Saturday 17 November 2018

If teachers' morale is low, they should learn something new

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has declared she will reform the Junior Cycle, despite prolonged opposition from the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI).
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has declared she will reform the Junior Cycle, despite prolonged opposition from the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI).

David McWilliams

There can be few better feelings than successfully explaining something to someone and watching their face and their reaction, as something that was confusing and difficult becomes clear and straightforward. It is a beautiful thing to see the weight of incomprehension being replaced by the freedom of understanding.

You don't have to be Einstein to have your own small eureka moment. We can all have a moment when perplexity is elbowed away by clarity, when the void is filled. But to get to this moment, we need good teachers. To be good learners, we need good tutors.

This is why teaching is so important - not because of what people learn, but because of what these small eureka moments do deep inside us. They give us confidence, the self-assurance to go to the next challenge. Emotionally, particularly for teenagers, these moments are crucial and their developmental impact should never be underestimated.

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