As I sit down to reflect on my teaching career, I remember this instance when my colleagues and I were called for a meeting to discuss a problem. We all assembled in the boardroom. When the meeting started I observed that the discussion was restricted to two or three people. Only they were given the chance to speak.
I don’t know about some of my other colleagues, but I did not want to be there just as a spectator. This was an embarrassing moment for me. I returned to my class disappointed. All I had wanted was a chance to share my thoughts and I did not get it.
This incident made me realize what we do as teachers unknowingly in our classrooms. We give assignments to our students and when they come prepared we allow only a few to speak. I know we don’t do it intentionally. We either don’t have the time or are in a rush to complete the syllabus. Whatever our reason and however legitimate we feel they are, the truth is only few students get the chance to showcase their presentations.
Do we ever stop to think what the impact of this might be on our students? Like me, will they also have these questions?
Aren’t we worth it?
Are my suggestions not valuable?
Don’t I deserve an ear too?
Am I not intelligent?
Unknowingly we are eroding their self-confidence.
This was like a wake-up call for me and I asked myself what my role as their mentor is. Is it just to teach them chapters from a textbook? That the children can very well learn on their own.
My role is to enhance their self-confidence, self-belief.
The author has been working in the field of education for 20 years now. She was the Academic Coordinator for the kindergarten for 16 years in a reputed institution. She is also the author of three books. She can be reached at [email protected]