The movie "Freedom Writers" clearly depicted the story of a teacher that every parent would definitely want for his or her child. Erin Gruwell, the protagonist, is a freshman and sophomore English teacher at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School who didn't give up on her students when everybody - including the school administrators, other members of the faculty, and even their families - had already given up on them. Erin Gruwell didn't tire in promoting strong values to help her students learn their real value not only as learners but also as members of society. Her methods of teaching were considered unorthodox but she excitedly explored a vast range of teaching principles to make sure that her students fully understood the lessons she was teaching and their applications in life.
But not all teachers are like Erin Gruwell. These days, school teaching jobs are often merely income opportunities - which they are - and rarely can one find teachers today who are completely passionate about what they do that they are willing to offer their services beyond the classroom for no additional pay. Teachers don't get paid extra for staying with their students who need to linger in school because of home issues, nor are they compensated for all their extra efforts in being the responsible authority figures students can turn to in times of trouble.
In a special essay written about teachers, a student described her favourite teacher as her source of comfort, inspiration, number-one encourager and an angel sent from above. The student shared how much she enjoyed going to school and learning new things but mainly she focused on the other contributions of the teacher beyond the lessons in class. This only proves that a teacher's vast knowledge about the subject she teaches is truly not all there is to the profession.
Parents send their children to school so they would have an edge in life and realise their fullest potential with the guidance of good role models. Hence, it's really sad to hear news about teachers (with stellar academic credentials) behaving poorly, even getting their students involved in their messed-up lives, not standing up for what is right, and really altering the important values that are the very foundation of morality.
With all the distractions that children nowadays deal with, and all the threats to their safety, the need for fully effective teachers (who are not only intelligent and possessed of great teaching skills but are also morally strong) is greater than ever. But such teachers are rare species in today's schools -- hence, the growing number of home-schoolers. It's high time that schools elevate their standards in selecting teaching professionals; make sure that teachers are not only smart but could really serve as good role models to the children. This is the only way to move forward in this challenging world, the only way to restore the faith of parents in the system.
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