Like it or not, teachers are still expected to be suitable role models for their students. This presents something of a problem, because although some teachers try hard to disguise the fact, they are obviously no less wicked than the rest of humanity.
Teachers already do society a great service in stressful jobs that have less status and pay than many other graduate professions. Asking them to be also more morally pure than the rest of us would be going too far.
However, there are practical reasons why teachers should not display their imperfections. Kids have a supernatural ability to spot the weaknesses in their teachers and exploit them ruthlessly. Rumours spread and mutate in the playground at great speed. If, during the first lesson, Miss Davis seems to have had a bit of a heavy night, by the final bell she is a certified alcoholic. Authority is easily undermined if you are exposed as a wrongdoer.
Also, we want schools to encourage children to aspire to high standards of conduct. We know that humans constantly fail to be as good as they should. But it is better to set the bar high and fail from time to time, than it is to set it low and sanction everyday wrongdoing.
For these reasons, it is important that teachers appear to be upholders of the values we aspire to, standing for high standards of ethics and not allowing their message to be undermined by revealing how they themselves fail to meet them.
Toleration of hypocrisy? Pure and simple, the old “Do as I say, not as I do”. People who don’t want to be hypocrites should try to live by the standards they teach. But the concern of employers, students and parents should be only with how teachers behave in public.
1. Write a title in English which best summarises the text and justify your answer in order to demonstrate that you have understood the global meaning of the text.
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text
a) Spot: notice / see / find out / find / recognise, etc.
b) Wrongdoer: a person who does something that is wrong / who does bad / wrong things, etc.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one:
a) Teachers are expected to be suitable role models.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) Why should teachers not show their weaknesses?
Teachers should not show their weaknesses because they are role models for their students and because children notice when they do something wrong and tell other children.
b) Which are the choices teachers have to make concerning their behaviour?
5. Do teachers' personalities have a strong influence on their students? Give an opinion based on your own experience. (minimum 100 words, maximum 120 words).
I really believe that teachers’ characters are very important, because children can be shocked or impressed very easily at that age. We are with them for a long time every day, more than with our parents or our brothers and sisters. I had a history teacher who taught us history but also about life and I will never forget her. I think she had a stronger influence on me than my parents, and she changed my attitude to other countries and people whose skin is a different colour. On the other hand, sometimes this is not a good thing. My brother was very afraid of his geography teacher and on Wednesdays he was always ill in order to avoid that subject.