Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. Sometimes respect just comes naturally for someone because of their persona or behaviour. We all respect our parents not because they’ve had exquisite achievements in their name but for their natural persona. This article would like to draw your attention towards respecting a teacher and why exactly is important for a student to do so.
WHO IS A TEACHER?
A teacher is someone who introduces us to education and values in life. At a preliminary stage, teachers instil the peerless faculties of communication and awareness of social responsibilities. Later in life, no matter which field we choose to pursue, we again turn to teachers for guidance and training. A strong information base and well developed capability of comprehension and analysis are critical for progress in such a competitive environment. The crucial responsibilities of inculcating knowledge, kindling inspiration and encouraging creative thought are qualities of a teacher. Keeping in mind the increasing trend of parents working long hours, the teacher is also expected to build a strong moral character and provide emotional support to the students. Thus, the teacher has to build a rapport with the student and be simultaneously approachable and authoritative. Their role encompasses that of an instructor, friend, role model and confidant.
ANCIENT TEACHING SYSTEM
In ancient India, teaching was not just restricted to classroom but included overall development of a person in different spheres of life. A student lived in a “Gurukul” with several students who resided together as equals irrespective of their social standing. They learned from the guru and helped him in day-to-day life like his own children. The “Guru- Shishya” relationship showed subtle and advanced knowledge being conveyed and received through the student's respect, commitment, devotion and obedience. The guru was considered as a transcendent self. Such a pellucid system of teaching is hard to find in the modern era.
WHERE DO STUDENTS GO WRONG?
Being notorious is every student’s unlawful right but that should always be in certain limits. The students cannot just go scot free disrespecting teachers and then expect the teachers to be nice to them. These days, many cases evolve wherein the students disrespect and disregard their teachers, don’t study in their classes or let them teach and also poke fun at them. They break school rules and criticize teachers when being punished or opposed. Such kind of a nasty behaviour needs to be reprimanded.
I remember in high school, we had a social studies teacher who had some medical condition related to speech and so she had a funny accent. Everyone made fun of her and gossiped about how funny her accent was. But some students tried misbehaving with her in class by imitating, disobeying orders, threatening her and what not. When the teacher reported this to the head of the department, the students were just given a warning. But they continued with their nasty behaviour in class. That was unethical on the part of the students to treat a teacher like that.
So was it the teacher’s fault to have a funny accent? Were the students wrong in all this? Undoubtedly the students were at fault wherein they, disrespected the teacher to show how superior they were. But this is just a sign of being a Bully. There should be a change in a student’s attitude towards the teacher in order to solve this problem.
STEPS TO BE TAKEN BY THE STUDENTS
- Treat your teacher as a friend- this way the class will become more interesting and would generate a healthy environment for the students.
- Stop bullying – bullying is a crime and this should be stopped immediately.
- Change in attitude- students should bring about a change in their attitude wherein they stop making fun of the teacher ans start respeting them.
- Take criticism positively- students should take the teacher’s comment positively. As it is rightly said “Keep those who point out your flaws close to you.”
- Imagine yourself in his/her shoes- while sitting in class, you should actually imagine yourself in her shoes and then you’d know how immensely you’d fail if you were a teacher.
This will create a better study environment. As well as get the best out of a student. This will also decrease chances of classroom disruption that occurs on and off.
WHERE DO TEACHER’S GO WRONG?
For some sole Interest lies in monetary benefit
Some of the teachers today are more interested in a scholastic approach and monetary benefits than helping the students. They are concerned about their salaries, their breaks during class and their idea of finishing their jobs in a hurry. This deviation from their main goal to give quality education and service to students has proven to be a major drawback in the education system.
Neglecting their duties and the personal grudges
Sometime back I witnessed a discord in my class against a college lecturer. Our economics teacher was otherwise very cooperative but she didn’t fix a proper time for class. She used to take classes whenever she was free and not as scheduled in the timetable. Her teaching style was to the point that didn’t involve any explanation regarding the topics. As a result, the whole class felt that they’d fall short of attendance because they weren’t able to ascertain the timings of the class. The teacher was more interested in attending phone calls during class hours than teaching. In a 50 minutes class she would teach for 25-30 minutes which further instigated the students against her. So the whole class reported the teacher by sending emails to the concerned department. The emails not only highlighted the attendance issues and the teaching style but it had certain exaggerated facts as well. These facts were not justified but then somehow this whole incident drew the attention of the concerned authorities towards the education system of the college. The college never got the lecturer replaced but she was subjected to a lot of criticism by her fellow lecturers and so with shame and guilt, the teacher improved her teaching method and resolved the attendance issue. The students apologize to the teacher. But the adverse effect was she gave us low scores in the college internal exams because of the grudge she held against the class.
Teachers can make or break a student. They must strive to do their best to justify their profession. A little bit of concern and understanding goes a long way in making a student excel in academics.
STEPS TO BE TAKEN UP BY TEACHERS
- Try to look into the student’s mind- This can be done by having a value education class and interaction of students with teachers.
- Value every student- Teachers should value and respect every student’s efforts and not just the toppers or their few favourite students. Academically successful students would value such a teacher’s guidance in academic matters.
- Interaction with students- Face to face interaction with a teacher would make the students feel that caring teachers legitimize their personal concerns and also help them refocus on academics. They should be emotionally and intellectually invested in the class to have more positive relationship with their teachers.
- Deeper understanding of students- Learn more about students personal interest and backgrounds. Try to connect their personal interest with the classroom work, where possible.
- Involvement with the students- Include journal writing activities, weekly student-teacher meetings and class discussions which enable students to voice their concerns.
- Patience- Be patient with disruptive and disrespectful students. Bonding with such students would improve their behaviour in the classroom.
- Change in teacher’s behaviour- Teachers should have appropriate behaviour in class. Self reflective personality of a teacher would help in positively modelling behaviours in classrooms
- Optional advice- Videotaping several class sessions may make teachers aware of any negative feelings that may be in the minds of the students.
These little changes in the attitude of teachers and students would help create a better study environment in schools that include scholastic, moral and ethical approach in imparting education.