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