Author Topic: Student-teacher relationship  (Read 1795 times)

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Offline Alhaan

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Student-teacher relationship
« on: May 02, 2007, 12:08:18 AM »
                                   Student-teacher relationship
A student’s performance is dependent on a number of factors which intertwine so deeply to form a mosaic that cannot be interpreted easily. Teachers play an extremely important role in a child’s life. Most of us can look back and remember incidents of how teachers have had a significant impact (which can last a lifetime). There are several cases where children have developed fixed notions about important aspects of life based on their teachers’ attitude — the most common negative one being a strong dislike for school and all school-related activities.

Teachers have to be extremely careful with students. There is a need to be natural without being harsh (which is a natural reaction in some situations). A teacher is a role model and is therefore not in an easy situation. To maintain a balanced attitude — be it understanding, empathising or smiling — is not exactly the easiest way to spend the entire day. A few slip-ups are natural and that’s when teachers show the real self — this is healthy.

However, there are several cases where teachers are deliberately rude to a child; they say they can control themselves. This happens when they get into the child’s state themselves (Eric Burne described three ego states that individuals can be in – the parent, the adult and the child). The teacher simply starts treating the student as an equal by going down to the child’s maturity level. Teachers need to guard against this. The teachers training sources, therefore, do include a paper in psychology, but often this is simply treated as a paper to pass while the theories are not understood at practical level.

It isn’t easy being a teacher, but if they have taken up the challenge then they need to do it well; it is not just another job, it is a lifestyle. Adolescence is that age when a person is told that he or she is too young to do some things and too old to do other things. Individuals at this age are very self-conscious and, therefore, unwilling to ask questions, lest they make a fool of themselves. However, if the teacher is an understanding person who the student is comfortable with, he or she will not hesitate to clear doubts.

If the teacher already has a biased attitude, she will not only view a question more critically, judge the child as an adult rather than as a student who needs help but, as a result, discourage the student from clarifying the doubts in class. There can be long term effects too — students who have been ridiculed in class may lose confidence and never be able to voice their opinion in a group situation. They can, of course, dislike the subject or any other characteristics associated with that teacher — this strongly affects the preparation for the exams and the final outcome.

At the same time let us not forget that at the end of the day teachers, too, are humans and as much subject to life’s ups and downs as anyone else. Unless people are in their position, it would be difficult to appreciate their situation. In all fairness to teachers, teaching today is not provided the right kind of dignity that is due to it nor the commensurate remunerations! Especially if the teacher is the bread winner, the situation is all the more frustrating. Why teachers behave as they do, is probably a more complex question which has arisen in the academic domain. It is complex because human behaviour is complex and teachers are human beings. That however doesn’t condone such conduct.

Another reason is probably a mismatch of their needs, expectations with actual reality. The psyche of a potential teacher has to be somewhat different from that of other professionals. If a person is expecting to earn a hefty salary by teaching, he should rethink the choice of his career. School teachers do not come under the high income bracket schools are to be blamed, too. I do believe that more often than not, teachers are seldom appreciated; their contributions are rarely recognised and applauded. Teachers need to be paid well. They need appreciation. They need to be rewarded.

The student-teacher relationship needs to be addressed not only because of the deep psychological impact it has on students but also because of the physical manifestations they may have on them.