Who’s the teacher? The students, my kids- It’s evolution.
- 3 February 2022
“So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you.” – Sean Junkins
It’s really impressive to realise that every kid of mine has something to teach me, and as a teacher of an international school in Bachupally I believe that learning is for all stages in life. This overwhelming global crisis has provided an extraordinary time for learning how to retrace human connections and interactions. Navigating from the known to the unknown and then further to least known. Gosh! must admit, it was daunting! Still, with ample support and rigorous professional training provided by our school, we walked the untrodden…together hand in hand…exploring the undiscovered.
Being an English facilitator of one the best international schools in Hyderabad , I was super confident with the subject and the intricacies of the curriculum. However, blending technology into this and then brooding over which tool to be used for a particular lesson was completely burning me out. Thanks to my dear colleagues who helped me in deconstructing scaffolding. One thing that I learnt and believe in is that regardless of the technical forces at our disposal, it’s our role to prepare kids for today and how they may apply it to situations yet to arise in the future.
I have learned several lessons from my kids and although these experiences were quite different, I found some consistent lessons as a teacher among all these learnings that I want to put in a nutshell:
1.Stay alert– My kids are always tracing random things. They notice the ambience where I sit, my specs when I wear a different one and show concern if they determine I am feeling sick. This has enabled me to watch out for the little informal assessments and determine their understanding. It is crucial to be alert and mark when a student feels as if they are not seen or heard.
I have become more alert and observant towards the need of my kids beyond classroom and gauge what makes them tick. I have actively discussed countless video games, applications, movies, musical instruments, though these aren’t my interests. It came from realising that particular kids, with particular interests, needed someone to speak to and be equally excited about their interests. This all enunciated from being alert.
2.Encourage curiosity– At time I am caught off guard by the amount of curiosity my kids exhibit. Our English classes aren’t just confined to the text at hand. It meanders into lands unknown, histories retraced and current status of events. My kids ask me about government issues, history, movies of a particular genre and also about my family. They in fact suggest names of few movies I might like to watch. I love answering these queries and I too love asking them similar questions in return. I love and wonder at these little brains ticking steadily. This also keeps alive positive back and forth between us.
3.Laugh and giggle– My students have taught me it is crucial to laugh every day and enjoy life. Many of them come in carefree and giggling about anything and everything. As teachers, we are naturally inclined to stop it immediately! We need to if it is at the expense of another kid. However, learning should be a joyful experience. This year for the hybrid learning model, I cracked silly jokes, took active part in riddles and giggled through funny incidents and so on. In no way this has anything to do with test scores or rigor, but it has to do with creating a joyful and challenging learning environment. If the students can start out funny, I can only strive to maintain that throughout my lessons.
4.Busy- ness isn’t to be accoladed– Many a time, I hear my kids discuss about their busy after-school routines. Dance classes, football practices, tennis practices, music recitals, tutoring sessions, and many other engagements that take up their spare time post school. These are some fabulous things and are crucial to the holistic growth of the child. However, sometimes our kids flaunt their busy-ness as a badge of honor. Well, I learnt yet another lesson that burnout becomes a reality for kids if true love and passion was never evolved.
The same resounds for teaching. If we boast about our busy-ness, how we are engaged and think about work all the time, burnout becomes impendent to teachers. I have intentionally shut things down and said no to selected activities to maintain my harmony and keep my love and passion agile.
5.To love unconditionally– I have learned that no matter what so ever we undergo, our kids need to be our WHY. They often love us unconditionally; they deserve the same. I admire the strength and the valor prevailing in each one of these kids. They gradually become the heart of each lesson. And as I learn from them, I let them help me help others in a similar way. Together we are able to make a big difference in this world, one little wonder at a time!
Students just don’t remain an enrolment number in our class list at Oakridge International School Bachupally, eventually they become a part of our heart, a heart that glows till eternity!
Grade 4-5 English Facilitator
Oakridge International School,