Can a teacher be a friend?

It is the start of the day and the teacher walks into the classroom for the first class. The students wish their teacher in a sing-song manner, and the teacher proceeds to start the lecture. We see this happen in every school and every class. As the lecture proceeds, students take down their notes while the teacher continues with the lessons for the day. However, how often does it happen that a student raises their hand to ask their doubts? Not as often as you would think. Especially in the first go.

In the Indian education system, it has been noticed that students remain hesitant to ask their doubts and continue with taking down the notes even if they have not understood a particular point clearly. We focus on improving the grades of the student more than focusing on clarifying the basic educational foundation of the child. Keeping this in mind, it is important to spread the message that education is freedom. Freedom in terms of thinking. A child should be encouraged to speak up what they have in their minds and discuss them with their teachers instead of just noting down every point taught.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A FRIEND IN A TEACHER

Not every child gets the opportunity of learning to express themselves or discuss their doubts with the other person. For a child, to push out the fear of being judged, scolded or punished for asking doubts is an important part of development. The mind of a child will find it difficult to progress and grow if the foundations of education are not clear to them. A teacher should be a friend to their students in terms of helping them and understanding their questions or the number of times they ask questions.

THE ROAD TO FRIENDSHIP

While the thought of a teacher being a friend may be considered absurd by some, it is an integral part of the learning process. A teacher should be able to comfort the students and not be immensely strict and formal with them. The encouragement to raise their voice is an essential part of the learnings a teacher can share with their students. Teachers should be able to reassure their students in regard with the chance to question a lesson being taught. The ‘why, when, what and how’ are necessary to be addressed and answered. But at the same time, there must be a balance between being friendly and over-friendly.

THE RIGHT BALANCE

‘A teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instil the love of learning’. This being said, how can we determine what the perfect balance between a teacher and the student is?
A teacher should be able to maintain a balance between comfort and respect with the student. A teacher should be firm while being able to make the student feel at ease. In this process, it is important for the teacher to make sure that the respect is held intact and the student does not disrespect the teacher in any manner because the student started to get over-friendly with the teacher. The questions of a student should be answered by the teacher and the teacher should also be able to run the stricter job in parallel. Such balance if maintained will definitely help the teacher develop the basic foundation of education.

A firm yet comfortable environment in a class is a perfect balance. Students learn faster and better with open minds and an open heart, and when encouraged to ask their doubts and also be able to gain clarity with the help of a teacher, they will be more than capable to achieve their dreams and climb the ladder of success. With a strong foundation, they will be able to process their thoughts in a productive manner while helping everyone around them develop in the same fashion as they did.

“Teaching is not about information. It’s about having an honest intellectual relationship with your students.” – Paul Lockhart

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