When I joined my teacher training, the first class that I followed was one whereby the tutor guided us to reflect, in groups, whether teachers had some sort of work ethics to follow. Of course, I just glided my way through the tasks, never realizing, that someday, I shall feel the weight of this reflection bear upon me and upon my career. Now working full time in a primary school, circumstances brought me to seek out professional work gurus’ opinions on this matter. My research was mainly centered around the aspect ‘teamwork and cooperation.’ When I read these words, ‘teamwork and cooperation,’ Robin Sharma and his book, ‘The Leader who had no title’ came to mind as lightning flashes would strike up one’s awe on a stormy night. He writes of what Anna, a hotel housekeeper, says:
“In the world,” she confirmed. “I’ve discovered that my work is deeply important and essential to the smooth running of this intricate and well-regarded organization. I see myself as a good-will ambassador for this hotel and someone who manages its brand by the way that I behave.”
Sadly though, it is a common issue to see a downgrading of this important ‘teamwork and cooperation’ aspect. So much that it is worth reflecting whether “teamwork” implies imposing one’s opinions without having any respect for the rest of the organization or whether it implies lashing out criticisms vehemently as one would to a criminal. Or, still, if it implies shouting and expressing anger at one’s own colleagues for reasons swiveling around the most basic welfare rights of a worker.
What is happening in education at this current time is to be defined as a bubbling effervescence. The very essence and structure of primary education is changing, ready to reveal a new facet, a novel mode of teaching. Or at least an attempt is being made to, with the integration of ICT, through the use of tablets in classrooms. But accompanying this change, is the same old traditional scenery of education whereby on the one hand, teachers are being overloaded with both pedagogy and administrative work. It becomes the feat of ‘Superman’ to perform in one day all activities pertaining to the books, to the copybooks, to the tablets and to responding to office tasks like the matters of the school PTA. On the other hand, there remains issues like children’s rights which have spilled over the brim of their own limits and which cause teachers to be labelled as having poor management and classes as being undisciplined. It is to be noted and underlined that children’s rights matter a lot, but, when weighed against the inculcation of a proper attitude towards teachers and education on the whole, it ever so readily shines out and dazzles everything else surrounding it. Nowadays, it is a common trend to have teachers or officials at schools calling parents to report upon the incorrect behavior of their wards while hoping that an improvement will be seen through such, but, in the very end, the situation backfires and hits themselves. A third hand in the ever-unchanging scenery of education still points towards learner engagement when faced with social problems or with poverty issues.
Yet, in spite of everything, I believe that all these issues could have been partly resolved and dealt with if the ‘teamwork and cooperation’ that makes up the list of work ethics was present in each organization. If everyone was ready to lay down his or her swords, to adorn himself or herself with integrity and honesty and to style his or her hair with genuine productivity, schools would have been the haven of learning not only for pupils but for each and every stakeholder that makes up the field of education.