Teachers hold a very special place in the lives of their students, and they have one of the most important jobs in the world to accomplish – to nurture the geniuses of tomorrow. Students want to feel inspired and motivated by what they are learning and doing. Bringing out the best in a student, while allowing him or her to learn from their mistakes is the responsibility of a teacher. Akanksha Pandey, from Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon, shares, “Teachers should make a genuine effort to know their students. They should pay heed the natural talents as well as the efforts of the students. A teacher should treat all the students in an equal manner, except those who need more help and attention.”
Adolescence is a crucial phase, a time when teenagers have low self-esteem and are often disappointed in themselves. They tend to be ridden with conflicts, and constantly fear judgement. Such was the case with Palak Modi, from Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon, who then found her answer in a teacher, “Adolescence was difficult, but only till I met someone special, a teacher. She turned my world upside down and completely transformed me. She made me realise my strengths, what I deserve and, all I am capable of. She made me love myself for who I am, by engaging me in tasks where my talents found their calling!”
Students look forward to an engaging learning experience, the most critical element in creating such an experience is the mood of the class. “The key to setting the right mood depends on the teacher’s ability to make the class think and feel. One of my favourite classes was with a teacher who portrayed all sides of every argument and opened up our minds to many new pieces of information. She would tell us stories, ask us questions pertaining to history, science, math, literature, everything under the sun. The prospect of learning something new from her every day made me excited about the class and its homework”, shares Shania Ratra, a student of Shiv Nadar School, Noida.
Aside from being an expert in their respective subjects, a teacher should allow his or her students to share their thoughts and feelings without hesitation or fear of judgment.
Another pertinent aspect is the temperament of the teacher. It is important that a teacher shouldn’t be too strict, as it may inhibit students from expressing their thoughts and viewpoints in class. The students may fear that if their thoughts varied from those of their teachers, they would be at a disadvantage. “On the other hand, a teacher shouldn’t be too lenient either, as students may not push their limits to realise their potential”, chimes in Akanksha, rather wisely.
Students like to remember their teachers in different ways. Some say that they teach important philosophies and perspectives on life, which stay on longer in their hearts and minds than home-works and tests. Some, like Palak, define them as a perfect combination of a mother and a friend. And, some cherish the advice of their teachers. “Move on with humility, humaneness, compassion and everything else will follow” was an advise given to Shania by her teacher, which she cherishes, and remembers to pass it on to others!
With inputs from Palak Modi, Shania Ratra and Akanksha Pandey, students of Shiv Nadar School