Ap­pre­ci­ate teach­ers and the learn­ing process

New Straits Times - - Pulse -

EV­ERY May 16, teach­ers ev­ery­where are cel­e­brated on Teach­ers’ Day. Stu­dents show their ap­pre­ci­a­tion to their ed­u­ca­tors through cards and small gifts. It’s un­de­ni­able that the teach­ing pro­fes­sion is one of the most no­ble oc­cu­pa­tions in the world.

A teacher’s job is not lim­ited to just com­plet­ing the syl­labus; it’s about planting seeds of knowl­edge at an early age. A teacher’s re­spon­si­bil­ity does not only cen­tre on up­hold­ing and main­tain­ing dis­ci­pline in school, a teacher teaches the dif­fer­ence be­tween right and wrong.

Teach­ers don’t just teach what’s found within the cov­ers of a book, they de­liver knowl­edge and are con­duits of pos­si­bil­i­ties and po­ten­tials that their stu­dents can tap into. They don’t just re­turn stu­dents home the same way they ar­rived at school, they re­turn young peo­ple who are im­proved and bet­ter ver­sions of them­selves.

As such, it’s crit­i­cal that we ex­tend our ap­pre­ci­a­tion to them as well. I still re­mem­ber my late fa­ther’s words: “At school, teach­ers are the par­ents. They de­serve your ut­most re­spect and obe­di­ence.”

As I prac­tised this ad­vice, I re­alised it to be ab­so­lutely true. One thing I re­mem­ber clearly is that treat­ing teach­ers with love and re­spect en­abled me to fo­cus eas­ily while they were teach­ing.

Now it’s my turn to pass on my fa­ther’s ad­vice. We al­ways ask our chil­dren to fo­cus 100 per cent in the class­room be­cause this is sim­ply the most ef­fec­tive way to learn and when the real learn­ing process hap­pens. We even asked the teacher to seat our chil­dren in a place where there was lit­tle dis­trac­tion. This en­sures they don’t miss what’s be­ing taught be­cause it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to catch up once the class is over.

You may ar­gue that one may gain the same knowl­edge by read­ing on their own. Why would you want to take that risk, when you can sim­ply sit back and listen to your teach­ers dur­ing class? This is why many peo­ple find that they learn more ef­fec­tively dur­ing sem­i­nars as com­pared to read­ing the same ma­ter­ials in a book. The same logic also ap­plies to why you still need to at­tend lec­tures when you can eas­ily read and learn things on your own.

When our el­dest son Faisal started pri­mary school, he per­formed well aca­dem­i­cally by re­main­ing top of his class. He main­tained his good per­for­mance for about three years be­fore we started notic­ing a de­cline in his grades. It didn’t con­cern us at the be­gin­ning but when his grades started to dip lower, we grew alarmed.

We spoke with his teach­ers, and the feed­back we got was that he had be­come play­ful in class and paid less at­ten­tion to the teach­ers. Ap­par­ently, a new stu­dent had joined mid-year and was seated next to him. They soon be­came good friends and played all the time, even dur­ing class while the teach­ers were teach­ing.

We im­me­di­ately re­quested his teacher to move him to the front of the class so that he had less op­por­tu­nity to play around. At the same time, we ad­vised him to start pay­ing more at­ten­tion in class and we closely mon­i­tored his school work. Our

in­ter­ven­tion ac­tu­ally made a big im­pact. Faisal’s grades started to climb again and he soon re­turned to be­ing at the top again.

As with any­thing else, re­spect is some­thing that starts at home and con­tin­ues at school. After all, teach­ers play a big role in shap­ing our lives. They will con­tinue to play that role for our chil­dren. So let’s take a mo­ment to be thank­ful and say: “Ter­ima kasih Cikgu!”

Teach­ers play a big role in shap­ing the lives of their stu­dents.





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