Friday, February 25, 2005

Guru..r Brhama (Teacher isGod)

I remember , an anecdote in TOI middle page, by someone abt his teacher. In short :

In his class (4th or 5th std) one child drew the picture of the teacher on the black board . .When the teacher came and asked , “Who did it?”, there was a silence. The teacher was furious but kept her calm and told the children that drawing sketches and caricatures is an art . One can opt it as a profession also .She gave the example of famous cartoonists .
She praised the sketch/ caricature on the black-board and very politely asked who drew it? The child feeling proud after the maa’m praised him, came forward expecting applauds, and what he got…..a tight slap on his face!!

Day before my daughter was doing her maths Home-Work( sums of Percentage) and was taking longer than usual .When inquired she showed me a note written by the teacher:
“Do it twenty times”
Her fault, she was doing it in the class, after submitting her CW.
20 times!!

Why should a child suffer because of eccentric teachers?
We get to hear and read in newspapers many (horror) stories about the cruel behaviour of the school teachers. Should govt fix some guidelines for them,e.g. They must not humiliate the children.Right, sometimes children also try their patience but then every problem has a solution.

As a student and as a teacher I came across different types of teachers strict and polite (both lovable) Charming. Ones who cd make history and civics interesting , others who cd turn maths into a nightmare Boring . Just OK . Good , and the Gods.
I think if a teacher has a good command over the subject and he teaches it well then all his sins are forgiven J
I wd like to know from my experienced friends here :
1.What a teacher should never do i.e. what irritates the students most.
2.What are the small gestures that make the students happy and get interested in the class.
3.Name one(or more) teacher you remember fondly ,and why?


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

hello di,

. . . and I was sitting lip-biting, thinking if you'd post in present week its gonna be A MONTH since Joys and woes! we are all glad to see you around here:)

shocking to know abt this maths HW and CW thing! equally hilarious too. This math teacher shud be definitely talked to (tea-talk, PTA or written complain to school admin?) but I wonder if he might be trying to inculcate the concept of doing things at proper times and when/where told to do (discipline thing). Frankly speaking this discipline thing does bog me a lot- I sometimes miss the strictness of school kind (I was in a convent which was very disciplined and I love it that way)

I'd opine strongly against those "teachers" who injure students, they must be strictly dealt with- police complains, Human Rights commission, awareness programs, NGOs and at a lower level PTAs, school princi/admin, etc .... wat say? But for petty school punishments do we need to generate that much of hype? Did a scale or two on an open palm ever killed anyone.

You might say i am being ridiculous but "timly", "prominent", "constructive", "impartial" punishments are very effective as CONDITIONED STIMULI for bringing back on track, the round ones in square holes. We've got to use punishment in some form or the other to prevent people (esp. children who cannot appreciate the philosophical arguments of right or wrong) from wrong doing. [who have studied psychology courses would better appreciate wat i mean by conditioned stimuli and their effectivenese!]

Regarding humiliation: its a big NO NO- hurts the most- since in the long run it might even affect personality type of a person/child. Well its a tight-rope-walk between what you might call as "peer pressure" and humiliation. Solely depends on the intellectual level and communication skills of the teacher in question; but at least this is for sure that I'd strongly recommend the use of later as a tool for correction.

Didi you talked about govt guidelines- how do you think they can set rules and protocols of how things should be done for ABSTRACT things like behaviour, humiliation, etc where one cannot measure it or agree upon when is a condition humiliating or not!
I think that a better way to follow by govt. should be banning corporal punishment; regarding humiliation cases they should be dealt on case to case basis and with such strictness and constructive measures that it sets an ideal for others to follow. If rules cannot be laid in the name of guidelines, then still we can have 'casestudies' of teacher-student relationships (both good and bad) to serve as judgemental (not legal) guidelines for everyone.

ANother thing for this to happen is to make everyone (teachers, students and parents equally) aware of all these cases- cases of cruelty of teachers, cases of corrective measures taken for students and cases of teacher's being punished for being . . . .

Govt. can do its part in enforcing above points and may be making child psychology a compulsory course in B.Ed and making B.Ed compulsory (I think it is?) requirements for ALL teachers at school n college levels. In institutions we can have "counsellors for teachers" also alongside student counsellors, some flexibility given to school admin/teachers in dealing with student discipline issues (If the thing is genuinely abt human rights, child welfare, child psychology and his emotions getting hurt then temme how many parents would like such a situation that govt enforces that NO PARENTS can slap their wards!!). I believe many a times when cases of parents having 'problems' with punishments meted out to their wards in classrooms, it might got to do with ego issues too.

physical punishments apart for other humiliating kind of punishments anyways awareness programs- abt the harms of such actions by teachers and also legal issues along with 'casestudies'- might help. PTA (parents teachers associations) and NGOs can help a lot in this direction.
But the thing most wanted here is the balance a teacher needs to strike between use, timing and extent of punishments.

Reagarding small gestures which make students happy, I'd put first- small get togethers, may be on festivals, home visiting, and treats by teachers to their students :D
open "frustation-venting" sessions can also be encouraged by teachers. These can be verbal or like voting, in writing and anonymous- while these serve to let students give vent to their feelings and are emotionally relaxing for them, these sessions are also great feedbacks for teachers.

so long then didi, take care
wishing ur daughter gets better teachers in future;) give her our love

anonymouslly urs :)

vandy said...

Hello Bro,
Seeing you absent from the COMMENTS I was wondering where has my bro gone??

Thanks for the detailed and constructive analysis of my post.

