Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
This post has been written by my thatha – Shri.R.Narayanan, Retired Headmaster.
All of 87+, he was the first to send the article! 🙂 🙂
Shri.R.Narayanan is my maternal grandfather. He has known me since before I was born. He graduated in BA and BT (Bachelor of Teaching) from St.Xavier’s College, Tirunelveli. He is a retired HeadMaster from Sri Paramakalyani Higher Secondary School, Azhwarkurichi, Tirunelveli District. Thatha is a recipient of the prestigious Best Teacher Award from the hands of the then Chief Minister, Dr.M.G.R. His English is impeccable. He taught me all the English that I know so far. I might have spoiled it along my own linguistic journey, but if there is anything in what I write that can be called English, it is his! The stories that he told me in childhood has shaped my life mainly (I don’t deny other influences.). I am yet to meet people who are as pure, as humble, as hardworking and possessed of as much will power as my grandparents.
My paati (maternal grandmother) Smt.S.Lakshmi has been his other self since their wedding in 1950. Their love has brought me up and their blessings have stood me in good stead. At every juncture in my life, I have sought their advice (whether I follow it is another matter). At this milestone of 150 blogs too, I had written a letter requesting him to write something for me and he has kindly obliged. The article is on teaching – a sincere advice for those taking up teaching as a profession today.
I am eternally grateful to him for this article, as I am for all things that he has done for me.
As one who has been in the teaching field for more than 30 years, I would like to present the following suggestion regarding teaching.
I would like to suggest the following principles regarding what a teacher should be, how psychologically he can face the students and how he can gain full knowledge of the subject that he proposes to teach.
Nowadays, students have more knowledge regarding a few subjects than the teachers. In order to teach today’s students, the teacher should have sufficient and thorough knowledge on the subject and should be up to date. By putting short questions on the subject taught, he can know how much of the matter is already understood by the students. The teacher should not thrust the subject matter all of a sudden, but do so step by step to enable the students to assimilate what is being taught. At the end, he should summarize what has been taught thus far. This recapitulation will help the slow learners to grasp the subject.
The teacher should not have a serious look while teaching and should use an easy way of teaching to enable the pupils to grasp the subject well. He should have a pleasing persona and outlook towards them. These will enable the students to attend the class, without distraction. He should elicit the answers from them instead of thrusting the answer on them (by giving clues).
Some punishment – not corporal – may be given to the students who misbehave in class or the school premises. I suggest the punishment may be something like asking them to write the correct answers by way of imposition or such like. This will help the students as well – at some stage, he is bound to retain some of the answers!
Sometimes, the students may ask some questions in order to get clarifications. The teacher should be prepared to clarify it, if it is genuine and relevant. Irrelevant questions should be dealt with appropriately as it mostly wastes time. For this purpose, the teacher should have a thorough knowledge of the subject. He should get himself refreshed on the matter to be taught before facing the students. He should not face them all of a sudden, thinking that he has studied the matter earlier and that it would be sufficient for the day.
I would, last but not the least, state that the teacher is first a student and then only a teacher. He should dedicate himself, at least during school hours, to the welfare of the students and towards moulding their character.