I remember a recent conversation I had with my son. As soon as he came home from school, he took his tablet and started searching for something. In a few minutes, he gave a sigh along with a “yes, so I was right”. Perplexed, I asked what was the matter. He said, “Aah, my dumb teacher! “. I was shocked and reprimanded him for saying such words against his teacher. He apologized and said, “Amma, but she is wrong”. I then asked the details and found that the teacher had given a wrong answer for one of his queries in physics. Well, my son is a little ahead of his classmates in terms of his knowledge of electronics and physics. This is probably why he got upset about the fact that he got the wrong information from his teacher. I am sure, he will now start to distrust his teacher from now on. And in some cases, students like him will end up as casual listeners, because they know that their teacher is not knowledgeable.
Another instance was when my daughter mentioned casually that she was doing an assignment for the sake of showing it to her teacher who will otherwise crib.
I know, most of you will have many such instances of student’s perspectives of a teacher. When I was growing up, I too had several such teachers whom I hated. And ironically we start to hate a subject when we don’t like the teacher who teaches said subject. I still remember, one reason why I failed in Maths during my pre-degree (plus two) was because I didn’t like the teacher who taught it. I found all her classes boring to the core, so much so, I stopped learning and finally flunked in the exam. Later I took help of my own classmates who taught me the principles and then passed the exam.
Today being Teacher’s day, I pondered over who is a great teacher? Or what is the future of teaching? Ten years ago, this question would yield a different answer and today it leads to a different one.
Oh well, at a philosophical level, for every human being, their circumstances or experience is their teacher. And a great teacher is someone who identifies and facilitates the teacher in every student he/she encounters. Put simply, a great teacher instils passion in a student and helps him/her become a greater teacher than they were.
But coming to the practical aspects, a person who has taken up teaching as a career is expected to provide certain levels of experiences to the student. And that experience includes Love. Love must be expressed by understanding the needs of the student and trying genuinely to help.
The role of a teacher is not to help the student learn the subject but to help him/ her fall in love with the subject. For which, the student should fall in love with the teacher! Yes, every student should love his /her teacher first in order to love the subject. I may sound a bit off-track, but think deeper. you will get to know what I am trying to say. Ultimately we remember only the teacher who loved us and who cared for us especially rather than the others.
With Google being the teacher of the new generation, I think, there is only one subject every human teacher needs to teach – Humanity. Whichever is the subject a teacher teaches, include the ingredients of love and humanity, I am sure, the student will be transformed.
Yes, become the “Love Teacher” rather than the mere “Maths Teacher” or “Science Teacher”.