It’s unfair! A common cry from a very early age. It seems we have an innate need for fair play, even though we break the rules ourselves or we may not always follow it perfectly and completely.
I started to teach at age twenty – one. Until now, I still feel the eagerness in my heart and the excitement of being a teacher. I had a pleasant and unpleasant experiences that taught me to be an efficient and a dedicated teacher. Even though we do our task religiously, still we will hear or encounter complaints from our pupils and parents on why they don’t get things the proper way. Some students feel that they are neglected because of the so – called “favoritism”. The child’s version of favoritism especially in giving grades leads the parents to go to school as fast as the wind to scold the teacher.
Nowadays, students are not the only one competing but also the parents. Especially when one of our top performing student is the teacher’s daughter or son, parents commented that “Anak kasi ng teacher”. In this case, we just have to open our minds, try to rationalize the situations and be tough on our decisions and actions. If students and parents do not understand something, it is not bad to ask and be clarified of the issues.
“Do not do unto others as you do not want others do unto you” as Bible says. This is known as the Golden Rule. It is about a balanced fairness in assessment where everyone has the same or there is an equitable system of balance.
As teachers, we play a vital role in applying the system of balance or fairness to our classroom: fairness in learning, fairness in assessment, fairness in reward. We need not stand by as mere observers in developing these values. We can actively encourage the process of developing fairness.
Basically our children expect us to be fair in all their hard work for their studies, for the opportunity to live and learn under conditions of love and acceptance. Example, if we are asking question to the children in a classroom, we wouldn’t ask just one person over and over. We should want to spread the questioning around so that no one would be left behind.
Other example of fairness include considering all the facts in a situation before making a decision. Balancing the pros and cons of an action or choice helps an individual make fair choice.
On the other hand, Dr. Richard Curwin emphasized that fair does not mean treating everyone the same, meaning our students are different in many ways. They have different motivations for their choices, different needs, different causes of misbehavior and different goals, but it does mean that teacher must try to avoid favoritism. As far as the reason behind this concept, it mostly concerns giving our student the opportunity to succeed in the way that is relatively easy yet challenging.
Children always rely on teachers to provide them with the understanding and support that will allow them to get the most out of their interactions in dealing with others. If we are able to conduct our classes in manner by which students live in a truly fair environment, it is very likely that they will develop and hold the value of fairness.
We have to give what children need and deserve. By doing this, there would be no more complaints about “ Life is unfair!”, and focusing on to negative stuffs.
The vital thing about fairness is that it is the value which serves as an instrument towards the attainment of our aspirations for social justice.