Guru-Shishya parampara and the influence of the teacher on the life of a student has always been the key aspect in the building of our nation. It is an age-old tradition in India and some of the classic examples of this relationship include Vishwamitra – Ram, Sandipani – Krishna, Parashuram – Bhishma, Dronacharya – Arjun and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa – Swami Vivekanand. With the changing times, the terms ‘Guru’ and ‘Shishya’ gradually got replaced by ‘Teacher’ and ‘Student’ respectively. Not just the terminology, there has been a phenomenal transformation even in the nature of this relationship. However, one thing which remains the same till today is the incredible influence of a teacher in the life of every student.
For the first time in my experience as teacher for more than seventeen years, I am honoured to write a few lines about the topic ‘teacher -student relationship’. Theoretically every teacher knows how this relationship should be and its impact on the overall development of the child. However, I have decided to utilize this opportunity to get in touch with some of my students who I taught right from the beginning of my career to know their understanding of the relationship with me as teacher and its impact on their lives. The responses received from each one of them made me feel so blessed which I think even a Nobel Prize winner might not have experienced and so the title for this article came out to be Noble Prize for a teacher. A careful analysis of all the responses helped me gain better insight into my life as teacher and gave me a reassurance that I have chosen a profession which is my true calling. Not just a reassurance but also it is a comprehensive report of how I have evolved as a teacher across the years and a measure of the huge reservoir of potential lying within me to continue with the same spirit even in the years to come.
I strongly believe that the day I chose to become a teacher is the day when I took the toughest decision of my life unaware of what lies ahead. However, today I realize what I am for and will continue to be a constant source of inspiration for the young minds adding value to the domain of education. I wish to share a check list with my teaching fraternity which might give them an opportunity for self-evaluation.
SELF EVALUATION CHECK LIST FOR TEACHERS
|1||I know my subject well.|
|2||I can communicate clearly.|
|3||I always leave the class with some idea or thought for students to go home and reflect.|
|4||I recognize the uniqueness in every student of my class.|
|5||I design tasks which address the needs of individual learners.|
|6||I am a teacher who invokes curiosity in the minds of my students.|
|7||I am a teacher who encourages students to ask questions which add value to their learning.|
|8||I am sensible and thoughtful.|
|9||I am an epitome of every good quality expected from my students.|
|10.||I make learning a meaningful and joyful experience.|
|11||I ensure that learning happens even beyond the four walls of the classroom.|
|12||My students eagerly wait for my class.|
|13||I earn respect from every student of my class.|
|14||Both my words and actions are unbiased.|
|15||I make efforts not just to enhance the IQ but also EQ of my students.|
|16||I am dedicated and committed to drive hard every student of my class to perform to the best of their abilities.|
|17||Both my students and fellow teachers consider me as the best mentor.|
|18||I am patient and positive while dealing with students or situations.|
|19||I always establish a real life connect of the learning which takes place in my class.|
|20||I touch the future I teach.|
|21||I never undermine the abilities of my students.|
|22||I never compromise on my ideals/ethics as teacher.|
|23||I am approachable to my students.|
|24||I always try to ensure that my students experience eureka moments.|
|25||I am emotionally balanced and consistent in my behaviour.|
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and is not a standardized tool.The statements included in the check list have been developed purely out of the responses which I received from my students. What is important here is not the number of statements for which your response was ‘Yes’ but an attempt from each one of us to become a teacher who would get ‘YES’ for all such statements. Eagerly looking forward for a generation of teachers ready to work in the lines of the great teachers of our times such as Kalam, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan etc., thereby contributing our bit in the progress of our nation.
A few excerpts out of the 27 responses received from my students:
- I’ve been Sir’s student for a semester during my UG wherein he taught me the subject ‘School Counselling’. Everyday, his class would start off with an overview of what he would uncover in that session and the best part about the session was – it always ended with an inspirational video and a thought for each one of us to reflect.
- You as a teacher always considered your students as individuals with unique existence and not just a bunch of people to be taught. I admire you for the innovative assignments given keeping in mind our interest and aptitude which helped each one of us to utilize our innate potential to the best possible extent. Your class was warm and welcoming. It was one place where I never hesitated to ask questions because I certainly knew that I would get an answer.
Sushmita Shukla & Manu Mudgal
- You’ve been one of the most thoughtful teachers I have had in my entire student life. You’ve always put forward your ideals and taught values and lessons we ought to learn. You have taught me in and out of the class, where we crossed paths. I remember, you always had something thoughtful to share with me.
- Wednesday third hour is the session most awaited by every student of our class because that’s when we get an opportunity to meet our Behavioural Science Faculty. A teacher who never knew what it means to be angry, how to punish a student or any such thing. It was an honour to have been his student at least once in my lifetime. I always remember the way you used to call me by name in every class of yours. Your teachings will stay with me forever. Everyone in the class respects you a lot and you are one teacher everyone wants to have in their life.
Vaibhav Dhawan & Rishav Jadon
- Being taught Psychology in XI and XII by Sir who used to call me as a student who is obediently disobedient, I always had an opportunity to express my opinion freely. He not only helped me in enhancing my IQ but also my EQ. In short,our relationship can be best described as Dear Zindagi – Part II. I am blessed to have such a great teacher in my life.
- Giving real life examples even for the most uninteresting topics in Psychology, motivating us with his wisdom, addressing our dilemmas and always ready to help is how I would define my XI and XII Psychology Teacher – Mr Satya Ramesh.
- He is my mentor and guide for my life time. I thank him for almost everything that I have and everything that I am. I have learnt the true essence of life from his Psychology classes. His pointers have always given me immense scope for self-realization and helped me to evolve as a better individual.
- With your support, efforts and patience – you have made mathematics a subject that can be enjoyed and taught me the way in which I understand. I still remember the moment when I received a prize for best explanation in the Science Exhibition 2010 and the credit goes to you.
- Those trigonometry classes, the concepts, the short cuts, the very way he called my name dwells in my mind even today. “ I touch the future I teach” is what applies to my Mathematics Sir otherwise how else would a student once weak in Mathematics end up becoming a successful engineer and a great lover of mathematical puzzles. He is an ideal teacher and mentor anyone can ask for. Till date, he remains a standard for any teacher. He is the epitome for every quality a great teacher requires.
Niharika Chawda & Bansri Mistry
- I would like to thank you for not being a corporate teacher and believing in your own true principles and standing tall in the moments of resistance and giving me my eureka moment and showing me the essence of not just Mathematics but of life itself and making me believe in my own ideas and for being my first inspiration in my life.
article by Dr Satya Ramesh