The famous Sanskrit adage often quoted in Hinduism “Matha Pitha Guru Devo Bhava”, highlights the importance of teacher. Here the author throws light on the ways of building harmonious and long-lasting relationships with the students beginning their college life; from the perspective of experts, students and the author himself.
I. Experts’ opinion:
Establishing mutually respectful relationship: “Respect comes in two unchangeable steps: giving it and receiving it”. Giving respect is collective of: consideration, concern, attention and appreciation. Some teachers are more concerned with what they teach students more than earning their respect or respecting the students.
Investing time with the students: In order to develop a great relationship with students, teachers should be good listeners, share their stories, experiences and laughter, but most importantly, foster a genuine interest in the students’ interests.
Understanding individual differences: As a teacher understanding the individual difference and satisfying the need of the learners according to individual’s difficulty level increases the bond of transferring ideas and bringing in the behavioral modification.
II. The Voice of Students:
The author did a survey among his medical and paramedical students about their expectations from a teacher, for a harmonious relationship and enacted some of their key feedback.
Unbiased activity: Interacting with every student, giving hope and treating them equally
Applying maxims of teaching: Explaining complicated things in a simpler manner
Recognition: Offer criticism in person and express encouragement and well-deserved praise amid peers
Rapport: Being friendly than a strict master
One of the students quoted the widely celebrated fact that “Parents are the first teacher and Teachers are the second parents”. Another student quoted ‘ A good teacher is equivalent to 1000 books’
III. Expression of my years’ experience:
There occurs a major transition from School to College, where the student mingles with their new fellow mates from different Socio-cultural, Socio-economical and Socio-biographical setup.
First and foremost, they should be encouraged to let go of their inhibitions by making them feel welcome and appreciated. Fun socializing activities and games can be used as ice breakers. Often when language is an issue, students should be highly encouraged to think and speak in whatever language they are comfortable with.
Taking control of the classroom: Didactic and monotonous lectures should be replaced by interactive short sessions which makes the class room livelier and encourage participation. The teacher must have a broad mind to continue his learning process as Rabindranath Tagore quotes “A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame”.
Paradigm shift has already taken place from teaching mode to learning mode. The teacher is not supposed to teach what he knows; rather he has to educate what the students are expected to know.
A teacher has to play multiple roles; as a friend philosopher and guide, with a proper margin of rapport between a teacher and a student.
In a nutshell a teacher must make use of the 3 ’H’ (Head, Heart and Hand) carefully, to build a long lasting and worth full rapport with the students.
Benefits of positive student teacher relationship:
Boosts academic achievements, helps students to avoid behavioral challenges, assists students in developing self-worth and improving their mental health, assists educators in their professional development. Keeps the channel of communication open, makes teachers approachable and encourages students to learn better by emulation.
One to one attention: This remains the principal limiting factor in today’s education; mainly owing to the decreased students’ teacher ratio. Alternative approaches are being made by the concept of Mentor-Mentee program, forming students’ grievance cell or Counseling cell where the students are encouraged to come forward and have a disclosure.
Communication: The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand; rather we listen just to reply. An ideal teacher should be a strong listener and focus on the needs of the student. Sometimes what a student needs most may not be on the lesson plan.
Update with technology: Understanding the contemporary situation the teacher must update himself with the latest technical gadgets to keep himself up-breast of new technology that’s present in the present teaching-learning market.
Any limitations can be limited and nullified with this take-home message for all the teachers from my side “Students don’t care how much you know until they come to know how much you care for them”.
About the Author:
Dr. C. Ananda Vayaravel is a passionate teacher educating the students of Medical and Allied Health Sciences; enlightening them with his innovative methods for the past 21 years. He possesses more than 20 national and international publications together with 5 patents to his credit. Top 10 Principal of the year 2020, Best Academician 2020, Best Writer 2021 & Best Researcher 2021 are his accolades, being appreciated for empowering the students nationally. Currently he is the Professor & Principal of Sri Venkateshwaraa College of Paramedical Sciences (www.svcpms.ac.in), Puducherry.