Friday, February 20, 2009

Iraqi and an American teacher
December 2008

Education is part of a nation principle whether good or bad; it is being applied and engraved into the minds of the students. Specifically, education of the US interests the Iraqi people because it seems so rich and beneficial. Everything making up the system of education in the U.S; honesty, determination, and strictness, lack in the minds of the Iraqi professors. Nevertheless, formality, understanding of the environment around and socialism lack in the principles of the American professors. Being taught by both kinds of professors, I have learned they are different in many areas, some of which are: understanding the social mentality, evaluating the student, and honesty plus passion in teaching his/her course. Understanding the social principles or mentality; Iraqi teachers tend to bend the rules of a classroom and a course according to the strictness of the social mentality and thinking. For example, my phonetics professor in Iraq allowed absence when it was planned with all the classmates; also, he allowed late projects and homework submissions, not because he was a lazy professor or didn’t expect any respect from his students, as matter of fact, he was very well respected by his students; he knew though he would be viewed as a lunatic if he were to apply new boundaries at a place, like Iraq, where mentality is very bound to traditions and old thinking. In contrast to my American teacher, in Iraq as well, he had his individual American way of doing things around with little consideration of the social mentality. He never allowed late assignment submissions or absences without losing grades not even getting a permission ahead to miss class. To him, being viewed as a lunatic meant no offence; he was just being himself, proud of his American individualism. Another area of difference between my Iraqi professor and American was grading. As a student, I believe in physiological appreciation from my professor. By that I mean, if the teacher knows me or any student really well, a hard worker and an honest student, I would be encouraged not only to hear that I am doing well but see it. In Iraq, I was always shown the appreciation of my hard work. By that I don’t mean a C- would be an A+, the professor had his own way of showing me his appreciation. Whereas with my American teacher no matter how many hours I studied or turned in extra assignments, if I did poor on my final, then that would have had decided my level in the course. One last area, I believe was an obvious contrast between my two professors, was the honesty and passion in teaching. To me, honesty and passion is seen through being on time, having office hours and encouraging students to get the extra help, preparing extra assignment ideas, having a study plan for the whole semester and following it, coming well prepared to class, and be open to questions with respect to the class time. Unfortunately, my Iraqi professor wasn’t someone I would call a passionate professor that wanted to pass on his knowledge to his students; very laid back, cool and goes with the flow. Whereas my American teacher, honesty and passion was written all over him; he was always on time, always ready to explain again and made us students enjoy his class by making his assignments tough but fun. Teachers from different sides of the world act very differently, in areas such as strictness versus bending, evaluation on personality versus one chance evaluation, passion and honesty versus laid back and going with the flow. Furthermore, both have taught me lessons I will never forget.

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