May 30th, 2017

Passion more crucial than innovativeness

I READ with interest the letter We need innovative teachers”, (The Star, May 27).

Teachers are born and not made. This is a half-truth. If a person has a passion to teach, he possesses all the qualities of a good teacher.

The work of a teacher is to educate the pupils. From the dawn of time till now, we look to teachers as educators who instil good values and teach the 3Rs to the children.

Teachers are also expected to be “parents” who are in a good position to teach the children moral values and soft skills. The pupils will benefit much if the teachers can instil such qualities, so that they will become useful and good members of society.

Knowledge together with good values will ensure a holistic education. And to provide a holistic education, we need teachers who are passionate and show great love for the pupils in their job.

Innovative teachers are also a great asset. However, while such teachers may possess great ideas and creativity, they may not be able to impart their knowledge to the pupils if they lack interest and passion in their job.

I am a former teacher and now a technical supplier. I supply mate­rials and teaching aids to the tea­ching of the subject “Design & Technology”. From my personal experience visiting schools, I find many teachers accept wholesale the ideas the sales people offer to them.

If the teachers themselves are not so innovative, those in their care will be like them.

To inculcate innovativeness in teachers it must come from the top. Good and innovative lecturers must be employed to train the teachers.

If we continue to have poorly trained teachers by sub-standard lecturers, our schools and varsities will not get out of the vicious cycle. We must move to the next level in teacher-training.

Take in only people who have a genuine passion for teaching and not those who take up teaching as a job of last resort. Good teachers know that education is a life-long learning process.

Good dedicated teacher trainers will be great role models for the budding teachers to be passionate and innovative teachers when they go out to teach. Khoo Kok Heong Penang The STAR Opinion Letters 30 May 2017