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The role of teacher

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July 11, 2017

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The role of teacher

I would like to honour the work our teachers do. They must be saluted for the sacrifices they make and applauded for their commitment to our children. The progress of our nation depends on our education system. Unfortunately, our system is still based on rote learning in which there is very little interaction and discussion between the teacher and the taught.

In spite of the rigid examination system our teachers make every effort to establish a rapport with the students. However there is certainly a paucity of quality teachers. Unfortunately, teaching has largely become a profession for women. One of the reasons for this could be the remuneration. Though there certainly has been a change after the seventh pay commission but, still the best of students especially the males do not take to teaching as a profession and it has become one of the last choices.

There was a time when a teacher was considered to be a Guru. His respect in society was supreme; the students worshipped the teachers and sought blessings every single morning. Today it is a pity that parents discuss their children’s teachers with them indiscreetly which takes away the necessary awe and respect of the previous era.

Teaching is more of a passion than a qualification. Above all every teacher must love his/her profession as well as the children.

For a teacher, communication skills are as important as his/her subject knowledge. You could be a doctorate but if you cannot deliver in the classroom then the students lose out on their interest as well as on their love for learning.

Other than possessing good communication skills, it is essential for a teacher to be child centric and have the ability to adapt, evolve and change to cater to the needs of the child in terms of 21st century education to enable the child reach his/her highest potential. A quote by George P Schutz beautifully summarizes the above ‘Use what works and throw away that fails the child – this simple maxim presents a compelling measure of the need for change, for to follow it would amount to a revolution.’

To develop such a culture in a school we would need the following:

  • Access to the best resources and access to the accessed
  • Empowerment of teachers
  • CHANGE should be the driving force of the schools
    • Education for life-‘Life long learning’
    • Teaching tomorrow today – ‘Technology’

It would be interesting for the Principals of all schools to involve themselves in teacher training. They can play a paramount role in uplifting the quality of teachers in the school. I still remember a game I used to play with my staff at DPS where we used to brainstorm the requisite qualities of a teacher and discuss on how to imbibe and inculcate them in our daily life. Following is the A to Z of some of these qualities.

A
Aware
Adaptable
Ambitious
Articulate
Attentive
Aptitude
Analyser
Atmosphere:
Establish a learning atmosphere in which students will want to participate and learn by forming a good rapport with students and helping them overcome anxiety as an obstacle to learning.

B
Being human (men and women of character)
Brilliant

C
Competent
Creative
Communicator
Collaborator
Critical Thinker
Class apart
Charismatic
Caring
Curious
Composed
Confident
Calm
Compassionate

D
Decisive
Dynamic
Direct discussions on important topics which incorporate students’ needs and interests

E
Energetic
Experienced
Enthusiastic
Effective
Efficient

F
Focused
Facilitator
Forgiving
Feedback receptive
Formidable

G
Goals:
Identify student goals, learning needs and learning styles.
Define course goals in terms of the performance expected of students and how it is to be measured.
Implement course goals in planning activities geared to produce the desired learning.

H
Humble
Honest

I
Intelligent
Inspirational
Innovative
Initiator

J
Jovial

K
Kind
Knowledgeable

L
Leader
Loving
Learned
Literacy Lover:
Information literacy, technological literacy, scientific literacy, media literacy, cultural literacy & global awareness, critical literacy, cognitive literacy and visual literacy
Lifelong learner
Listener
Likeable

M
Mastermind
Motivator
Mentor

N
Natural

O
Optimistic
Observer
Organised: Present and discuss material at varied levels of difficulty and complexity.
Ask questions or pose topics which will simulate students to ‘learn to learn’ and become more self sufficient.

P
Passionate
Persistent
Participation: Provide opportunities for students to participate in class.
Ask questions or pose topics which will engage students’ interests.
Encourage students to discuss topics directly with one another.
Ask follow-up questions which will stimulate students to elaborate, clarify and/ or support their statements.
Professional
Problem Solver

Q
Quick responder
Quotient: Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient, Physical Quotient, Technological Quotient, Spiritual Quotient, Social Quotient

R
Responsible:
This is a story about 4 people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realised that Everybody would not do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done! So be yourself and do not depend on others.
Role model
Risk Taker

S
Scholar
Smiling
Sacrificing
Soft Skills
Skilful
Social Media savvy

T
Taker
Tough
Trustworthy
Thinker
Transformational
Techno savvy

U
Unanimous
Unperturbed

V
Visionary
Viable

W
Worthy

X
eXtraordinary

Y
Youthful

Z
Zealous

Shayama ChonaDr Shayama Chona, is the former Principal of Delhi Public School, R K Puram, New Delhi; Founder President of Tamana (NGO for physically & mentally handicapped children); Founder of Anubhav Shiksha Kendra (a school for the under-privileged); she has been a member of 96 Advisory Boards and Committees; she has been nominated to Managing Committees of 46 schools and other educational institutions; she has been named in the Limca Book of Records 2007. She has been awarded the State Award for Services in Education 1993, National Award for Services as a Teacher of Outstanding Merit 1994, National Award for Outstanding Performance for Welfare of People with Disabilities 1997, Padma Shri 1999, Padma Bhushan 2008, and 49 other awards. She lives at C10/8, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi-110057. Email: shayamachona@gmail.com, tamanapresident@gmail.com

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