Teachers are also educators. They have the opportunity of making a huge impact on the students, but with this opportunity comes many challenges. The greatest of the challenges faced by a teacher are:
1) Knowing their students well
It is imperative for a teacher to form a healthy bond with the students. Every effort should be made by teachers to know their students well. The interaction should extend well beyond the classrooms. Teachers should be friends first and should shoulder the responsibility of grooming the students with warmth and a cheerful disposition. Students should feel free to broach any subject and express all doubts whatsoever. A broad mind and a friendly attitude on the part of teachers will make all the difference when it comes to knowing the students well.
2. Understanding the different learning abilities and capacities of the students.
The biggest challenge for any teacher lies in understanding the different learning abilities of the students. Students differ in their grasping, memory, concentration, ability to learn and write and show varied interests in various subjects. A student who is good at Mathematics may find grasping Biology concepts difficult. So also a student may be good at sports and other co-curricular activities but does not show the same attention and interest when it comes to Academics. Some students are exceptionally brilliant and hard-working, while others are ‘slow’ learners, who struggle to understand what is being taught in the class. How does a teacher handle different students?
A good teacher will always focus on the so-called slow learners and will take them into his domain and nurture them with care and concentration. Comparing and criticising the students on the basis of grades and marks scored should never be encouraged by a teacher. Talking individually to the students, designing modules as per their requirements and assigning tasks to them based on their interests and then assessing their progress is vital here and will contribute to the overall personality growth of the students.
3. Motivating and encouraging them when the students underperform and have to deal with parental and peer pressure.
Today, students not only have to cope with academic and peer pressure but also have to deal with unrealistic parental expectations. This is leading to unprecedented stress in students. The biggest challenge for any teacher will be, as how he motivates, guides and encourages the students when they underperform, lose their focus and are distracted due to various circumstances. Lending a shoulder, a word of comfort and support, and instilling confidence and a positive attitude towards the students in their tough times is very important.
4. Building an effective communication channel between the Management-Parents-Students
Today, parents are more involved in the schooling and academics of their wards and parent-teacher meetings are well attended. The biggest challenge for a teacher lies in assessing the progress of the students and effectively conveying the same to the parents. A teacher should identify the strengths and weaknesses of the students and be able to discuss the same with the parents, thus creating an open atmosphere for the parents. Being harsh/rude to the parents and the students can prove detrimental to both the teacher as well as to the institution. Teachers should be accountable to the management as well and need to cooperate with the changing rules and regulations and play a key role in cementing a healthy bond between Management-Parent- Student.
Politeness, Patience, Perseverance and Assertiveness are all hallmarks of a great teacher. Teachers should rise up to these challenges, and take them in their stride to make a difference and bring about a change in society as a whole.