It has become difficult to talk about love in the present times. This is not the world we promised our kids. Our heads are bowed down in utter shame as crimes against children are increasing. Justice appears to be a far-fetched dream as religion and caste have become mere tools in the hands of dirty politics. Political parties are blaming each other as we watch humanity hitting a new low every day.
When I decided to write this article I was driven with idea of love and how important it is for the teachers to show it to the kids as I believe that “it is easier to build up a child than to repair an adult.” When I read the horrendous news one after the other my optimism was shaken but then I realized that wasn’t this the right time to talk about the dire need of empathy, sensitivity and love, especially, for the kids from their teachers. Since love is such a powerful force, maybe that’s what we should focus on when things are going wrong.
1. Despite the pressures of our teaching lives, how can we not be patient with our children? Patience is core to our work to tease out what motivates a child’s anger, frustration, pain, or grief. It gives us the time to figure out how to connect with the child. Those connections help us find the empathy we need to remember that children need us to care first and teach second. We must work hard to be patient as we come to understand we can’t fix the world, but we can be present today for a child. We must be patient in realizing that other people’s agendas don’t account for the child who needs you to stop, listen, and do what’s right in this moment to connect.
2. Be a source of inspiration: Have you ever had a teacher who inspired you to work harder or pursue a particular goal? Were you inspired to become an educator by one of your own great teachers? Inspiring students is integral to ensuring their success and encouraging them to fulfill their potential. Students who are inspired by their teachers can accomplish amazing things, and that motivation almost always stays with them. Inspiration can also take many forms, from helping a pupil through the academic year and their short-term goals, to guiding them towards their future career. Years after graduation, many working professionals will still cite a particular teacher as the one who fostered their love of what they currently do and attribute their accomplishments to that educator.
3. Engage your students in the daily lessons: A great teacher makes learning fun, as stimulating, engaging lessons are pivotal to a student’s academic success. Some students who are more prone to misbehavior, truancy or disengagement are more dependent on an engaging teacher. Making your classroom an exciting environment for learning will hold the students’ fascination, and students learn best when they are both challenged and interested. It’s part of motivating students, which may not be easy, but which will benefit students immeasurably in the long run.
4. How many times have we been told that it’s mean or even hateful to tell someone that what they’re doing is wrong? But if you truly love someone, you won’t allow them to continue down a destructive path. Genuine love speaks the truthhumbly pointing out wrong and showing the right way. Correcting and guiding our kids and students is a powerful outpouring of love, as long as it’s just that – done in love.
5. Go the extra mile: A great teacher does not make it a secret that they care. Go the extra mile. Motivating students by encouraging them, rewarding them and getting them involved shows your students that their teacher is vested in their education. Do the best job you can to teach your students and they will notice. Meet with parents during conferences and school functions. Send notes home about student performance. Ask about how things are outside the classroom. Commemorate their birthdays in a small, special way. Make a student feel as if their life and not just their homework, grades and attendance are of interest to you.
6. Invest yourself in your students: Investing yourself in your students creates a positive atmosphere in the classroom that enhances your relationship with students and makes them feel important. A student is far more responsive to a teacher who cares, and is therefore more likely to learn and engage. Connecting with your students establishes trust, which is important to the students’ learning because it makes them comfortable enough to participate, ask for help when needed, and pay closer attention to advice and encouragement. Also, students feel better about themselves if they feel that a teacher has taken a genuine interest in them; they are motivated, and stronger self-assurance can make it easier for the student to challenge themselves academically. (source: https://teach.com/what/teachers-change-lives/teachers-care/)
It is interesting to note that films have always understood the fact that “A good teacher can change your life”. Think of the long tradition of ‘the teacher film’; Taare Zameen Par, To Sir With Love, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Black and the latest Hichki. Based on the book, “Front of the Class” Hichki deals with a teacher suffering from Tourette Syndrome. Here, the teacher is a redeemer but what makes it special is that the teacher is suffering from her own hurdle. Rani Mukherji’s character, Naina’s situation, is presented with empathy. Her spirit and determination resonates in her students by the end of the movie as she deals with them with nothing but love and understanding. She is given the difficult task of teaching 14 teenage kids who belong to the slums. “Naina who has never let her condition define her, teaches her students to not be defined by their conditions.” The earnest teacher who deals with her students with all her heart is finally able to make a difference.
This is what the world needs today; TEACHERS with their hearts filled with love, empathy, understanding and an indefatigable conscience to deal with the hard times. Dear teachers, effective learning can only take place in a stress free environment. So, learn to love the kids before you teach them so that they can love to learn what is being taught.