Why Your Teacher May Not Always Know BestPosted: 23rd of January 2015 by
At their best, a teacher is someone you can turn to for advice and support. As well as helping you learn a subject at school or college, a good teacher can be someone to turn to when you have a problem – either at school or at home. They can be a bit like an older family member with the advice and support they offer – and for many students, a decent teacher is a real bonus. This goes outside of the remit of just teaching you a particular subject, as they can call on their own life experiences to offer you support and guidance when you need it. This caring element of the profession is something that is hard to quantify in statistics and reports, but it can make a real difference to those in need of some extra support through school or college. However, there is a time when your teacher may not actually know best – and that is when it comes to choosing what to do with your life and career.
In fact, we recently came across an incident when a student was told that they would be a failure in life if they didn’t go to university. Quite clearly, this attitude is not supportive, particularly useful, or understanding. Rather than questioning why someone may not want to go to university, there seemed to be a blinkered view that university was the only route to success.
Of course, as has been shown by numerous influential and wealthy businessmen and women, university isn’t the only route to success. However, some teachers simply don’t have the knowledge or experience to know this. Being academics themselves, many teachers took the university route to get where they are today – with quite a few going straight from college to university and then into teaching. With lives that have been spent entirely in education, how can we expect them to have any real knowledge of working outside of this sector. After all, university worked in giving them a career – so surely it is the best route to take, right?
Not exactly. The problem being that everyone is different, with their own opinions and circumstances. Someone may not want to go to university, but prefer to just get a job, or perhaps there is concern over the cost of tuition fees. By simply disregarding any option besides university as a waste of time, students are being given a disservice by the very people that are supposed to be helping them progress.
Such a university-or-bust view is outdated as many vocational courses have been shown to offer prospects comparable, if not better than those handed to university graduates. However, this is something that has been slow to filter to some teachers, as well as to many parents, leaving students feeling that the only real choice is one of university, and debt.
There is nothing wrong with going to university, and it clearly works for a great many people, but by downplaying or even ignoring the other options, students are being left with only half the story. It is not necessarily the fault of teachers who know no better than to advise the same routes that worked for them, but telling someone they will be a failure if they don’t go to university is clearly not on. Sometimes, it seems, we need to take a look at where our advice is coming from – and what has motivated that particular viewpoint. It seems that sometimes, your teacher may not know best…
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