A student spends most of her productive waking hours in school. Thus, teachers play a pivotal role in her life. It is very important for a teacher to assess the needs of her students. A comfortable and congenial environment is very important for effective teaching and learning.
Students will feel motivated to learn only if they understand the significance of what they are learning. A teacher knows that all the knowledge imparted in school, according to the prescribed syllabus, may not directly fulfill the needs of each of her students. However, through her teaching, she can create the need, the urge to learn by connecting the theoretical with the practical i.e. interlinking the knowledge that she wants to impart with the day-to-day relevance of such knowledge.
It is very important for a teacher to plan her lessons in advance. However, sticking to the plan to the core is not advisable. There should be enough scope in her lesson plan to incorporate changes that make teaching and learning more effective. A teacher, who is prepared, is confident. She comes across as someone who is sure of what she is doing and this creates a degree of trust between the students and the teacher.
If I am interested in the topic that I am teaching, students will also be interested. People naturally feel drawn towards people who are sprightly. Stress is a part of everyone’s life these days including students. Thus, it is important for the teacher to be happy, lively and enthusiastic so that learning becomes interesting.
As a human being I know that it is very difficult for me to pay attention to something that I am naturally not interested in. The same applies to students. Lessons can be made interesting by involving the students in the learning process. They shouldn’t be passive listeners. Regular questioning and inviting suggestions and opinions from them, forces them to concentrate. The teacher can quote famous personalities, use examples from popular T.V. programmes, movies, books etc. Creative association between the lesson and popular media captivates the attention of students and helps in retention. The students should know that the teacher has put in a lot of effort to make her lesson interesting. Students respect teachers who do that and try their best to please them by being more efficient themselves.
Students don’t like it if they are expected to acquire a whole lot of new skills to understand what is being taught. While delivering her lesson, a teacher should be able to utilize the existing skills of her students to the optimum. She should understand that new skills can be acquired only gradually with a lot of hand holding. Also, children shouldn’t be insulted if they don’t know the things that the teacher thought they knew.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Just because a teacher is older than her students does not authorize her to be rude and insensitive towards her students. So a teacher should try her best to be likeable and approachable. It is only when you give respect that you get respect. And If I as a teacher get respect, then, I will also feel motivated to be a good teacher.
I know it is not possible to be a perfect human being. Also, it is very difficult to be around perfectionists. When a teacher acknowledges some of her shortcomings, mistakes and choices she made in life and shares her own school life experiences, children feel more comfortable with her. They feel less pressurized. So the aim of a teacher should not to be to become perfect but be someone who is human, humane and wants to make a positive difference in the lives of her students.