chapter  3
10 Pages

The teacher’s image

The generic term 'teacher' has always led to confusion because of the multiplicity of differently regarded tasks contained within it. Teachers of infants do see themselves as different persons from the teachers of sixth-form children; and the self-image is in part formed from the different cluster of attitudes towards the differing facets of the professional role. Few teachers carry out their work without being aware that individuals can modify groups. P. E. Vernon maintains that, 'Teachers are as diverse in their psychological traits as any other occupational group', and 'it is fallacious to talk of the teaching personality as something distinct and consistent.' The teacher feels closer to those pupils whose problems are more akin to his own. The caricature of the central, all-seeing, autonomous teacher is one that has not only affected the teacher's self-image and his traditional role, but also his personality. Wiseman maintains that the teacher's motive and his self-image are constantly reflected throughout the teaching process.