The guiding light

The guiding light

Teachers nurture young minds selflessly and guide them to endure challenges with ease. As another Teacher’s Day is here, some of the teachers in the City talk about what the day means to them and how the concept of teaching has changed over the years.

Divya, an ex-Carmelite and is teaching Chemistry at Mount Carmel College, says that this is a very special day. “We acknowledge the efforts of our teachers for being our guides and mentors. As a teacher I have learnt not to differentiate between students and not to judge anybody when there are all kinds of students in a class. As a student, I didn’t know that I could be a good leader but as a teacher, I have learnt it and have also learnt networking.”
 
While traditional way of teaching was the norm earlier, now teachers are adopting to new changes. Robina Farooq, who has been teaching for the last 22 years and is also the principal of Prasiddhi School, says, “Traditionally, teaching was more lecture-based but now it has become more interactive. Students are highly receptive these days. With the growth of technology, students come well prepared to the class which makes the classes interesting and active. My students have taught me to adapt to change with ease and not stick to conventions or to the past.”

On asking if technology has transformed the role of teachers, Fr Dr Richard Rego from St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, feels that teachers can never be replaced although being abreast with technology helps teachers communicate better.

“Technology plays an important role. I constantly post academic papers and study materials with my students in my blog and Facebook page and I also tell my students to post their assignments on social networking sites. This way, we build an interpersonal connection with the students.”

He adds that teachers are like facilitators. “Teachers must be friendly but not friends. Nowadays, children are exposed to a lot of information even prior to what a teacher says and our job is to channelise that information and guide them. I studied in a one-teacher-school in rural Mangalore. My teacher, the late Oovayya Kotian, was a single teacher who managed a large number of students. One quality I learned from him was his commitment towards his jobs and emulate the same values even today,” says Richard.

Today’s children are fast learners with the exposure of information. “A teacher must be a good learner, quick to adapt to changing conditions and should not be complacent with the knowledge gained in the past. I have always admired each one of my teachers for their respective qualities and being role models to me. Students of this generation are dynamic and ever willing to learn,” says Anjana Mani, who is a professor at Mount Carmel College and has been teaching for the past 15 years.

Anindita Biswas, who was a student of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science and is now an Assistant Professor of Department of Communication in the same college, feels that teaching in the same college is difficult.

“The modification — from being looked at as a student to being looked at as a teacher — has to happen which takes a little time. At the same time, it’s nice when people know you as you are already part of the kin and the support system is already in place which makes things better. But as a teacher, I have learnt to be more patient.”

Parinitha Shinde, an assistant professor and a former student of St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, explains the challenges she faces as a teacher. “There is a larger purpose to academic work that goes beyond assignments and exams. Also, many students today subscribe to the notion of instant gratification. It is a challenge to explain to them the long term benefits of rigorous college work.”

She adds, “It’s important to keep the lines of communication open between teachers and students, so that they voice their opinions and I address their concerns. It’s important to listen and not just give lectures.”

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