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Efficient vs. Effective: Which Side are you On?

posted Oct 12, 2017, 3:33 AM by Jose Dasig   [ updated Oct 12, 2017, 3:35 AM ]
Arvin L. Pascual


                In about two weeks from now, the first quarter of the school year 2017 – 2018 will be summed up. The first periodical examination is really just around the corner, which can either be a positive or a negative circumstance depending on numerous factors that affect students’ learning. With just limited time left, teachers are now left with a dilemma - to choose between being an efficient or an effective teacher.


                Efficiency is the state of being able to accomplish a task with the least waste of time and effort. In a teacher’s perspective, it is about making sure that all the required learning competencies are taught before the grading period ends. Sometimes, just to be able to accomplish everything, quality of instruction might even be compromised because of such expectation from a teacher. No one can blame a teacher if he chooses to be efficient, given the fact that many teaching hours are taken by class cancellations and some other activities. Another factor is the absences of the students that hugely affect their performance in class. If it is a given notion to finish everything, however robotic it may seem, a teacher might just reasonably think that it is the right thing to do as required by the department. Salute to the teachers who, despite all the challenges, still choose to do things the right way.


                Effectiveness, on the contrary, is the state of being able to accomplish a purpose by producing the intended result. By purpose, teachers are expected to educate and make students learn. Thus, effective teachers make sure that students achieve mastery of their lessons and required competencies. It means not moving on to the next lesson until every student manifests understanding of the concepts taught. Time is of lesser consideration, and schedule can just be adjusted depending on the students’ capabilities and progress. Similarly, no one can blame a teacher if he chooses to be effective. For him, it is a part of his calling to make students learn and not just bombard them with information. Even with just minimal time left, how can a teacher just proceed to the next chapter knowing that the students have not learned enough? Salute to the teachers who have such passion and dedication just to make students learn by doing the right thing.


                Luckily for some, not everyone has to choose between the two. In extremely rare instances, a teacher might be teaching only the best and the most participative classes and students in a school. The schedule, weather, learning resources, and all other factors affecting class instructions seem to be in perfect harmony. However, that is not the case for most of the teachers in public schools. Every day, we have to make a choice between being efficient or effective under different conditions. What is the better option? There is none. At the end of the day, you as the teacher know and choose to do what you think is best for your students. No one else should judge you but yourself.