Teacher career is not an easy path, as it is always followed by success and failure. It is difficult to keep success constantly and avoid failures and mistakes. However, it is necessary not to forget that failures and mistakes are the way to successful teacher career. The students are the main indicators and the strictest judges of a good teacher. They take into consideration everything from qualification, personal qualities, punctuality, and smartness to time management and mode of dressing.
Working at school, a teacher should be a good manager, administrator, adviser, psychologist, inspector of order, sociologist, and so on. His/her pupils with their ideas, attitudes, and beliefs also have an impact on the formation and social construction of a teacher. Teacher’s task is not only to teach any discipline and to develop skills, his/her task is also to help his/her students to live in the society, to develop oneself as personality, and to undergo social construction under the influence of other students and teacher.
It is necessary to mention that teacher, the same as everything in our society, undergoes social construction. If a teacher is socially constructed, it means that he/she depends on social selves and is influenced by the different interests, values, and needs. Social construction exists only within the society. Teachers in America should be “socially constructed”, because of diversity in economic background, race, religion, and ethnicity.
The Ways of Success and Failures of Social Construction of Teacher through Educational Institutions within the U.S
Social construction of a teacher takes place during the educational process. However, it is necessary to say that social construction is accompanied by success and failure. Speaking about the teaching process in the USA, it is necessary to say that it is not an easy one. All students are different in economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. An unequal attitude to them from the side of teacher may provoke conflict situations, and teacher can deal with the serious problems in his/her career (Nieto, 2011).
Without doubt, “social construction” of a teacher can have its success and failure. There are many diversity-related issues that appear in the educational process. When teacher implements lesson plans that respect and appreciate other cultures and ethnicities, he/she will be successful. One may wonder what we should do when there are several cultures that have a hostile attitude to each other. It is an ethical dilemma for a teacher. For example, war between black and white people. At the present time, there is the policy of equality between genders and races; that is why, a teacher has no right to discriminate. However, he/she can face the problem of discrimination among the students to each other.
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Teacher’s role is not to provide successful educational process, but to play a social role. Communicating with the students, a teacher feels an emotional connection with them. It is necessary to mention that when one teaches students of one culture and ethnicity, it is one type of management, and when the students are black, white, and muslims, the classroom management will be completely different. Such a situation can provoke a failure in “the social construction” of a teacher (Nieto, 2011).
Social construction of a teacher should be based on equality and tolerant attitude to his/her students. However, the problem is that there is nothing equal in the world. Everything is divided into good and bad, black and white, poverty and richness. However, it is necessary to say that there is the balance between the above-mentioned opposites. All people cannot be rich. The same rule applies to the poor people. It means that social inequality is a natural phenomenon; moreover, it is not fair taking into consideration poor people (Banks, 2000).
One can not isolate poor students from rich, and black from white in order to make the educational process more peaceful and successful. As a result, the main role of creating an appropriate atmosphere belongs to the teacher. A teacher should be a model to follow. No physical disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity should be taken into consideration in estimating the students’ knowledge (Espinoza-Herold, 2003).
The success of the social construction of a teacher depends on the diversity of students. Diversity of students can provoke numerous failures in the social construction of a teacher. They are as following: high expectations from the students’s side, failure in the knowledge base, and lack of respect from the students’ side.
According to Dr. Martin Luther King, there should be peace, racial justice, economic justice, and brotherhood in the world. He said: “All I am saying is simply this: that all mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny”. It means that a person chooses his/her destiny and decides whether to be discriminated or free (King, 1965). Speaking about the educational process, one can not say that there is moral and ethical equality between the students and the teacher.
Kozol in his latest book The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, revealed the problem of social inequality and discrimination of students by teachers. Most schools in America are characterized by “embracing pedagogy of direct command and absolute control”. There is no creativity in the educational process. Kozol shows indignance and disappointment of behaviour of teacher and teaching process at schools.
The absence of ethical and moral education leads to degradation and those, who are oppressed by the students or teachers, can even commit suicide. Indeed, when a teacher is socially constructed, there is interaction between him/her and the students. When there are any misunderstandings or conflicts, he/she should know the ways how to smooth them (Kozol, 2006).
Aristotle stated: “Justice discriminates according to merit, according to the relevant excellence… It would be unjust to discriminate on any other basis, such as wealth, or nobility of birth, or physical beauty, or chance (a lottery)”. It means that one cannot root out nobility, wealth and physical beauty as very often they are obtained at birth. Even if the person develops these qualities, there will always be people luckier than others, or those who will be able to stand out among the others (Sandel, 2009). Discrimination at school is very wide-spread phenomenon that should be rooted out with the help of socially constructed teacher and ethical norms.
