Thursday, November 10, 2005

The training to be a teacher.

Off and on when I meet up with my friends, they ask me about my profession. Well, more so recently, as I have announced to them that I would be furthering my studies to Australia.

They ask, if I did my Montessori, how come I am studying at USQ?

Well, this is because Montessori is only up to diploma level, and the tertiary studies is well... tertiary! The Montessori Diploma can be used to articulate into the uni program (this applies more so where my college, Summit International College has a MOU with the university anyways!).

Yes. You guessed right! It is time I informed my avid readers that I am finally going Down Under in about a couple months time from now. I would be there for about 9months, equivalent to one academic year.

Today I met up with an old high school friend of mine, Jen Ee and his wife, Mavis who just got married recently. It really made me feel *old*. That's cause he's only a year elder than me. *lolz*

He asked me this question:
Can anyone qualify to walk into the kindergarten and be a teacher?

The answer to that: it is an obvious NO!

Firstly, a undergraduate qualification in any other area, i.e, banking, I.T, finance, economics, etc, does not mean that the person is able to practise as a trained educator. Even if the person is a mother,or has children, does not mean that AUTOMATICALLY qualifies them to be a teacher.

If it were college students being taught , it would be a different case altogether. But at preschool level, many children are unable to express themselves verbally. They are at that level of learning to socialise, and some even babbling! We do not know how they think, unlike university students, who are already considered independent thinking adults, and know how to differentiate right from wrong.

Learning to be a teacher, means that the teacher has to be trained in the basic foundations and knowledge of the child, psychology, developmental areas & stages, HOW TO teach, and how to use the materials to bring across the knowledge and transmit to the growing child, as well as foster interest in the child to want to learn and read so that they can be a successful, interactive, sociable, useful member of society, able to be overcome problems. and etc. etc. (the list of responsibilities goes on...)

Let me ask you a question: Would you want someone who is unqualified, and not trained in the knowledge and ways of the child to teach your own child?

Preschools that employ qualified teachers would expect a higher cost in terms of montly school fees. If one wants quality preschool experiences for their child, and yet, want to save on the tutelage fees, well, as the chinese proverb says, "yat fun cheen, yat fun for". (what you pay is what you get).

As said, in countries like Australia, you can't even apply for a permit to be a teacher unless you have an additional 4th year, compared to Business students who only need to complete 3 years for their general degree. In fact, the younger the age group is, the more training is required for the teacher!

Of course, the problem is many people have a dim view of going into the profession. Although it provides a steady income and job security, however it only provides enough for an individual to survive with no extras.. I think the same may apply for other countries. Well, we'll see about that in future.


syed syahrul zarizi b syed abdullah said...

hey, what a cool blog!

Andy said...

I really like your point on unqualified teachers. Funny thing is, only half a year ago I was an unqualified teacher for a private english school. I think the problem is just as bad, if not worse, for the many english schools popping up all around the world. Many parents seem to think that just because someone is from North America or Europe, they are qualified to teach English. But in reality, the teacher must know how to use the materials they have. I'm sure it will get better, but like everything it will take a long time.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chea Yee,

As i read your entry, as a fren, i must say that i'm pretty proud of you.
as for me, my 1st degree is a corporate secretary & have been in this line for the past 5 yrs. Do i like what i'm doing?.. well... i told my colleague once that it doesn't mean that u r in a job, that is your career. i've always perceive career to be something that we are really passionate about. Yes, i have a wonderful D.Mgr & Mgr, who has never breath down my neck & pays me well to put food on my table, clothes on my back & a roof over my head & worst, my husband is also just starting out in his career.

but deep down inside, deep down me, whenever i come across any obstacles in my job, I wish I AM in your position. I wish i am the one.... with the children.

I know i am not qualified. i wished i am. i want to be trained. but like how u put it, we need to pay to be trained :(

sadly, at the moment, i don't have to means to do so. i have the heart, but i don't have the money. i have the desire, but i don't have the time. i need my current job to sustain my life.

someday, i hope, hope that i can be like one of u.

miko aka phuilingy

CheaYee said...

Andy: I am doing a unit on TESOL currently and I find that is pretty hard to *assimilate* as there are so many theories just on teaching language itself.

teaching across the different cultures and ethnic groups is one issue itself.

Teaching students whose first language is English is also another issue as well.

Not to mention, trying to find developmentally appropriate materials and design individual lessons plans. Practically driving me up the wall!!

Phui Ling: Well, just because we are not qualified, does not mean that we can't start somewhere.

If you like chldren, you can always help out at some local centre where there are older children, orphanages, tuition, those kinds of things.

But start with older children and move down to younger ones, coz those are the ones that can keep you at your wits end, if you have not experienced them before....*hehe*.

Btw, How did you find this blog?

Anonymous said...

Dear Diahann,

Well, i have. i started teaching piano at the age of 19. i was a 6 Grader, thought i can earn some piano fees cos my own lessons were getting expensive. i met many different characters/kids&adults, that help me to feel that THIS IS MY TRUE CALLING. but as i said earlier, i need to pur food on the table, clothes on my back & roof over my head.. & soon, in about 3 yrs time, i'll have little ones of my own. my parents would be retired by then & it's time for me to "support" them (i'm not giving them any allowance yet & they do me a favour by not asking either, they truly understand).

anyway, i quit teaching 3 yrs ago. i realised that i was not good enough. i felt that i was destroying their lives! (by giving them a wrong start)... yes, i won't trust my child in the hands of the untrain (but then again, i won't trust them safe to be in the hands of my mom-in-law either!) ;P
so, i gave a long thought.... about what i want to do when my little ones come along. i definately want to be there for them. but again $$ is a problem. i thought that if i can teach, then i would have more time for them while earning whatever little bit i can to at least put dinner on the table.

hope u won't laugh at me :) i do literally mean "put food on the table". jods had been hard with many ex-bosses under-paying me & demoralising me at the same time.

my students were those that help me forget about the politics in the office. my students/kids were those that help me to relax... if i can put it that way. unlike many ppl, who claimed that they would be stressed up whenever kids cries/get cranky etc... i actually find it amusing :)

maybe, what i need, is just a platform to start. :)


CheaYee said...

Isn't it ironic that those who have worked in the normal office want to get away from politics, and those who haven't (like me!!) want to get into i?? *Lolz*

well, you could train to be a music teacher (for Grade 6) and be really good at it and start from there..... who knows!

However, of course, this is something that you have to discuss with your spouse on what you guys want after you have children. THere are always part time childhood courses at many colleges these days, and I was one of those who enrolled!

CheaYee said...

miko: This if off the tangent but, $$$ is the main issue in many things we do, and among the main motivations in it.....*good luck*... I need more of it, coz I am beginning to feel the pinch of it, or lack of it rather!!!

And I am not even married yet.... (having a rich bf could help, but uh...I don't think there are that many generous guys out there these days)... Better to have our own jobs, and have our skills secure first in case *touch wood* anything happens!

This is not exactly the past (30 years ago, where men were considered the main caregivers, but these days, even men expect us to do our part) women have to go with the flow (I think.)

Anonymous said...

i've tried for at least 3 yrs to move up from grade 6 to 7. but :( i don't really have the herat to learn anymore.

i'll just have to find an arrangement that can work for the both of us :)

Joe said...

Hi, what a coincidence that I know your friend Jen Ee and his wife. I am also a certified Montessori teacher. Am looking to start a center soon.

Wish me luck. I love your blog btw.


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