Never opt for the profession of teaching— especially in the field of school education — if you are wanting in the treasure of patience, a key for effective teaching/learning. In this field, a teacher heads for the top of the performance ladder and progress on the back of understanding and a heart rich with patience. The end result is students ' learning curve climbs up.
A majority of school teachers prefer to employ physical / verbal punishment against the students not living upto their expectations; often both punishments are meted out. This approach works at times and is viewed as the most effective means to foster learning among pupils. But nine out of ten times, it backfires: neither the students learn nor do they gain inspiration to take to their studies.
Effective teaching is an endless endeavour which yields rich dividends in the absence of the corporal punishment. A tonic of motivation, although seldom provided, along with a teacher's efficient skill set and command over the content—make teaching-learning a delightful experience. Motivating students is an inseparable part of student-oriented teaching. Undeniably, demotivated pupils reduce the tempo of learning and all the hardwork goes down the drain.
A teacher may make students do any educational activity without making them understand why they should do it. This method makes learning painful and purposeless. Thus unthinking individuals arise. When you know why you are doing something, you work better. Knowing that the medicine will treat his/her ailment, a patient keenly takes it as advised.
Obviously, telling the students the reason(s) for learning something makes them curious to know how it will help them. This hunger to know the benefit of doing something acts as a driving force to make them hard workers, keen observers and disciplined. Then It is needless to give them verbal or physical punishment for a below par performance.
From that it follows that the students will always be in a learning mode, making the task pleasurable for them and the teacher. Now every time, you plan your lesson or topic, focusing on your students is paramount. Notably, students largely are active, curious and thinking beings. They look upon you as a facilitator, helper and patient listener. You can well ensure that their notes/ reading materials are clear, definite and well written.
In this pleasant atmosphere, a teacher can encourage students to ask questions and teach them ‘when and how’ they should ask questions. The teacher can also ask them his/her own questions. And should a student come up with a wrong answer, the teacher must never rebuke or insult him/her. But reward the student with positive words for having at least ventured to answer. That appeals to the student’s sense of pride and encourages him/her more to answer or question. A competition sets in among them to score more than others — a prerequisite for making the class room the happiest and the most beneficial place to work in.
Trying to know what is going on in the minds of your students, you may, sometimes, find it difficult to discover anything about them. Instead, you learn that they are very active mentally and just need a window to express themselves. Just give the window and watch them at their best. How easy teaching becomes then! Yes, they, sometimes, are unable to come up with right answers or think creatively. But in most cases, their responses are quick and correct. Needed here is a dose of encouragement.
As a teacher, one must respect and recognize the individuality of one’s students. And show great care and confidence when they talk, act or read. Make no mistake if students are ignored, they feel nervous, rejected and dejected. Or if only a student of more intelligence is paid attention, others feel jealous and inferior. These are negative emotions and affect the learner's studies and health.
And in this day and age, teachers must support their teaching with activities to make learning effective and easier. Gone are the days when the traditional ways of teaching-learning would bear fruit. Or had wide acceptance. Now times have changed; so have the minds of our children. That we teachers must recognize.
Most importantly, students are gifted with a sea of talent to face the various challenges of life. A class room should have a vast scope to explore, and express those capabilities. In such an academic climate, learners gain confidence, self-belief and a positive self-image. They like their studies and feel that learning any subject is not a mountain to climb.
The good news is that we as teachers can certainly make teaching-learning an attractive affair. To realize that noble aim, all we need is to reassess our approach, motivate our students, respect them, value them and give them opportunities to express themselves. That way, we will see them on road to academic excellence.
Let us pledge that we teachers, at any level in the field of education, do not make the noblest job of teaching-learning a frustrating and disappointing endeavor for students. They learn the best in a school environment which respects and recognizes their talents.
(Author is RK Columnist and teacher by profession. Feedback: Sheikhshabir518@gmail.com)