The Untiring Teacher
Teaching is the greatest act of optimism – Colleen Wilcox
One teacher, one class – 35 students (average), 35 minutes (approx). If mathematics serves me right it implies just about 60 seconds per student; 60 seconds per student for a teacher to inspire, influence, motivate and ideally transform, and progress with the whole team to fortify the teaching-learning process.
All students come to the class with their own psyche and their sense of identity, manifesting their personality through their traits, attitude, by their own standards and a preferred way of learning (kinesthetic, auditory, visual, etc). A teacher like an artist tries to connect the series of assorted dots to frame the picture of a perfect classroom and an overall successful class. Let us acknowledge, ladies and gentlemen, this is not an easy task!
In addition to the above mentioned challenges, we have the teacher himself/herself who has to balance much more personally and professionally to be successful. The teacher who is in charge of the entire class as a manager, counsellor, instructor, facilitator, coach, mentor – is also responsible for his/her own personal life; a life that is not just devoted and dedicated to the wholesome development of the students, but also comprises his/her own individual dreams, aspirations and duties towards the family.
So, how does one achieve this balance and create that essential magic to attain transcendence in teaching/learning along with a sense of personal fulfillment?
The answer is in just three simple words – Accept. Evolve. Emerge.
Accept – This write up is not about telling teachers how to be a ‘good’ teacher or how not to be a ‘bad’ teacher. Nor is it about looking for better teachers in the environment. This article is about embracing the ‘Guru’ that resides in each one of us. Our conscience that is aware of the dynamics of what is best for us under all circumstances in life. Every teacher reading this article is a teacher by choice! Teachers by accident don’t exist and even if they did then, as ‘accidental teachers’ – we have still consciously made a choice and taken a considered decision to pursue this line of profession. Any two teachers teaching the same subject to the same class of students following the same lesson plans would still have some variance in their teaching pedagogy. This distinction is what makes each teacher unique. The vitality, ardour, the spirit and the energy of every teacher is noteworthy and that’s what we need to cherish and blossom as individuals. Be the best version of yourself than an average one by imitating others.
Evolve – In the pursuit of what is prudent for us, which is the modern day mantra of any working professional, it is sagacious to honour the true spirit of an educator within and augment it with our conscious endeavour to seek amelioration deep within us. Being a counsellor I have the privilege to be a part of the teaching faculty, wherein I have observed how a bad day in a classroom with students (poor attendance, ill-mannerisms, incomplete assignments, poor results in assessments) can exacerbate the teaching attitude of even the ‘best’ of teachers. I have also had an insight of how a student’s vexation can be made better or worse by a teacher’s pragmatic attitude. To assume that teachers and students thrive on a symbiotic relationship won’t be fallacious. To transform as per the needs and requirements of the pious institution and noble profession that we are a part of on a daily basis is the blueprint for accomplishing triumph over any challenge. It is this mélange of variety and originality that ensures dynamism in the teaching environment. It is what keeps the wheels of creativity turning and generating newer, better ideas for improvement and implementation.
Emerge – There are no ‘good’ teachers with ‘bad’ students or no ‘bad’ teachers with ‘good’ students in a class. Disencumbering the ‘tags’ of good and bad allows us to foster the veracious Guru within us – the one if acknowledged scrupulously would guide us to perform our duties to the best of our calibre. As a person, we must yearn to bring out the best inside us as an educator, to reckon the attributes that make us – a teacher better than yesterday, without the fear of any competition or judgement by anyone; by accepting, honouring and organising formulated teaching/learning techniques that are available in plenty on the internet and books, seminars and workshops for enhancement, furtherance of required skills. It is not to think about whether what we have is good enough or not, the point to ponder is whether we are willing to employ and exploit all that we have to bring out the best in us. The only way to be prodigious is to embrace oneself with our own strengths, quirks, shortcomings while exploring, learning, appreciating with cognizance, drawing inspirational lessons from our students too, as knowledge and wisdom are not restricted to number of degrees or books.
Someone has aptly said, ‘The first step towards change is awareness’. It is good to challenge ourselves and push our limits to discover who we can succeed to be. Our conscience is aware of the dynamics of what is best for us in all circumstances in life. Trust yourself and have faith in your sensibilities. As popularised by a hit Bollywood movie – ‘If u want to achieve something with all your heart and being, the whole universe conspires to deliver it to you.’ (no points for guessing which movie was this) Accept yourself, evolve within, emerge fearlessly… the rest will follow.
Kiran Sangeeta Murali is a certified cognitive behaviour therapist and a NLP practitioner. She is presently working in Yadavindra Public School, Patiala as the School counsellor. Having a master’s degree in Applied Psychology and B.Ed degree, she also has the experience of working as a centre head of a popular pre-primary school. A proud army wife, she is a beauty with purpose, being the winner of Mrs India Globe 2016 crown and Mrs Universe finalist 2017(South Africa).Having a genuine interest in psychological wellbeing of children, she wishes to educate parents and teachers on effective employment of life-skill lessons at home and beyond to empower the citizens of tomorrow.