Who is the ideal teacher?

Prabhu S

No matter how advanced technology becomes and no matter how deep inroads technology makes into education, we still need human teachers to facilitate learning for children. And so long as this connection exists, there will be expectations on both sides. As teachers we are aware of our expectations from our students. But what do students expect from us? I undertook a small survey of 18 students in my class on what they expected from teachers. Here is what they said.

1. Teachers must help students learn both academics and life skills.

2. Teachers must avoid favouritism.

3. Teachers must put in the effort to make learning both fun and effective.

4. Teachers must be understanding and friendly with their students.

5. Teachers must respect students’ choices and opinions.

6. Teachers must encourage students not only in their academic pursuits but in other non-academic areas as well.

7. Teachers must be patient and ready to teach a topic as many times as their students need.

8. Teachers must not compare students based on their marks in the exams or estimate a student’s worth only based on academic performance.

9. Teachers must be open-minded.

10. Teachers must have a sense of humour and use it effectively in class.

The sample size is far too small to draw too many conclusions, but perhaps if you conduct a similar survey in your classroom, the answers will more or less be the same.

Whether we agree with some of these points or all of these points, as mentioned in one of the points above, we must respect our students’ opinions and strive to become the teacher they want us to become. After all they are not asking for the impossible and when we give them what they want, surely they will give us what we want—well-behaved students who are eager to learn.

The author is a teacher at Chandrakanthi Public School, Coimbatore. He can be reached at prabhu@chandrapublic.edu.in.

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