Monday, 27 March 2017

Teaching requires giving away your heart

"Teachers choose their vocation for reasons of the heart, because they care deeply about their students and about their subjects. But often the demands of teaching cause too many educators to lose heart."

Good teaching comes in myriad forms ,but good teachers share one trait : they are truly present in the classroom ,deeply engaged with their students and their subjects . They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves ,their subjects and their students ,so that students themselves can learn to weave their own world .
Good teaching cannot be reduced to just technique. Good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher .All teachers do not use the "same" technique :some lecture nonstop and others speak very little; some stick religiously to the syllabus while others use new and innovative approaches. The methods used by teachers vary widely: lectures, dialogues, laboratory experiments ,collaborative problem solving ,creative chaos and so on.
There are numerous success stories of teachers  but in every story good teachers share one trait :a strong sense of personal identity infuses their work. One student said she could not describe her good teachers because they all had such different styles of teaching .But she could describe her bad teachers because they were all the same.
 Bad teachers distance themselves from the subject they are teaching ,and in the process ,from their students.
The connections made by the good teachers are held not  in their methods but in their hearts-"heart " in its ancient sense, is the place where  intellect ,emotion ,spirit and will converge in the human self. The heart is the loom on which the threads are tied ,the tension is held ,the shuttle flies, and the fabric is stretched tight. Small wonder ,then, teaching tugs at the heart ,opens the heart ,even breaks the heart-and the more one loves teaching ,the more heart breaking it can be. The courage to teach is the courage to keep one's heart open in those very moments when the heart is asked to hold more than it is able ,so that the teacher, students and subject can be woven into the fabric of community that learning and living require.

Dr. Tandra Sharma
Prof. JIE, JEMTEC, Greater Noida

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