Fostering self development in Children at School

Fostering self development in Children at School - Teachers can play an important role

The Early Years

Growing up, we all hated school in varying degrees, some of us more passionately than others. The ordeal would start with us having to wake up early in the morning, followed by rounding up of things which we had cast aside carelessly the previous evening after school, and finally sharing space with half-asleep and irritable schoolmates in the school bus.

Eventually, the sight of the school would loom large before us, like an imposing penitentiary, into which we felt like we were doomed to spend the rest of our life.

The school bag was a hated symbol of oppression. What was being taught did not interest us. We would try to push minutes into hours, hours into days and finally, days into the weekend. We really believed if we concentrated hard enough, we could make the process faster.

The Favourite Teacher

Then, one day everything changed. In walked the new teacher and we instinctively felt there was something special about him/her. School suddenly became a playground and the new teacher became our mascot, leading us from the front, inspiring us to reach greater heights, helping us to realize our true potential and more importantly, making us look forward to the next class.

Then it was all over. We found our calling in various fields and spread out far and wide. The communication became more infrequent and ultimately reached a point where the only common thread that continued to bind us all was the memory of ‘miracle person’ who changed our lives forever.

There’s a favourite teacher in everyone’s life who fostered self-development in us, who encouraged us, who guided us, who shaped us to be the persons that we are today.

How did they do it

What does it take to be able to positively influence the lives of generations of students? Well, we all have come under the influence of the ‘miracle person’ in our lives and we all agree that they possessed some special qualities, apart from their obvious ability to ‘teach.’

      The Mentoring: They guided us, mentored us and most importantly, they believed in us. And that made us feel special. They convinced us that we had their complete support in whatever we did. They backed us and we did not want to betray their faith in us.

      Positive Attitude: They not only encouraged good students but also took the trouble to understand what was causing a child to underperform and take suitable corrective measures. Making us feel wanted always worked wonders for our morale.

      Never-say-die spirit : They taught us it was important to accept our failures as our own and not blame other people for them. They made us understand that failure was fine, even welcome, provided we owned up to our role in the failure and also promised to try harder the next time.

      Others before self :  They taught us that our needs came last. When we completed a tough assignment before everyone in the class, they would say ‘Very well done.’ Now shall we work with Jack/Jill and help him/her complete the assignment?’

      We all owe a debt: They made us understand that we owe it to our parents, our family, our friends, our teachers, our society and more importantly, to ourselves, to do complete justice to our talents, and without ever deviating from the core set of  human values.

A good teacher is one who does not teach, but encourages self-learning, does not pose questions, but leads us into a self-questioning mode, does not show us how to to do things but helps us at self-discovery. Fostering self-development in children is what a ‘miracle person’ does best.