Mother Teresa once said, ‘if we all clean our doorsteps the whole world will be clean’. In my context as a teacher this simple quotation if formulated would be; if all class teachers take more responsibility for their own classes the whole school would shine. The students would be looked after more often and they would even perform better academically.
The responsibilities could be as easy as picking up a fallen pencil of a student and keeping it on her desk while she is busy reading, as simple as decorating the class to enhance learning and as complex and difficult as building character of the students.
|Teaching-Learning Materials displayed neatly|
What I believe is that the system of class teacher might have been initiated to fulfill the extra duties (in detail later) I just mentioned but I hardly experienced it back in my school days. The class teachers would take attendance, teach his subject and at times help the head teacher spread emergency circulations. But the sad part is that I don’t see or hear about this fabulous practice even NOW. Here, I am not saying that my colleagues are ignorant about this whole thing and I am the only one who has mastered the trick. But the point I want to make is we (class teachers) are duty bound to take up this beautiful and responsible duties apart from the usual text book teaching. The responsibility I am talking about is bigger apart from making them literate.
When I started teaching a year back, I was given class V to look after. The number of students was 15 and it was the largest and the naughtiest class of the school. I was told that students exist from windows to get out of their classroom, steal lunch, they didn’t talk at all forget about responding to a question. I was happy not because I was given the opportunity to teach the largest group but, I thought if I could bring any change in them, I would be making the biggest impact! This was my motivation.
I started telling stories from my own life. Read them stories from books. I did Show movies on my laptop. Taught them songs; ‘Tears in Heaven’ by Eric Clapton, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and ‘Desperately’ by Don Williams to name a few. Talk with them in a casual way. Tease them, cuddle them and foretell stories of them being successful; working at a big office, staying in a large house, buying cars and giving me lift when they find me along a road with a walking stick.
Within days the students started to behave properly. They began to open their long closed mouth and were quick to respond. Stopped stealing lunch and started to use door to exist (I don’t want to take this credit alone; the works of other teachers must have also gone into it). I would spent whole day with students chatting with them even in intervals and avoiding that stinking staffroom (more about this later). But, few of my colleagues got annoyed with me for being too friendly with the students. They were of the opinion that if I give more damn to the students, they will soon take advantage of me. I didn’t want respect from the students and my ego was not important than the friendly atmosphere I was trying to create for them to learn at ease. THIS IS THE RESPONSIBILITY I AM TALKING ABOUT.
When you hear or see subject teachers lashing out at the poor performance of your student in the staffroom without any suggestion for improvement, the sense of belonging with the student and the urge to help him in every possible way IS THE RESPONSIBILITY I AM TALKING ABOUT. And not that usual game of commentary where you, as the class teacher of the student, add few more weaknesses of the student to make it more interesting. This practice makes the staffroom stinking. This is the reason I hate to stay in the staffroom because in the heat of a conversation we often open our mouth to say things we don’t actually believe in.
To motivate and inspire your students to work hard each day, to be example to others and to make the class the best class of the school IS THE RESPONSIBILITY I AM TALKING ABOUT.
Set example to your students by keeping commitments yourself, conducting yourself morally because they look up to you and in sharing with parents how their child is doing in the school IS THE RESPONSIBILITY I AM TALKING ABOUT.
|The Four BRAVE students writing their own destiny|
This year I am the class teacher of class IV. The class is the smallest in the school with only four Brave students. Brave? They are always the headliners of our staffroom. And they still tell me that they will work hard. They are still hoping to do better. I did everything in my hand to help them. Now, they are showing improvement though little. I am happy for them but amidst this lead story I am feeling the heat. If they fail I fail. If they succeed I succeed. Funny it may sound but the class teacher is like a father to whom the whole family relies on but if something goes wrong all the blame comes to him. Akin to the simile IS THE RESPONSIBILITY I AM TALKING ABOUT. SO, MY CLASS IS INDEED MY RESPONSIBILITY! Isn’t it?
Hope you are sold to my idea!