Kesar Patel is a Principal with an over a decade of national and international experience. She has worked as an English teacher and smoothly integrated the subject in the curriculum. Her experience has made her cognizant of the challenges that are faced by the teachers in the teaching-learning process. In her field, she has been interacting with children from various strata of society and has developed a keen sense of understanding of their requirement. She is an ardent believer of ‘Story pedagogy’ and ‘Activity based learning’ and has implemented the methodology in her school.
Teaching is the buzzword today. The entire world is trumpeting about the advantages of this profession. Teachers are brainstorming and coming up with different techniques to help find a solution to any problem that may crop up. There are companies who are desperately trying to innovate products which they can float in the education industry. There are hundreds of existing companies and thousands of aspirants trying to build a successful product to launch in the market. A product that would take them to the heights of their success. Each one is claiming to understand the mind of the child in a different manner so that they could come up with something which would sweep the education industry by a storm. Products, technologies, parameters, companies, salesmen, books, workshops, research, etc. the list is endless.
Take a chill pill everyone. The basic requirement is of one understanding, innovative, creative, and caring teacher. He or she must devise a teaching strategy which suits the needs of the students in her class. Yes, teaching is like understanding rocket science. Because each child has to be fed according to his or her own needs. The level of understanding varies from child to child and so the technique has to be different.
While preparing different varieties of biscuits, different ingredients are used and at times different techniques are used. The same technique will not produce the variety of flavours that we need. Similarly, the teachers have to examine, observe, understand, feel and empathise with the students before they finally achieve the desired goal. Different strategies work with different children. The same rule does not apply to all.
The teaching and learning process involves remembering most of the things. Research suggests that our mind has a wonderful capacity of retaining all the positive traits for a long period of time. So the basic point is that if we want the child to remember the concepts, they have to be fed in a positive manner.
The teachers need to understand that we are not teaching a particular subject. We have to educate a child on all the aspects. That can only be done if you are not focused on just completing a curriculum. Instead of focusing on “I will teach...” focus on the statement that, “The students will learn…” Trust me just this basic shift of paradigm in words will bring about a huge shift in ideas, approach and understanding.
This is how we shift a teacher-centric approach to a student-centric approach.
Sometimes just let the students learn on their own. Do not provide any material, do not give any directions, do not guide their learning. Leave them free with a question which intrigues them, which fascinates them, which excites them, which pulls them to the edge of the world! And just when they are about to fall off the surface of the earth, you’ll see that they’ll learn to control one another, they’ll come up with solutions, they’ll whisper, they’ll shout, they’ll get angry, they’ll rummage, they’ll fight, they’ll argue, they’ll debate but they will learn.
Anger, frustration and ego are the emotions which you must sell off as early as possible. They will be a hindrance to your development as a good teacher. The children will get attached to you only when they sense that these do not exist in your bag of qualities.
And LO! You will receive a feast of laughter, goodness, kindness, understanding, love, and undivided attention. So gear up this teacher’s day to bring that difference in your life and the life of your students.