Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Forging teachers of quality and commitment

Forging teachers of quality and commitment

Nov 13, 2014, DHNS

Just like a sculpture that takes a definite shape in the deft fingers of a sculptor, children can be moulded into responsible, educated and well-groomed citizens of the future by excellent teachers.

A teacher’s role assumes greater significance in an educational institution as it is the most important social organization in a society. Teachers have the capacity to make or mar a child’s potential at this vulnerable age. 

A good teacher is one who responds to students’ needs, is constantly on the lookout to improve his practice, is a good team player, is regular, punctual, cares about the children enough to give them a sense of security, is quick to identify the learning problems and provide programmes that cater to their learning needs, is a patient listener and adopts a proactive stand, blending his philosophy with the goals of the institution.

But the fact remains that teacher commitment also depends to a large extent on the attitude of the organization – the external rewards in the form of salary, position and recognition and the internal rewards in the form of a good work culture, teaching aids, the kind of students and their aims, and students’ values.

Internal rewarding is more important in an educational organization than in any other.

Some of the issues that organizations have to tackle are, the corporal punishment and its impact, the sudden killer rage that certain children possess, mobile menace which seems to destroy the spirit of teaching and learning, the disciplinary measures that are to be resorted to, and the effect of favouritism or enmity by teachers towards students.

But will resorting to corporal punishment help in any way? This means of punishment refers to any kind of physical torture inflicted on a person.

It can have disastrous effects on a child leaving him or her physically and psychologically impaired.
A child is a bundle of emotions and feelings and hence should be treated with care. Giving allowance to the maturity level of the child, patience, advice and guidance would go a long way in handling problematic cases.

Applauding achievements and helping overcome a child’s shortcomings also help the child during this very fragile period of life.

Communicating at the child’s level, frequent parent-teacher meetings, value driven education, anger management, yoga and meditation would go a long way in solving some of these problems.

The excellence of a school is defined by the students’ character, social and emotional skills and academic competencies.
Co-curricular activities therefore would go a long way in promoting leadership skills, goal setting, decision making and problem solving. Physical activities which requires getting out of the classes ensures good health and an exposure to practical tasks, resulting in a well-balanced individual.

The fluency in multiple languages and the grasp of multiple skills through this exposure as well as the service rendered through community service will be assets in today’s world of uncertainties which may require changes in career.  In matters of discipline, a middle path would be the best approach.

After identification of the problem and discussion with the student, the principal should be apprised of the matter, the parents called in and an appropriate plan for discipline and remedial measures worked out.
This could be followed by counselling, mentoring, detention, suspension, academic penalties and even expulsion should the need arise. Favouritism by teachers towards students should be avoided as this may send wrong signals to the less favoured and have negative consequences.

The responsibility of forming future leaders lies on the shoulders of teachers. The teaching profession is a unique one as it requires working with the organisation, stakeholders like colleagues, parents and students.

By setting excellent standards for the students to emulate, they can ensure children who are committed and are qualitative in their work. 

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