“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” A powerful, inspirational quote by Rita Pierson about teachers changing lives. Teachers, did I just say? Rather…Educational Rockstars!
Right from the basics of creating a gratifying classroom atmosphere, to conceptualising interesting activities and executing them with passion, designing activities to cater to the difficulty levels of different learners, devising strategies to assess and improve skills, customising the pace of the teaching-learning process…the teacher does it all.
The teacher is the first to hone the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of the learners. It is no wonder then that she is looked upon with admiration by her class of assorted learners:
- The ‘struggling learners’ who experience that eureka moment through simple techniques where the ‘whole’ is broken down into seemingly small ‘doable’ steps.
- The ‘average learners’ who are encouraged to share their skill set/learning through interaction and collaboration in groups.
- The ‘gifted learners’ who get to shine brighter than the brightest star with the extra coaching given after school hours.
- ‘Learners with a learning disorder or special needs’ who benefit from graphic organisers and scaffolding activities.
The teacher’s sole aim is simple, yet resolute – to effectively get the learners on the same page and optimise their learning curve.
21st century learning demands that the teacher be a ‘facilitator’ rather than an all-knowing entity in the classroom. What better time than the present, where technology is the need of the hour? Teachers have overnight turned their living room into a mini classroom, reaching out to their learners, efficiently helping them to grasp the power of numbers, the impact of words, and the wonders of science.
Though from a distance, now is the right time to use the quarantine period due to the coronavirus pandemic to develop the learners’ mental health and emotional growth as well, apart from academics. What better time than the present to instil empathy amongst them? Nurturing a hobby, feeling the joy of spending quality time with family, being thankful for good health and the gift of life itself, appreciating nature and other simple things in life, gratitude for educational professionals, healthcare workers and essential support staff who work tirelessly when all else has come to a grinding halt! This will bring them closer to realising ‘the joy of giving’ and ‘the joy of living’.
It’s time to show them the way but refrain from walking the road for them, be mindful about their safety but not smothering their independence, allow them to fall…only to rise up faster and stronger, allow them to fail…only to relish success when it comes, equipping them with life skills to face the challenges of the world.
Armed with the mantra, Connect-Engage-Make a difference, teachers have come a long way in creating a niche for themselves. Kudos to all teachers. It’s time to celebrate them!