5 things to learn from teachers
We need to bring about a Renaissance in education, we need to give teachers their due and we need to learn from them
he looked like a fairy… she touched my hand, suddenly my tears dried, I clutched on to her for comfort, finding it in the magnanimity of her heart. She wore a plain white sari and looked every bit the fairy god mother, she was Ma'am...I cried out and suddenly the shrill sound of the alarm clock tore me back to reality. The teacher, whom I had been dreaming of, vanished in thin air leaving me thinking who was she? Was she my childhood apparition? What subject did she teach? Strangely, all I could remember was that she was my teacher, subject was secondary. Such are teachers-the epitome of love and care. On this Teachers' Day, let us list five things that we should learn from our teachers-no matter what longitudinal track of classroom we are in.
They will help us build a corridor between the classroom and the boardroom.
All those who cry hoarse about the chasm between classroom and the boardroom say that students need to be creative. In case you are an MCA or an MBA, what separates you like the wheat from the chaff is your creativity. Where do you get creativity? There are no lessons on creativity. The most creative person in your ambit is your teacher. She is so creative that she can bind different groups of students with unique tastes, unique study styles in such a manner that it drives home all the dry cognitive elements in the most creative manner. Creativity is a natural trait that your teacher possesses. Observe and learn it from her. It would translate into out of the box thinking in your corporate career and escalate it beyond your imagination.
Your teacher has had oodles of it. She is the queen of her domain, and if she is your favorite, she has to be confident to deliver her waves of thought. Never will you find her fumbling and groping for words. This is exactly what the industry is looking for. When industries spend loads of money devising training programmes for their senior executives, one common denominator, the objective they want to achieve is their confidence in body language. Confidence has to be their signature statement. Only then the other people in the value chain will sit up and listen to their top line and bottom line plans. So next time you sit in your class, apart from your cognitive functional domain, imbibe that oodles of confidence from your teacher.
Clichéd it might seem with the paradigm shift towards the services sector, communication has become the buzzword. From interview to appraisal to elevation in position, communication skills are a very important criterion. In most of the colleges, communication-skill training becomes part of the pre-placement activity. If all endeavours in the classroom had not been singularly limited to a one-way traffic between the teacher and the taught, there would have been no need of these add on trainings. And teachers have exceptionally good communication skills. Pick them up from there. Knowing about mathematics, science, accountancy is not enough. Notice the word about. It means you have moved in circles around the subject. To know is to 'be it' and communicate with it. Knowing about something but not being able to apply and communicate it is like two deaf gentlemen walking hand in hand both not being able to hear what the other is saying. Real knowing comes from talking and living it.
Have you ever wondered what APJ Abdul Kalam and Barack Obama have in common? When they walk and talk, people sit up and listen. They have charisma, which might not come with a showcase of dresses, but with an inner magnetism that surrounds you like a luminous halo. All leaders have it, Steve Jobs had it, and Mahatma Gandhi had it. Who has it, and is closest to you-your teacher. Take yourself back to your favorite teacher's class. Did you like her only because she taught well, or because of the magnetism she had. It came with the richness of wisdom. My dear graduates and postgraduates, this is another trait that companies are looking for. Imbibe it from your teacher.
The teacher in the white sari cared about you when you were in tears. She just held your hand and said everything would be fine and you still remember her. How many of us working in corporate houses care for our colleagues and our peers? Have you ever tried to uplift the spirit of your friend, who did not get a good appraisal or someone who has had a broken marriage? So busy are we in our pursuits that we keep on clamoring for more. Competition is a predatory beast of prey and has cannibalised care and empathy. Get out of the clutches of competition and just care… Without nay hidden agenda, the appraisal will follow and no company would afford to lose you.
Remember the greatest teachers of all the times; they were committed to the cause of humanity. Today, the word itself has become so short term in nature that people are being flushed in and out of systems-it may be families, organisations, and societies at large. The teacher has to be committed to time and the subject. All those who want to succeed in your career observe your teachers, they are wedded to their cause. Therefore, pick the nugget of commitment from them and make yourself indispensable in the organization you work or intend to work.
Education today is precariously balanced-losing sight of classrooms, where teachers form the essence of it all and stepping into the corporate rooms that are demanding creativity, commitment confidence and care from the students that step in day in and day out in the corporate houses.
We need to bring about a Renaissance in education, we need to give teachers their due and we need to learn from them. We need to brace ourselves to go back to the fairy tale and knit it, to use Krishnamurthy words, to meet LIFE. (The writer is a Punjab- based education counsellor with 12 years of experience. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )