Becoming personally effective teachers

Becoming personally effective teachers

The success and job satisfaction of teachers depend on the trust and respect they enjoy from students and that in turn on their personal effectiveness and competency, argues Jayasree N

Personal effectiveness plays an important role in the success of a teacher much more than in any other job. There are a number of criteria to measure the success level of a teacher. Generally, the success of a teacher is assessed on the basis of the achievements of his/her students. Some may say that a teacher who is accepted and respected by more number of students is the most successful teacher. That is to say, the popularity of a teacher decides the level of his/her success. A minority may measure it with reference to the payment he/she receives. Whatever it may be, a teacher who is not properly received by the student community finds it very difficult to perform well in spite of undeterred enthusiasm.

It is needless to say that one of the driving forces that propel any professional to go ahead and excel in his own field is his job satisfaction. And for a teacher, the only means to earn this reward is becoming an accepted teacher. To achieve this, there need to be a systematic, determined and continuous effort from the part of the teacher.

Casting a spell of influence

There had been a time in history when a teacher was respected by virtue of the profession. Society was so tuned to look at a teacher with high esteem and a set pattern of expectations. But the situation has changed considerably now. Speed has become the order of the day and the new generation has lost or rather shaken off the conventional systems of belief. In the place of the lost principles more practical and objective ideals flourish now.

The youngsters have begun to question certain principles and values even customs as if they were all some taboos. For example there is no need to be surprised when a young boy frowns at his father or mother who instructs him to stand up and pay respect when an elderly person steps into the living room.

The teacher, surely an outsider, has to experiment with his/her efforts to influence the souls of youngsters in these circumstances and naturally it is an uphill task.

Often we find teachers making a passive choice and go on without worrying much about the depth of influence he/she could make upon his students. But this choice is always fatal as the basic attitude of the teacher will be adversely affected if he/she is not extremely careful.

Making oneself effective

Teaching is a profession which is to be pursued with passion, not as a duty. It requires the warmth of involvement rather than the cold logic of duty. But we have begun to lose that community of passionate teachers. Besides, they are not that sought after.
The process of teaching and learning has now been deteriorated to the level of just data transaction. A lot of the learning now takes place through the electronic media. But we have not yet reached a level to dispense with teachers. Eventually, it becomes an additional responsibility for the teacher to make himself/herself as effective as possible.

Striving after competence

Effectiveness of a teacher mainly depends upon his or her subject competence. An individual becomes a teacher only after attaining the minimum qualification required for it. But these minimum qualifications and awareness are not enough for one to be an effective teacher. The reason is simple - Children are more aware of things and situations than they used to be, thanks to the impact of media, especially the electronic media. Simultaneously, a student inhabits the real physical world and another virtual world which cannot be shared by teachers in general.

Naturally a student gets interested in a class only when he receives something new from the teacher. Hence it becomes imperative for the teachers to equip themselves with brilliant ideas and information always. They should strive hard to maintain a higher pace to cope up with the demands and expectations of the students. One needs to be more patient and inquisitive.  Though we develop patience, we lose our inquisitiveness as we grow old. This may be considered a disaster in the case of a teacher. We hear elderly teachers boastfully saying that they do not use a mobile phone or they do not know how to operate a computer. But this attitude from the part of teachers is not acceptable. It is high time that this group of teachers realise that there is nothing wrong in having an e-mail id though it is not highly essential for success. What is required is a change in attitude.

Generating workable methods

Teachers should develop some techniques and practical methods to make students lend their hearts and brains for 60 minutes a day. We hear full throated laments from the part of teachers regarding passive and indifferent attitude of their students. This complaint is baseless. We should accept the fact that our students have changed drastically.
Based on this realisation, we have to generate a set of workable methods which will give us back the lost magic wand to touch the young yet indifferent and insolent minds. Of course it is not an easy task, but the simplest formula is personal effectiveness.

Gauging the wavelength

One should be alert and sensible to feel and gauge the wavelength of the young group. This wave length is decided by the interests and aspirations of the youth at a particular time. It is very much dynamic too. To resonate with this wavelength the teacher has to ease himself/herself shedding away the unwanted burden of prejudices, conventional approaches and even the false ego. In other words he has to liberate himself from the clutches of his own age and thus eliminate or at least bridge the gap between his own perception and that of the children. Children tend to assess the teachers as old fashioned as they have already assessed their parents. Hence the teachers should endeavor to develop an impressive attitude. A child will have trust in a teacher when he is fully convinced that the teacher has a better perception and understanding in critical areas where he and his friends were searching for answers.

A child may forgive his own father for not understanding him because he has no other choice. But he will not be ready to give a second chance to a teacher who fails in understanding him because the teacher is an outsider and it is very easy to discard an outsider.

A sincere teacher never wants to be a discarded outsider in the eyes of his students and the only means for him to escape from this pathetic condition is his personal effectiveness. The trust a teacher enjoys among his students decides his real success and in turn it decides the level of job satisfaction.

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