Every child needs to have a human connection. Someone who can guide them, teach them right from wrong and develop their mind. A caring adult and most likely a teacher can be that person.
There were 164,000 teachers in academic session 2012-13 in the USA and yet only a handful of them cared about their students.
Despite the hardships and the dwindling salaries, these handfuls are striving to go that extra mile for their kids. They are a champion for their kids.
In the present age, where technology has taken over a lot of aspects of education with their smart classes and online tutoring; it is essential that children should not lose out the learning and meaningful interaction. Technology can enhance, but the scope of a mentor goes beyond teaching. He is the champion the kid needs today to cope with the changing times. A positive student-teacher relationship is one where both positively influence each other.
A teacher, counselor, mentor, advisor or just a friend is what a student needs in this self-learning world.
As a general belief, kids don’t learn from those who they don’t like. The champion needs to work on themselves to influence the present day kid.
A teacher doesn’t make much money nowadays. They earn around $58,000 a year. But there is no nobler or challenging profession than teaching. We all remember one teacher that influenced us the most because she could impact. She did not just educate us but also taught us ways of the world, through education.
How Can A Teacher Influence Her Students And Become Their Champion?
1. Teaching is No Longer Just Imparting the Curriculum
Teachers are no longer required to complete the course only, give the students homework and be done with it. Teaching is no longer just a job. Educating them is much more than that.
I once read a story about the teachers in ancient India. How the students left their homes and stayed with their teachers throughout their education. The teacher or ‘Guru’ was responsible for not only the subjects but took care of vocational skills and personality development.
They taught them how to deal with life under any circumstances. How to stay cool and handle their emotions! Each student had a different level of understanding and grasping the topic, and yet the educator did his best to turn these raw boys into gentlemen.
2. Get To Know the Kid
Engaging the kid in casual conversation, talk about music, gaming, sports, movies, latest shows or simply friendship a teacher can notice the entire class is ready to discuss. Break the monotony of subject discussion and letting the kids express their opinion on their turf is a great way to build the trust. Through these conversations and discussion, a teacher can get to know the student much better.
For example, if the student talks keenly about gaming, he might be quite observant and can make great strategies. Or if another child is aware of the latest happenings around the world, maybe he can be a class leader. On the downside, if the student rarely participates, he might be either shy or going through an internal struggle. Efforts need to be put accordingly. Indulging them in conversation helps the child to feel at ease and can thus be more open to listening.
3. Recognize That Learning Is Sometimes Hard
Just like no to individuals are same, a teacher must be able to recognize that no two students or two concepts are the same. If a teacher understands that students are having difficulty grasping certain topics that are a bit difficult; repeating them till the students understand will help the kids to trust their teacher.
Making extra efforts for the students create a friendly rapport.
This trust will help shape a good relationship. Understanding the situation at the child’s level is crucial for the teacher to be able to protect the student and be his champion.
4. Treat the Kid Like Your Peer
When the teachers and students behave like friends, their views can be discussed openly. It is a given fact that a teacher is a great influence on a young child’s life. But with senior students, friendship is more important.
When they find a friend in a teacher, who is willing to fight for them, even outside the class; they know that they have found a champion. The human connection would be there. Attending their extracurricular activities and being available to them out of school hours can bring the kid closer to you. They would find a great friend and thus trust.
5. Respecting Individuality
When the going gets tough, the teacher should be able to respect his/ her student. Notice when the child is not doing well, just encouraging him and being there for them is a lot. The kid should not feel scared or awkward coming to the teacher. Stating and being are two different things, if not physically, be available online. Having space where kids are comfortable is much better than space where students do not feel obliged to talk to their teacher. Their individuality intact would help the student a great deal.
A teacher who continually scolds or acts distant, the student can never come close to them.
Some teachers are painstakingly attached to the welfare of the student. A decade back when I was a teacher, unknowingly I became a friend to my students. Somehow I felt the students could come to me quickly and I respected their privacy. I had a similar teacher in college who fought for better living conditions for those who resided on the campus.
In future when a kid may battle with depression or substance abuse or simpler problems, the champion would help them and guide them. It takes a great effort to stand up for someone other than you, and only a teacher who is dedicated can do it.
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