Zing thing: ways of a teacher

Latha Vaidyanathan

A teacher is always proactive and never winks until her plan is in place. However, schools are changing and with it the roles of teachers and students. Students sitting in a row with the teacher in the front of the room is becoming a thing of the past. Multiple teachers, support educators and designer seating are the new norm.

The way we consume information has also changed. Teachers are no longer the sole source of information with a duty to impart knowledge. Students are consuming media and information every day — from the time they wake up until the time they fall asleep. They ask search engines a question and receive instant responses.

What do I do? How might I adapt my role as educator to facilitate learning and thinking in an impactful, purposeful way in this new learning environment? “Look into the mirror and change your perception,” said my sweet soul. Consider Yourself The Lead Learner Of Your Classroom.

When you consider yourself the lead learner in your classroom, you’re committing to learning alongside, and also from your students. Cultivating an environment where everyone is a “learner, doer, teacher”,  creates a safe space where students feel encouraged to take risks, test out their theories and drive their own learning.

Although it may be scary as a teacher to step into this unchartered territory, we have to provide students with opportunities to think, to fail, to try again, and to succeed. Students should have the opportunity to reflect on their growth with both peers and teachers.

As we begin this school year, start to think about areas where you can let go of the reins and hand them over to your students. Is there an opportunity to set goals for the next eight weeks? Can we not let our students choose their end of the year holiday project?

The author is an educator and has deep interest in the integration of lifeskills with literature for a purposeful and peaceful life. She can be reached at latha.vydianathan@yahoo.com

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