Spectrum
good teacher

What makes a good teacher ?

TO BE AND HOW TO BE

              ‘Children learn best when they like their teacher and they think their teacher likes them.’

                                                                                                           – GORDON NEUFELD

For the longest time I believed there wasn’t a single teacher bone in my body and this is a profession I will never ever venture into, even to save my life; but now with more than ten years into the unforeseen and lots and lots of affection of my students in my kitty, I realize I couldn’t have been further away from realizing my calling back then. But there is more to add to the story, I entered the profession primarily because my parents considered it safe for girls (quite typical I believe) and then entering the wedlock where I would have to move every two years further put a stamp of permanence on this halfhearted choice. In fact I had not equipped myself professionally, and attained my B. Ed degree while on job because my employers summoned me to get one or leave. Mind you, I had already been a fairly successful and liked teacher by then, but the piece of paper (just being melodramatic) was to decide my capability (read eligibility) as a teacher. Ever since it has been helping me to get jobs at new locations, introduced me to technical terminology related to teaching-learning process, and taught me to maintain scores of records and documents.  But did it teach me how to be a good teacher, or anything about the humane factor of the process, NO, rather the qualities and attributes of a good teacher mentioned as part of a particular study course can never be taught to anyone; they are an integral part of your being, your psycho-socio behavior and reactions to situations. You either have it or not; can’t learn it, but can develop from the fragments already there.  

For me, my teachers in past were a great lesson and I had learnt fairly early in my career, how to be and how not to be. The virtues essential to be a good mentor will always come to the surface without any effort, when the situation demands. One cannot have a rigid set of beliefs and ideas about classroom, instead on-job conditions and experiences play a vital role in shaping us as effective and efficient teachers. Change is the only constant in life, and learning, a lot of it, is an integral part of that change. Hence you should be ready to learn and adapt when a new situation demands a new you. Each school, classroom and set of students, are a fantastic opportunity to learn as much. There is a lot about social media that I learnt from my students, right from tagging people on instagram to creating memes. Think beyond the obvious and acceptable, teach some more and learn some more.

Accessible and Approachable

Be accessible and approachable; do not become a know it all boss in the classroom, be a leader who guides and motivates. Do not patronize the students, rather help them level up. Be friendly yet firm, never ever compromising on the dignity of your position. Treat them as responsible individuals with distinct personality and behavior.  Show concern and help them reach the solution of the problem. Being judgmental, partial or indulging in favoritism will take you farthest away from your role as a teacher. Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more. Praise and appreciate them for the smallest of achievements. Teaching isn’t a game of trying to be one up.

Gain respect

Respect can never be forced and you are not entitled to it just because you are elder, senior or superior. People might show respect, but to feel it is an entirely different thing. You earn it through your deeds and actions, and it’s always mutual. So respect your students the way you wish to be respected. Do not make them feel less of themselves for any reason; rather empathize, understand their situation and create a bond of mutual trust and affection. A teacher is the second parent and the onus of overall well-being of the learners lies with them to a great extent. You must connect and communicate well with your students, talk to them about things beyond the textbook, teach them life skills, and help them cope with disappointments and failures. In short assist them in becoming the best version of themselves while preparing them for life. There is a saying, “Give me a fish and I eat for a day, teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.”

Subject knowledge

Your competency and knowledge of your subject brings about a certain confidence which can be easily identified by the learners.  It is your superpower, utilize it to the most and rub it onto the students. Always go to your class very well prepared and leave no room for self-doubt.  Well learned teachers are valuable resource, not only for schools but society as a whole.

A guide

Since the teachers play the most crucial role in shaping the future of a nation and world as a whole, it is very important to possess moral uprightness and courage. The next generation must be equipped with the ability to distinguish right from wrong, and having distinguished that, they must develop the courage to stand up and say their piece irrespective of who thinks what. And a teacher should be an embodiment and facilitator for this, and should be able to help students sail through moments of self-doubt.

Spread happiness

Most important and least thought about or worked on, always stay happy and smile. A jovial and happy teacher is always attractive and can do wonders to the class. S/he helps everyone develop a positive attitude and outlook towards life in general. Joy is contagious; it spreads like plague in the classroom and creates a perfect setting to deliver some valuable lessons. On the other hand a perpetually dispirited and dolorous teacher can cause irreparable damage to the young minds. Having said all this we must accept that teachers are also human beings at the end of the day and mighty stressed ones at that. So there will be days when one wakes up on the wrong side of the bed or the Monday blues keep lingering for longer. Simply adjust your halo on such days and believe, ‘this too shall pass’.

Whether you join this profession out of choice or force/compulsion, the fact is that you are in it now. Give it your best shot and always remember, ‘A mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains, a superior teacher demonstrates and a great teacher inspires’ – William Arthur Ward.

SMRITI CHAHAL

B.A Hons. ( Miranda House
University of Delhi) , M. A. English (BRAU Agra) , B. Ed (MDU Rohtak) , PG
Diploma in Mass Communication( Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan) , Certificate in Soft
Skills( Madras University).

A teacher by profession and
a mountaineer at heart. She has an experience of teaching English as a subject
and a language at various levels across India, latest being PGT English at Air
Force School Hindan

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prateek

?

Pushpendra kumar
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Pushpendra kumar

Its really appreciable
Proud to have a teacher like you ma’am

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