American Politician, James Comer says, “No significant learning can occur without significant relationships”. What is the relationship Comer is talking about here? By the above statement, he means to say that students learn when teachers develop a personal relationship with them. Now, when a teacher enters into a classroom, every student holds them in reverence and greets them. Following that, the students are taught the lesson and the day ends there. Meanwhile, among all the students sitting in that classroom, only a few might have understood the entire lesson. So, what do we do with the rest? How does a teacher ensure that all the students are active participants in the lessons and also their surroundings? Because let’s not forget that it is teachers who bring out the true potential within a student.
This is where a positive teacher-student relation comes to play. How can teachers develop this kind of relationship where students find themselves motivated to learn. To this, American Educator, Stephen Covey in one of his speeches said, “You ought to just throw in a few simple things, like seeking first to understand, like apologizing.” The word ‘apologizing’ can be a bit confusing here. According to Covey, apologizing here is taking the first step. He even gave an example.
He talked about a teacher who once had to teach math, while she had no idea about math as it was not her subject. Upon finishing the lesson she looked up the lesson text to realize that it was wrong. The next day she walked into the class and said, “Guys I am sorry, I taught the whole lesson wrong.” This caused a series of events in the classroom, the students were in shock, because it was unbelievable for them to think teachers could apologize, secondly, one of the students responded, “It is okay miss”, to this the teacher replied, “I will work on it next time”. This gave students the assurance that mistakes are a part of life however, it is important to recognize the mistake, accept it and rectifying it.
Another example of bringing positivity into the classroom is, a teacher had conducted a surprise quiz of 20 questions and there was one student who had got 18 of those questions wrong. And that teacher instead of giving an ‘F’ graded the student a ‘+2’. The student asked the teacher why did she give a +2, needless to say, the student was very shocked. To this, the teacher said, “You did not get all wrong, won’t you do better next time?” The student was very excited and agreed to get better results.
This tells us that it is important to make students realize that they are on the curve of continuous growth and hence, there is always scope to learn more. This way any student will eventually engage themselves in learning, process their mistakes and even learn from them.
However, all this difference can only be brought about by an educator or a teacher. They should stand and make more relationships, where students are free to learn irrespective of how many times they have failed. A teacher should never give up and teach them no matter what happens because that is what they are supposed to do. Such teachers make both teaching and learning joyful. Imagine a world where every child is educated and has the courage to take the needed risks and behind that student was a teacher who never gave up on them. Such teachers are champions who understand the need for connection and insist the students to become their best version.
Acknowledging such champions and our quest to find them compelled us to derive edition titled, ‘The 10 Best International Schools in Spain, 2020’. Herein, we were privileged to meet few schools backed by champions who nurture their students to their fullest potential