02 September 2011

Teacher - student relationship

Today seemed to be just another day in the calender as I was checking my emails: inboxes flooded with junkmails and invitations from social networking vultures, which I promptly delete, as soon as I see them in the list. This time it was a bit different. There was an invitation from a young lady from facebook. I accepted her invitation as she seemed to be my student in late '90s.

I and my students liked each other. It had always been easy for me to treat my students somewhat like a parent would. I cherish my students' affection as reflected in (i) one of the poems written by my students at a high school in Bangalore in 1997 and (ii) a short write up written by a student in the 30th Anniversary Souvenir published at a secondary school in Southern Africa in 1988, as shown below:

It is the moral obligation of teachers not to let children down for any reason. For example, if children's language skills are poor, instead of giving discouraging comments, teachers should allow them to continue speaking (or writing) and then guide them properly. I cherish mementos given by my students whenever I resigned from  my post in any school. These mementos tell a lot about student - teacher relationship. One such memento given to me by a group of children on a working day before or after Vinaayaka Chathurthi, when I resigned from my post a school in Avadi, Chennai, is shown below:

I think that a teacher's role begins when he or she interacts with children like a parent. A school principal's role begins when she or he interacts with young colleagues like a parent and with older colleagues like a sibling. When this happens, children will be happy and so will the parents.

Children enjoying their post lunch free time at the school in Bangalore
An article which I read just an hour back, reflects my own viewpoint as to what it means to be a good teacher.

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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.