We grew up hearing the phrase that teaching is a noble profession. Nobility comes from the fact that teachers are instruments of change in raising the next generation of citizens. So there is no doubt that the destiny of a nation is in the hands of teachers.
Good teachers have a profound bearing on the personal behaviour of students. Modelling a behaviour is a skillful and complex task. However, there is some basic premise on which one could work to get it right.
Following are five ways in which a great teacher would go beyond the classroom to influence the personal behaviour of his or her students:
1) Trust Building and Engagement
Students learn from teachers who are engaged with them on a personal front. The building of mutual trust, faith and respect is the key to learning and acceptance. A great teacher is always a great friend who would go out of the way to mentor and coach a student. If the teacher himself or herself is calm, they would expect their students to model the same. Students learn positive behaviour being in the company of a positive teacher who is a role model for them to follow.
2) Experiencing Compassion
Students model everything they see and experience. A good teacher provides students ample opportunities to experience the society, to know their place and learn the value of kindness to others. An act of kindness can also be taught by peering, tutoring or peer support groups. Involving students in long-term service projects with an impact on the needy among the society would dispel the sense of entitlement among the students. A great teacher would always be the first to involve in such service projects.
3) Law of Natural Consequence
Nature teaches us the valuable lesson that there is nothing called ‘punishment’. Instead, every action has its own ‘natural consequence’. These consequences could be desirable or undesirable. When a student does an undesirable act which could harm the student, the teacher would initiate the consequence to restrict the action. The idea here is not to shame the child. Instead, to separate the deed from the doer. For instance, if a student was found misusing his or her gadget, they lose the privilege of using the gadget at a mutually agreed time.
4) Law of Logical Consequence
Every time a natural consequence is initiated, it has to be logical in the eyes of the students. Teachers should always work out a consequence which is most logical for the undesirable behaviour displayed. If the student is found littering and not throwing trash in bins, then the consequence should be related to littering and cannot be linked to any other activity. One such consequence could be to restrict their task to mutually agreed a time.
5) Helping students reflect on their behaviour
A great teacher always helps his or her students reflect on their actions and on how to improve going forward. This could be a process followed after initiating a natural and logical consequence. Reflection always helps students to understand the perspective of others. Students learn the valuable lesson that there could be multiple perspectives on an issue and that all of those perspectives are equally correct. This action teaches the student compassion and cares on the part of the teacher. Reflection often closes the loop of improving a particular behaviour trait.