自己對老師、學校的經驗。有的老師我喜歡,有的我很討厭。當我思考學校體系時,我想到以下幾點:

1. 在台北,孩子經常一天要花十個小時上課,包括補習班和別的課程。一個禮拜裡平均一個學生要和四到十個老師接觸。

2. 每一個學生所處的環境都是教師主導的。父母常常工作到很晚, 學生每天相處最久的大人大多數是老師, 因此大不部分的時間學生只有老師可以當模仿的對象。

3. 從小孩的立場,孩子生活的所有面向都是老師在控制的。學校的決策都是透過老師來傳給學生的,也是透過老師來執行的。孩子其實看不到老師行為背後的原因,他們只感覺到老師的權威。孩子來到學校,他們生活的每個方面都受到規定:

﹣他們穿什麼
﹣他們學什麼
﹣他們可以做什麼
﹣什麼樣的行為是被允許的
﹣什麼樣的思考是被允許的

因此,如果你是台北的孩子,你很有可能碰到的情況是:你總是在課堂裡、課程的進行掌握在老師手裡、老師是教室裡唯一的大人、老師對你的生活品質有決對的控制權、包括你可以做什麼、說什麼、控制你如何安排時間,用成績來控制你對自己未來可能變成什麼的看法。

那麼,老師對小朋友重不重要?


A good friend of mine asked me, “Are teachers important to children?” She is an administrator at an elementary school, and she was trying to figure out whether or not it was important if a child was assigned for two years to a teacher’s class, if the child and the teacher didn’t get along very well.

I didn’t know what she was asking, and so I just heard this question. “Are teachers important to children?”

I thought about my experience of school. There were teachers I liked, there were teachers I hated. Then I thought about the structure of how school works, and this is what I came up with:

1. Children in Taipei are in school sometimes 10 hours a day, if you include bushiban and other extracurricular lessons. Your average schoolchild will spend time with 4-10 teachers in a given week.

2. The school environment that the children participate in is always led by a teacher. Since both parents often work late at offices, the adults a child spends the majority of their time with on a given day are their teachers. So the main adults the child has to model their behaviours on are their teachers.

3. From the child’s perspective, these teachers are in complete control of all aspects of the children’s lives. It's the teacher that all the decisions and policy decided by the school system passes through. The teacher is the implement of the system. In reality, the child cannot see the reasons behind the teacher’s behavior, they only feel the teacher’s authority. When a child is in school, every aspect of their being is regulated:
—what they wear
—what they learn
—what they do
—how they’re expected to behave
—what they’re expected to think

So if you are a child in Taipei, chances are: you’re always in class, the class is always headed by a teacher, that teacher is the only adult in the room, that teacher has complete control over the quality your daily life, what you can do, what you can say, and dictates everything about how you spend your time, and has major control over your long-term prospects via grades.

So, are teachers important to children?

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