Kozol is supposed to be the cruelest critics of social and educational inequalities in the USA. However, in spite of his writing about outrageous inequality at schools, the situation remains unsolved. To my mind, teachers are forceless to change such unhealthy situation themselves. These are the administration of schools, teachers, parents and the students themselves who should be conscious about their attitude to each other and about their actions (Kozol, 2006).
There is much evidence that modern public schools do not develop students but lead them to degradation of moral and ethical values. It is necessary to change the approach to education of the young generation in order to avoid violence in society. One should not only complain about social disparity, one should struggle with it. To my mind, government also should make a contribution in educational policy especially when it concerns inequality and discrimination.
Jonathan Kozol observed the tragedy of the educational system and could not find the benefits of clean and well-equipped schools without professional and trained educators. It means that he paid more attention to the importance of teacher in the educational process rather than to conditions of schools. The dry imparting of knowledge by a teacher will not give the desiring result. The desiring result can be achieved from the teacher who is educator, psychologist, and follower of moral and ethical principles, tolerant participant of educational process (Stotsky, 2006).
Social inequality can concern financial state, gender, and race. The problem is to avoid it at schools. Without doubt, a teacher has not to show his/her discrimination of the students in marks and attitude to them. Beginning from the school age, the students should be aware of evil of social inequality and discrimination (Arriaza, 2003).
Failure of social construction of a teacher is caused by imperfection of the educational system, the inequalities of education, impossible conditions, and hostile atmosphere.
Social equality at school is utopia. However, improving the educational system is a real thing that is a matter of time, desire, and collaboration of teachers, parents, and students. Social disparity at schools should be rooted out, as it damages students. Racial discrimination is barbaric behavior at the present time. It is a pity that racial discrimination happens very often in the American schools (Spring, 2009).
In my opinion, social inequality exists not only in schools, but also in students’ or teachers’ minds. Teachers should develop themselves, their mental attitudes, moral and ethical values, and teach them to their students. If the person is free, self-confident, and morally rich, he/she will not feel discriminated, even if this is a poor black girl.
Aristotle proved that there were people, who were born to be slaves. I think that he meant those people, who did not want to struggle, and for whom discrimination was the easiest way of living. One should always improve oneself morally and develop his/her virtues. The task of modern teachers is to help their students to understand the importance of moral virtues. Aristotle said: “Moral virtue comes about as a result of habit”. It means that one cannot consist exclusively of virtues or evils. One should develop the positive qualities and oppress the negative ones (Sandel, 2009).
Concluding, it is necessary to say that social construction of teachers can have success and failure. The equal attitude to all students in spite of their ethnicity, race, gender, or economic background will bring success. Finding compromises and tolerance in teaching is the next step to success. Creativity and involvement of the different techniques will provoke attention and respect from the side of students. On the other hand, discrimination and lack of ethical principles and norms will bring failure in the social construction. Superiority, absolute control, and direct command are also the basement for failure in the social construction.
Social construction of a teacher fails to develop because of segregation of the American schools. American society is multicultural and multiethnic one; that is why policy of social equality at school is an urgent issue that should be solved by the government with the help of teachers and school administration.
A teacher, as well as everything in our society, undergoes social construction. If a teacher is socially constructed, it means that he/she depends on the social selves and is influenced by the different interests, values, and needs. Social construction exists only within the society. Teachers in America should be “socially constructed”, because of diversity in economic background, race, religion, and ethnicity. The success of social construction of a teacher depends on the diversity of students. Diversity of students can provoke numerous failures in the social construction of a teacher, such as high expectations from the students’s side, failure in the knowledge base, and lack of respect from the students’ side.
One can not demand a lot from teachers in creating social equality. The social construction should be involved in policy of educational institutions within the U.S. If social construction is successful, students develop, they are friendly with each other, and show respect to their teacher. If social construction fails, the students degradate; they are not interested in following moral norms and principles. As a result, educational process turns into chaos.
Social inequality is an evil for the educational system. It leads to moral and ethical degradation, as it means intolerance to the students of other races and their financial state. Unfortunately, it is impossible to root out social disparity from the educational system. The problem is that there are no any activities against this social evil. In order not to reinforce this problem, it is necessary to learn to be more tolerant, kind-hearted, and develop ethical and moral qualities. Without doubt, this is a must for both sides: students and teachers.
Although, it is high time this ideology was ruined, it still exists. All people were created to be equal and have equal rights. Thus, humans should eradicate the ideology of racism and become more kind-hearted. The policy of social equality should be taught beginning from school.