Friday, November 2, 2012

How a Teacher Can Know a Student is ‘with’ the Class

It is a known fact that students in a classroom differ from one another in many ways. One of the most important reasons for that is because they came from different homes. Some students tend to pay a rapt attention to whatever the teacher is teaching while some are just not ‘with’ the class for various reasons but if a teacher must be effective, she must ensure that all the students are ‘with’ the class. There are telltale signs of knowing whether a student is ‘with’ the class.

One of the signs that a students is not with the class is when such student is not paying attention to what is being taught. When a student is not paying attention, his mind is far away from the class so he may look unusually silent. Although there could be some underlying cause but when a student seems unusually quiet in the class, this may be a sign of not being ‘with’ the class.
When a teacher suddenly directs questions to a student based on the topic the teacher is teaching the class and the answer proffered by such student is not in conformity with the topic being taught,  there is no doubt about it that such student is not ‘with the class. Another variant of this is when the students starts discussing with others or making phone calls when the teacher is teaching, it is clearly evident that such students is not paying attention.

Finally, when a student begins to argue with the teacher instead of asking questions on issues that are not clear to him, this behavior points to it that such students is not ‘with’ the class.
 The Written Works of Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is a developmental psychologist who is well known for his written work on ‘Theories of Multiple Intelligence’ in his book titles Frames of Mind (Gardner, 2006). In the book mentioned earlier, Gardner claimed that human beings have different ways of learning and processing information and that these ways are not the same for everybody thus giving rise to the notion of multiple intelligences. So far, Gardner has identified eight intelligences and still counting.
Having read widely and in my own opinion, Gardner’s framework is valid. The reason for my affirmative response is that I have seen many students in the same classroom exhibit different rates of intelligence quotients. While teaching in the classroom, I have seen some students understand faster than others.

By giving much thought to the works of Gardner, for a teacher to be effective in the classroom, it is important for him to adjust his teaching methods so that all the students in the classroom would understand the teacher perfectly. For instance, if a teacher knows that some of his students lag behind in mathematics while others understand faster, it is necessary that the teacher spend extra time with those students lagging behind to find out what is truly wrong. It is only then that the teacher can identify why those students are like that and how he can modify his teaching to reflect the extra needs of such students. Subsequent teachings are expected to take into consideration the identified needs of those students who lag behind and teach them accordingly.     
The Role of Police or Correctional Manager in Establishing Ethical Codes
The police institution is made up of different departments and these departments also have chiefs heading each department. Many departments mandate it on their officers to swear an oath to serve and protect the people without prejudices, animosity or allow personal feelings interfere with their discharge of duties. This essentially means that the police have codes of ethics and codes of behavior and being a general knowledge that police work in trenches, police officers or correctional managers tend to develop personal ‘code’ of silence where officers protect another and fail to report unethical behaviors.

The very first role the police need to do is internal cleansing. Officers swore an oath to be guided by their codes of ethics and behavior but they break the codes themselves and fail to take action, the watching public would take cue but if issues of unethical behaviors are properly dealt with among police officers and correctional managers, the civilian will definitely take cue from that.

Once that is established, the police and correctional managers need to familiarize the civilians with the requirements of various ethical codes so that these codes would not be broken in ignorance. By doing this, the police are being fair. Having done this, the law enforcement agents should read the riot act to the people so that they would be informed beforehand the consequences of breaking laid down ethical codes.  These are the basic roles the police and correctional managers need to play in establishing ethical codes and departmental policies.
It is however important to mention how law enforcement agents deal with ethical issues in the agencies or departments. The police have code of ethics which are (1) enforcement of the law irrespective of gender, race or class and (2) that police themselves must obey the law and under no circumstance must they violate civil laws, and (3) that they must be ready to be morally upright above the members of the public.
Despite these codes of ethics, many officers develop personal feelings thus coming up with their own ‘codes’ thereby holding allegiance to their fellow officers. Law enforcement agents can deal with this ethical issue by publicly punishing recalcitrant officers thereby serving as deterrent to others. 
Another issue of concern among law enforcement agents is what is generally called ‘code of silence’. This is when law enforcement agents conspire among themselves to conceal evidence or manhandle suspects beyond the provision of the law. In certain instances, officers have had to break the law just to expose a crime. This is also beyond the provision of the law and is an unethical behavior. These officers can be call to order to continuously educating the entire officers of the provision of the law and the ethical codes of conducts which they swore to.  By so doing, the ethical issues in the agency among law enforcement administrators and other agents that maintain law could be dealt with.
Finally, another unethical issue among law enforcers is corruption and gross misconduct. This can be dealt with when the department sets up internal watchdog to hunt these perpetrators.

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