Experience shared by a teacher regarding the things that she has been able to learn from her students and how she brought about changes in her classroom through those learnings.
A classroom is a place where young minds are nurtured to create nation-builders for the future. Even though I am not sure whether the whole teaching community views it in this way, but, according to me, a classroom is a place where a teacher gets moulded along with the students.
I hail from a family of teachers. Initially, I considered myself to be just like any other teacher, one who is enthusiastic about the top scorers while being unhappy with the students who face difficulty in learning. However, with the passing days, I became quite ashamed of my own attitude. The children who attend government schools are usually helpless, belonging to the socio-economically backward classes. It is this fact that made me reconsider the situation from a child’s point of view. My career took a different path when I turned my attention towards the low-proficient learners and the backbenchers. In most government schools, teachers tend to have a stereotype that “a child belonging to a particular community will only be a slow learner”. It was painful for me to think that a child is branded in such a manner for something that they had no control over. I do not wish to sound like I am the only teacher who is concerned about the student community. There are many other teachers like me who share the same perspective. If you look into a child’s mind, certain stereotypical ideas can be changed.
Interaction in the classroom:
As far as I understood, there are many reasons behind the struggle a child faces while learning, which may vary from lack of interest to the socio-economic background or even a problematic family set up. If one looks carefully, one will be able to see that most of the students who top in their class always have a good and caring family. This made me think that maybe I could employ different methods of teaching and provide extra care to teach the students in my classroom. So, I started to acknowledge the problems and issues that are faced by my students. This small change also made the students pay more attention to my words in class. I cannot forget the instance where an arrogant boy changed his attitude because of my words. I understood the impact that my words can have on my students, and I became much more careful about what I said to my students. I have been able to improve myself in many areas thanks to my students. According to me, not everyone who undergoes a teacher-training course can become a good teacher. They also need to learn a lot of things from the classroom and the children. A teacher should understand a child just like a parent does.
My students shared a lot of issues that persisted in their families, which made me think that it was quite shocking and inappropriate for children of their age. So, I began to motivate my students every day before starting my class. My students gradually learned to leave their problems behind before entering the classroom so that they were able to learn better.
A classrooms free of fear:
I understood that children start learning by themselves if they are provided an environment in which they do not have to fear anything. So, I provided a friendly environment for my students. In my experience, I have seen that one thing that students are afraid of is how their homework is assessed. To tackle this issue, I decided to give and check the homework assignments in a friendly manner. I gave the responsibility to them. If they had valid reasons, they were even allowed to complete their homework at school itself.
A teacher should be one who is not only remembered by their names, but also for their words and deeds. I aim to be a teacher who can bring about at least a single positive behavioral change in a child. Even though I have worked at different places, I have found that the needs of children attending government schools are the same. A teacher should listen to their students patiently, especially when the students struggle to explain their point of view. We could say that a teacher has succeeded if a child looks for their teacher whenever they have a problem. I want my students to remember me as a good and kind teacher.
As days passed, I realized that most of the teachers face problems that are similar to mine. I encourage them to overcome such problems, just as I have been able to do with mine. I plan to start learning more for my students for it is only then that I can truly be a good teacher.
Teacher: Hema Saraswathy PST, GPS Porayurpet