I teach and so do I learn. The more I learn, the more I earn as a teacher with reference to honour, recognition and pride. Marching trends of learning has had its toll with the manipulation of Teachers’ Choice and their expertise of knowledge. The learning has taken its pace to the majority who by chance or tribes get governed by the Google Generation of today. Alas, to the say, the teachers are no longer the fountain of knowledge but an artistic adult to govern the discipline in the classrooms.
The teachers who motivate, differentiate, make content relevant and leave no student behind are more important than any other factor in particular. For students like the subject only when they like the teacher and is hence a directly proportional element within a classroom. The drive by the teacher in the class, with the vocabulary is signified with the equilibrium of learning together rather than teaching. The say, “Teachers know the best”, activates wisdom just in the say but in action. The sole reason for this far-fetched approach lies in the nutshell element of an easy approach of open knowledge which is free, versatile and dual with surprises. The satisfaction and the wow element within classrooms only prevails where there is a taste of “It is in the book, Ma’am, tell us some thing new!” As a teacher, it is our wisdom to inculcate the “I can do approach” instead of “I shall try approach” and that is universally possible only when we use kind words in the class. Compliment each kid, specially the difficult ones. That might be the only positive thing they hear all day.
Activating a student oriented rather than a task oriented classroom requires more of a connect, a relationship with the student. At times apologizing to students is a learning moment. If we want kids with character, we must model it to them with others as character counts. The experiences share in totality, that a real apology requires, freely admitting fault, fully accepting responsibility, a humbled asking for forgiveness, immediately changing of the behavior and above all actively rebuilding the trust. The dose of willingness to explore knowledge is what is desired rather than sharing contents from the book. When students appear crusaders of knowledge, the teachers need to act like a facilitator more but a strict disciplinarian in particular. It must be made clear to one and all that there is no expiry date for hunger for learning. Let yearning for learning be a priority rather than an occasional occurrence. Also the teachers must explore the power of curing ignorance as the chief element of choice in every interaction with the students, teachers, peers and parents. It is never too late to make yourself better, should be the priority. The segment of reality lies in engaging the children in the class with no fear but intimacy and a feeling of pride both by the students and the teachers at large. To the factual concerns, the fear kills the dreams than failure ever will and this should be mounted on priority by the masses. The children should be made to enjoy the classroom session with engagement and knowledge sharing using ICT tools and techniques of the cyber world and making their Online reputation management a reality.
The students today are no longer kids but young adults and hence need recognition as individuals and partnership in the learning process. Critical thinking must be one of the prime qualities of the children as it is among the first causes for change, but is a parish in schools- for no other reason than it conditions the mind to suspect the form and function of everything it sees, including the classroom scenario, all what is taught and discussed. As a teacher, it is our prime requisites to make progress visible, adjust grading practices, model desired habits and don’t get carried away with the politics of the school, the students and the parents. Hey, the voice violates, the Principal’s lobby is rushed for, is there any debating subject rises or fumes up. The school principal is all the way targeted and reassured support to the students, as ever be.
In order to govern and sense student’s friendly classroom, the teachers need to check on their share of the day, of some new vocabulary and make a haze to the fact that the students should be held accountable for the number and the quality of questions students ask and pursue during the teaching learning process. Right from Good Morning Wishing to the, Thank you children, the time and share has to be so friendly and empowering so as to make them take home moments of joy and some attributes to share with their parents. This must be a priority. For teachers need to showcase in action that they are not perfect and never will be. They must take risks with their teaching and failing must be a part of the learning process. For we are facing the Google Generation which empowers self and is not a dependent lot on either the library or the teacher, fortunately or unfortunately, I doubt my words too.
The wonderful words, do help our children to use a wide range of wonderful words in their writings. We must just not blame them of their handwriting and knowledge limitation, instead, must be the part and the parcel of their learning. Also to create a rapport with the students, the teaching tools in practice by the teachers need to be evaluated with reference to the usage during the lesson being appropriate or not. With this the teacher’s subject knowledge, enthusiasm, methods of questioning, exposition and problem solving relate to multilevel dimension for judging. The teachers as facilitators explore and expose the learning objectives in a big bang way via repartees and the responses generated after every classes or via the Parents’ Teachers’ Meetings on jolt and achievements. Let us conclude the fact that children will love and explore their presence in the classrooms only when given the recognition of individual concerns, it is mandatory for teachers to call the kids by their first names keeping them at pace to importance rather than experiencing the only preface with them at the time of the roll calls and that too with referencing through roll numbers.
The choice is ours, engage or enrage! Let quality be the taste for ever instead of being just an occasional occurrence. The priority must be to create a WOW classrooms with the tongue of “You can do wonders”, “You can do it!” and above all “All my students are best of the students and I am proud of them”.
Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra
Academic Evangelist, Author & National Awardee,