The Problems of Teaching in Areas of Africa
There are several problems to teachers and classrooms in many parts of Africa, like Nigeria. Of course perhaps the biggest challenge is economics. Not only are many students from poorer households, but the teaching profession has not been appreciated financially as it perhaps should be. Add to this that teacher preparation has been lacking, and you have many schools in Africa that are not educating our young people as good as they should. The working conditions of teachers, and the state of classrooms in large areas of Africa are way below an acceptable level. Yes, money could make things better. But can a current or aspiring teacher make a difference? Can teachers in these areas of Africa still graduate good students?
It all begins with the teacher. In fact, it begins with a person before they even become a teacher. Current teachers should start demanding that any new teacher be well educated and trained. Those are not the same two things. If you find yourself lacking a good educational background, and you were allowed to become a teacher, be determined to at least start some sort of formal college education program again, and stick with it. Get your fellow teachers to start writing letters to colleges that prepare teachers and ask them to raise the standards and level of teacher education. No teacher should be in front of students without a real college education on what they are teaching. Yes, we know that some areas of Africa this is not feasible one hundred percent. And that's where teacher "training" comes in.
At your school, what kind of real, on the job training do your new teachers get? Do they just put them in front of a class because they need them? Some new teachers are there because they got the job, not because they are great teachers. That's where experienced teachers at each and every school in Africa can make a difference. Older, experienced teachers must start to befriend new teachers. They must start to mentor them. They must ensure that their students get the best they can get. You as a veteran teacher know many things that cannot be taught in college or university. That's the art of teaching. You can make a difference in the education of future Africans by helping out all new teachers. Your principals should be very much in favor of this. Until colleges come up with better standards and training, it is your duty to help out new teachers.
Are you a new teacher? Then it is your duty to seek out help. Become a better teacher by listening to experienced teachers. Follow some of their advice. Work as a team. If you value your students, you will strive to get the on the job training that you need.
Working conditions of some schools can be bad. The school, classrooms, desks, and supplies are just not as good as they should be. You might be even thinking that nobody cares, and neither should you. Wrong! Your school is a team. All teachers and staff should come together to get and keep the school in good working condition. As much as is humanly possible. Let the students know you care. Can you donate some paint? Can you paint a room? Can you fix a desk or chair? Do you have some books or other things at home that you are not using? Can these things make the school better? Do you have family and friends that can also donate goods and time to the local school? Yes, your school might be in bad condition. But with just a little effort, it can be a whole lot better!
How is your attitude? Do you hate coming to school and teaching? If so, you need to either stop teaching, or get a better attitude. Your students will be as discouraged as you are. Be happy to be there. Remember, each day at school is a chance for you to better the life of some young person in your African country! Why waste that opportunity? Do you have fellow teachers who you know are not happy and show it at school? Encourage them to be happy to have the opportunity to educate the future of Africa. If they will not change, and you will not change, is it better for you to not be teaching at all? Think about that.
Yes, the salary and chances for advancement for many African teachers is lacking. Very lacking. What can you do? Well, if you are truly unhappy, and see no end to your unhappiness as a teacher, it might be better for you to quit. Think long and hard about that. It will be a long, hard stuggle to get better pay and conditions. This will only change as your young people move up and become better educated. They will start to raise the level of their country. That's more money in the economy.
Also, acting professionally and graduating good students will show your professionalism. People will value teachers more. Principals will realize they need to get more money for teachers to attract better ones. Nothing will change until teachers start the change. This change comes from bettering their school, their students, and their community. A school is a valuable resource to any town or city. Be determined to show them that you are worth paying and your school is worth fixing. >/p>
It is a long, hard road. But what teacher is going to start the journey? The more that do, the better for everyone.
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