Opinion: Should Teachers Express Their Opinions in Class?
By Cougar News Staff | updated 11:00 am, October 12, 2011
By Ariana Simon – Cougar News Contributor
It is not a teacher‘s place to express personal views or opinions in class simply because they can so easily influence a student’s beliefs, it’s not in their job description, and it could block free thought among the students and willingness to share views of their own.
The opposing side of this argument might say that without teachers being able to express themselves, the classroom could become a dull place to learn. I am not saying that teachers should eliminate the process of expression all together, students in the classroom are more than welcome to take practice in expression. Teachers, however, should be able to carry the responsibility of censoring themselves to avoid any type of influence over students’ free thought. In response to a student’s opinion, the teacher could always offer facts to support it, or facts to oppose it, but never should they give an opinion of their own.
Students often look up to teachers and develop bonds with them that lead to a strong admiration, such as the admiration developed for ones parents. The same way we tend to blindly follow our parents beliefs, we would most likely shadow the beliefs of anyone else we held in such high regard. Therefore, being that students view teachers with the same respect they have for their parents, their minds are more susceptible to any influence they may receive in the classroom.
If, perhaps, a student did feel different than a teacher, then they become intimidated and hold back from sharing their own views in fears of being judged by someone who they look up to. This therefore, blocks development in our students and, eventually, development of our society. The classroom is meant to be an environment of growth, expression, and free flowing knowledge. When a teacher’s beliefs are thrown into the mix, they obstruct this flow, causing the students discomfort in freely expressing thoughts of their own, holding them back in the long run.
It is a teachers place to offer facts, to expose students to a variety of views, and to teach them the facts, supporting each one while holding no views in higher regard than another. They are there to give an unbiased outlook, they are simply a source of information, and must be sure to provide nothing more. When teachers project their opinion to be true in a classroom, this causes students who have opposing views to feel as if what they believe is wrong. Teachers are there to provide students with enough facts to develop their own opinions, not to impose personal beliefs upon unknowing minds.
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