She has all very nice teachers....

Ok I wd convey ur love and tell her abt this anonymous Mama.
BTW she thinks I waste a lot of my precious time on this thing called Blogging.:-)

In a bit hurry now.Sunday...lot of work....will write a reply later.
Bye and take care.

AmitL said...

Hi,Vandy,I guess it's sad but true..some teachers do punish children even if they are doing their HW in Class,with good intentions.Eccentric teachers are a breed apart.In my opinion
1) A teacher should not scream and shout,since it displays a lack of control(In some cases,it might be necessary to shout,of course)
2) A teacher should shower praise on students who do a good job,so as to encourage them and others also to do better.
3)One teacher I remember very much:In fact,all my school teachers are in my memory.Naming just one would be unfair...might be I'll do a post on them one of these days.:)Thanks for the idea.

vandy said...

Hello Amit,
Thanks for both the suggestions.
Will be waiting for ur post.

Deepak Jeswal said...

Hi Vandy...Interesting post.

Yes, a teacher is the one who can and will make the child 'like' or 'hate' a subject throughout his/her life.

So what things a teacher should not do :

a) Apart from Amit's answer on screaming and shouting...a teacher should not ever humiliate a student...esp, never in front of his peers. The child is too fragile for that. I might be wrong...but I feel that the point that a student is incorrect can be told with decorum, in private as well. Also, a student should NOT just 'teach' a class...h/she should interact with the class. Your example brought sad memories of my physics teacher in school...he would come, rattle out his 'lecture' of the day, and walk of, without bothering to check what the students had learnt or not.

Also, I dont like teachers who try to show their 'superiority' (complex) over the students. Of course, they know more on the jatane kee kya zarurat hai?b) What a teacher should do ? Yes, praise when the child does sth good...or answers well. Also, (this is extremely subjective) make a subjective cud be her tone, body language, interaction, time spent...anything, or a mixture of all this...

c) Thankfully, throughout school and college, I had more or less good teacher...but the one that always comes up to my mind is Ms. Chaphekar...she was my Eng teacher in class X. She taught me only for a year...but the impression she left was amazing. And her encouragement? Just too good! She made the basics of Eng grammar crystal clear... If I have this urge for writing , the credit goes to her 100% . She made sure, that despite not being in her class for XI and XII, she was always there to help me out ... she even took pains of taking one of my stories to the mag Target just becoz it could not be fit into the school mag, and she felt it was good enough for wider audience.

Manish said...

Very pertinent post; not only in times we live in. It has been a concern since ages, and would remain to be so.

My answer would be:
1) Like Deepak said, humiliation in front of peers or even otherwise is inconsolable. It just kills the self belief of a child.

2) Encouragements, how much ever small, can make the life of a child.

Thanks to God for providing me good teachers 'cos after my parents, most of them kept encouraging me. It's because of their encouragement, and my parent's sacrifices that I am able to make my ends meet today.

3)I have said it all in one of my previous posts on Teacher's Day - To Ma'am With Love .

And judging by your present and previous thoughts on such sensitive topic, I think your lucky students have one lovley teacher :-)

Anonymous said...

i seriously don't have any good memories of my own teachers,they were quite biased...i don't want teachers to take advantage of small kids in the name of discipline...maybe some paretns don't bother much...fond memomory is of my lil'one's nursery teacher.the way she talks not only to her but to the rest of the class;very personal approach with all the practical lessons...really liked it.another memory,my lil'one's first day in kindergarten and u know what her teacher did;hugged her and my child felt welcomed:)
that's y we say actions speak louder than words:)

vandy said...

Hi Deepak!
Three cheers for Ms.Chaphekar...
Sooo nice of her to get your story published in TARGET.
Thanks to her that we get to read such well written posts from DJ. I wish I had a teacher like her so that I could at least comment on those posts 

vandy said...

Yes I remember ur post on Teacher’s Day .
Thanks for the compliment but my I’m defamed for being too polite with them .
One day I spanked a child with a mock anger , the lil one smiled…after a while the whole class wanted me to spank them :-|) showing me their backs  cute na?

vandy said...

Hi red ,
Biased:Even very small kids can sense if a teacher gives importance only to her/his favourite students.
Nice to know abt ur daughter’s teacher :-)

vandy said...
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Manish said...

Veru cute :-)

See Vandy, a polite teacher is always a sweetly remebered one. Personally, I do so, and that always brings a smile on my face. And those people not even know it.

And I am sure, these kids when they grow up, they will always remember you for good.

Anonymous said...

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vandy said...

Rave reviews indeed!
But Anon,I prefer very short write ups. If stories are very loooong then you will have to wait for the comment till the weekend :-)
Few very good stories are already there in my "to read" list...DJ listening ??

the_new_cloud said...

Late here to comment..
One thing I really hated about the teachers was favoring one particular student...

Anonymous said...

Goshhhh !

Kitni busy ho aap didi !! I thot no one can be more busy than me :P

Just kidding but seriouslly didi I am having this feeling, that off late that U are quite busy with day to day chores:-? aren't U :-/

keep enjoying ur days
anonymouslly yours :)

Manish said...

Since I will be late to the office tomorrow, that is - March the 23rd, I would wish you for your birthday before hand.

Have A Very Happy Birthday ! Enjoy it with your family :-)

vandy said...

Thank you sooo much Manish, the first one to wish me.
Thanks again and happy Holi :-)

Manish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Manish said...

Vandy, please a new and nice post. It's been a long time no see.

vandy said...

new post ....haazir hai.