Friday, April 22, 2011

Cockroaches and Ladybugs

Just to start...
I know that talking about the relation between teachers and society, teachers and families, teaching methodology and politics sounds like an odd topic to write about, but recently something has struck me about how things are PERCIEVED. 
As an example: the cockroach and the ladybug. They are both insects. They both crawl with their exoskeletons on display, and they can both fly. All in all, they are both the same type of animal. The only difference is that one is perceived as a little monster, a nasty bug which must be squashed immediately and sprayed with insecticide - and one is a symbol of good luck, a cute bug and something that children delight in playing with.

You may wonder where I am going with this analogy. As you all very well know, we, as teachers, suffer from a distinct and difficult public relations crisis. The society around us sees us as an immoral army of horrible people with a good and easy job, long vacations and an extremely good timework! We are seen as a legion of lazy people thinking more in our privileges than in educating children. And what’s more, we are seen as the only responsible of the low PISA results...
In essence, they see us as the cockroach, the ones who spread the "disease" of the poor education and promote out of date values such as cooperation, mild-manners or good behaviour.
Whereas we NEED to be perceived differently by the masses, we need to be more like the tiny ladybug, something that is revered for its beauty, grace, and symbolism. Something that can bring good fortune to those that encounter us.

The only question is... how do we change how we are perceived? There are many ways to start down the path of changing the way we are looked upon by the technocratic world, and one of which I feel is to beat them at their own game. They are in a position right now where many or even most of the people who once looked up to the teachers of their schools are now disillusioned. They are concerned (and rightfully so) about the incredible cut down on expenses in education, they are astonished about the poor category of our educational “politicians”, and they are disconcerted by the continuous changes in our system.
So what we need to do is, not to be better but cleverer than them. We need to show the world that we are a rational and a hard worker group of people. We need to share our experiences more, write about what it is to be a teacher and persist in our attitude to educate children for democracy, multiculturality and plurilinguism.
We need to get the word out that we are the ones who seek to bring this world into a new age of enlightenment and not keep it tied to figures, graphs and statistics of international evaluations that attempt to explain the failure of our educational system.

So think for a moment.... what can YOU do to turn the perception of the masses in our favour, and work towards to be more respected and greatly
appreciated workers?

This text has been adapted from Secular Rebellion. Many thanks for the idea!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'd like very much the work done with your students. I think that this motivating activity is, partly, an answer to your question. Believe in what you are doing and let the students be active and creative.
    You're an inspiration source Enric, thank you!

  3. I have no words. I really like what you are doing and writing. To be honest you are great and right about your reflections. Congratulations. I am proud to have such a fantastic friend. Thanks a lot to share it with us!!!!

  4. Well, Enric, I think we should look for ways to involve parents in the school again, so that they appreciate what a great work with their children most of the teachers do. They should be our allies, but they aren't at present. I don't know if we can work in this direction from sharing meetings and school time with them or by the use of new technologies, like your blog. What I know is that at present every school has plenty of plannings and paperwork or digital files to show how professional we are and nobody cares, which is not strange, because burocracy is so boring! Maybe because I've been a teacher for many years,or it is just the way I am, but I don't understand why we spend so much energy moving from objectives to contents and procedures, and then to competencies and capabilities, and what may come in the future, when most of this stuff is a question of common sense.

    Also I think that we should promote a realistic view of education, as teachers. We all know that teaching and learning is a slow job,that requires time, patience and many hands to help. Parents and society espect quick results out of the blue sometimes, because this is how we expect everything nowadays.

    To cheer you up, Enric, I want to say that I am sure that your children's parents care about what you do with them because your students probably carry the enthusiasm you spread in your classes to their houses. A good educator always has a bit of magic, and you have it.

  5. Thank you very much for your kind words! They push me to reflect better and harder and, of course to go into new challanges!

  6. I have no words to express my feelings after reading in your blog ......
    I'm "fliping en colorets" hehehheehhe...
    Congrat Enric.. ETS UN CATACRACK :)