Do You Have to Love Your Students to Teach Them?

Mourad El Hanafi

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Most teachers would be torn between YES and NO as regards this question. You can even try to give a consistent answer, but you will only find yourself rambling on between positive and negative response. I, for one, am not an exception! Just as I give it a thought, a plethora of considerations rush into my mind, which leaves me unable to give a clear-cut, conclusive answer. Basically, the question is a bit tricky and vague, for the fact that they are “your students” means that you sort of teach them either you love them or not. Hence, the question should be restated this way: Do you have to love your students to teach them WELL? Accordingly, the question presents a dichotomy of LOVE and TEACHING WELL or QUALITY TEACHING. Yet, it is still hard to form a standpoint! In fact, it’s a clash between conscience and reality! Conscience says you HAVE to teach WELL no matter what, while reality says you CAN’T fake it! But conscience is never seemed to be convinced nor silenced! It further coaxes you and stresses, “Hey, be careful! You are assigned THE NOBLEST job in the world, so do it the best way and make sure no child is left behind! I surmise you have heard that proverb which goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings,” haven’t you?” The heart sensed some tranquillity and pride at the thought of “the noblest job in the world,” whereupon reality jumps in and spoils all those nice feelings as it lashes out, “Yes, it is the noblest job in the world, BUT it’d be NOBLE of you not to compromise your mental well-being for the sake of tolerating imbeciles who never care whether you put LOVE into it or no! Until they come to classes with real zeal for learning, stuff love away and teach numb! There is no way you can get them into WARM LEARNING as long as they are ready at any time to get you into THE SCORCHING HELL! Save your NOBLE feelings for someone who deserves!” Conscience grudgingly bites its tongue listening to “pointless remarks” reality makes. “I can’t believe you are gullibly fooled into believing what reality says! Look! REAL teachers are THOUGHTFUL! Yes, it’s true that students rub you the wrong way once in a while and ignore your reprimands, but they don’t realise the mistakes they are making now! If you are thoughtful a bit and treat them to some of your love, they may change!” Meanwhile, reality bounces up and retorts, “You see! It says you MAY, which means you can never be certain if they will change or grow frightening beasts that would be feeding off your unhappiness! Can’t you see that many ordeals have dogged teachers because they once showed kindness, love and humanity to “students” who mistook all that for weakness? Countless are the examples you might have seen before.” The teacher agreeably nods at this point and his face bears a mien of deep sorrow and melancholy in the minute. Apparently, this time reality has stronger, more valid proof than conscience does, especially when it adds, “After all, you aren’t a jack of all trades! You are already entangled in hefty, endless missions! You are a teacher and psychotherapy is none of your business!
Having forced to put this feud to rest, the teacher places his both hands tightly on his ears hopefully he can stop the noise that is tearing his head apart!

Did I answer the question?  

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