For the sake of this discussion, it is suggested

that there exists a paradox within the teaching

profession: one found in most schools. On one

hand educators know and believe that students

need role models and that almost every aspect

of teaching, even (or especially) including

discipline—is all about relationships. Yet on

the other hand we know that our school pays

us to teach—we’re not there to be a friend. The

teacher’s job is to teach and the student’s job

is to learn. Teachers acknowledge a duty of

pastoral care and that every student should

have a trusted teacher to speak to in time of

need. However, they don’t have time to chat with

students and if something is wrong, the preferred

option is to send them to the chaplain or the

counsellor. On one hand teaching is relational,

pastoral—some may even see teaching as a

ministry. Yet on the other hand, school is about

classroom management, teaching and learning,

timetables and assessment. Both concepts are

correct. Both are a descriptors of a good teacher,

yet one tends to be seen as an ideal and the

other as functional reality.

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