Teaching is a journey of discovery. A few moments and a few students share a special space in the memory of a teacher through the years. From a heterogeneous mix, in our classrooms, the students whom we can fondly recall are those who were distinctive in their ways. Students we had pleasure in teaching—not just the outstanding ones, but the ones who clambered their way up, with small tentative steps. The joy, the smile, the sparkle in their eyes when they nail it, when they flaunt what they’ve learnt, with pride and confidence, that’s the memory a teacher will always hold dear.
In many cases, students who struggle with sums, grammar, or grades slowly develop a distaste for school. The school, the classroom should always be a place of delight and evolution. The learning process should not traumatize the young mind, and teachers play a vital role in seeing that it doesn’t happen.
Engaging, challenging, and teaching a bright, intelligent child is a pleasure and the most straightforward job on Earth. But charming your way through to a child who is having difficulty finding his way and being with him along his journey of discovery is not easy, but a very heart-warming and gratifying job.
Academics are part of education, but often we fall into this folly of equalising it to “education.” We not only believe this, but we also tend to transmit this belief into the young child’s mind. Many times, parents too are guilty of this act. Sadly it leads to irrevocable harm to a child’s confidence and self-worth. At such an early and impressionable age, the child develops a self-belief that he is not good enough; this message is reconfirmed by the ones he loves the most, his parents and teachers.
So here, the teacher has a dual role to play. One, give extra attention and have more patience with the child who is struggling. Two, more importantly, provide him with love and assurance that he is doing just fine. Reassure him that together, you’re going to have an incredible journey while reaching milestones along the way. The teacher has yet another task, to look out for a skill or passion the child has. The teacher must then gently nurture the child’s unique talent or interest, which would significantly boost his self-esteem.
Teachers get caught in the cycle of “syllabus completion, tests and revision, and grades,” that we miss out on human interactions crucial to building relationships.
To ‘Educate’ is much more than teaching subjects. The Latin root words signify ‘to nourish’ or to ‘bring up.’ In its true sense, educating a child is to bring out the innate potential. Grades don’t matter as much as the child’s confidence in himself, the joy in finding out who he is, and being genuinely happy about it. Highlight the student’s positives, and working on the weaknesses, will yield beautiful results. Pull him into the spotlight and appreciate and celebrate who he is, and watch him bloom!
Teachers’ vocabulary and tone do wonders to students’ performances, more so with the unsure, quiet children in a class. A kind word here and an encouraging gesture there works magic. Unfortunately, we don’t use these as much as we should. Teachers get caught in the cycle of “syllabus completion, tests and revision, and grades,” that we miss out on human interactions crucial to building relationships. Education is a path that leads a child to become a force to be reckoned with, thanks to his teacher and parents’ positive impact.
I want to reiterate the fact that academics is not all of education but just a part of it. Students are children in our care and need nurturing. They are like the tender saplings that, with care, grow to stand tall and bloom on their own, bringing joy to others. Every child can do it, just not on the same day or the same way!