Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


An apple for the teacher on World Teachers’ Day

“A great teacher inspires” – William A. Ward

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

On October 5th, Canadian teachers united with 30 million of their colleagues around the world to celebrate and reflect on the importance of sound teaching dynamics and lasting inspirational teaching. During the school year, school-aged children spend more time with teachers than they do with their parents. This is why it is so important to have well-trained, caring teachers who are devoted to their profession and believe in the educational system. Canada’s educational system is one of the best in the world. We should take pride and support it.
Education is not merely a question of developing reading, writing and mathematical skills… teaching is the art of opening minds to their full potential, challenging students to embrace and create change so that society gets better. In order to learn, children must observe, examine, practice and find their voice so they can carve out their own path. They are a bit like gliders where you take the glider up in the air and let it fly on its own. You are the driving force, the guiding system, the motor that will lift them up and set them free to experience their own individual talents in today’s world.
Most teachers I know have this great desire to help children become responsible and knowledgeable human beings. They chose the career because they care. If I had to choose all over again, I would still become a teacher. In fact in many ways, I have never stopped being a teacher. As they say, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”
Teachers must be strong communicators. They must encourage progress. Generous praise should be used every time a student masters something new, takes on new responsibilities or makes a wise decision on his own. Recognizing progress is of the essence as is recognizing talent. How often has a genius been ignored because there was no mentor around? Pablo Casals asked: “When will we teach our children what they are? You are a marvel! You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you…”
Teachers need to be patient and fair, accepting each child as an individual with his unique learning capabilities and limitations. A calm and pleasant classroom atmosphere goes a long way. I remember one of the things my students always enjoyed and talked about years later was the constantly changing decoration in the classroom as new themes and new seasons came along. Their curiosity would be aroused and they would visit the displays and learn more on their own during their spare time.
A stressful classroom atmosphere only creates insecurity, resistance and sometimes causes children to shut down and stop trying. I remember my students used to call me “the teacher who doesn’t yell”. I wasn’t the staunch disciplinarian; they had to help create a harmonious atmosphere in the classroom.
The educational journey is a long one! We all know that learning is “a one step at a time” process that lasts many years and that we continue learning every day of our lives in order to hopefully become better citizens of the world. High school students in Ontario must take a course in citizenship and lots of them will have simulated the whole election process this week, complete with visits from party leaders. Hopefully, the newly-elected provincial government will continue to make quality education a priority.
As John F. Kennedy once said, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
He was right! Let’s hope that our provincial and federal leaders share the same wisdom and the same vision.
To all the teachers of the universe, a simple reminder from Lao-tzu of ancient China who wrote these verses five hundred years before the birth of Christ: “Thus the master is content to serve as an example and not impose his will. He is pointed but does not pierce; he straightens but does not disrupt; he illuminates but does not dazzle.”
I want to personally thank all those wonderful teachers who often put in overtime in order to provide quality education and to stimulate the unique “marvels” that are our children. Blessings!



Tes articles me donnent le goût de lire tes livres. C'est bon signe!!!

J'ai hâte d'en avoir l'occasion, d'en trouver le temps... Merci!

Merci beaucoup, Lise! Comme je disais, "Once a teacher, always a teacher!"...

Ce goût de partager est toujours là, même après la retraite.

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