Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Teacher

"I will give them the teacher I never had." -Brad Cohen 

My mum once asked me if I had a teacher that I liked best in college. I said that there weren't any good teachers in my college.

"How can that be?" 

"They easily get irritated if someone's given a wrong answer; they'd prefer getting sarcastic over explaining the topic more clearly. They know that all the topics that they are teaching must make a student able to form links between other topics since they are all connected yet they wouldn't seem inclined to explain things properly."

Disconcerted, my mum asked me: "Okay, how many good teachers do you have at college?

I said that the question should be, are there any good teachers in my college?
My mother could only let out a surprised laugh. I just gave half a sad smile. 

In my mind though, I told myself to stop being whiny and man up. 

But...

The truth was, every single day, when I'd wake up and I'd think about college, all my energy would drain there and then.
I was never happy waking up for college. Never. Since this is a profession that demands a lot of your focus and learning and a whole lot of motivation, it is especially important to keep your spirits boosted and youself motivated at all times, to keep oneself less stressed out and happier and positive. 

If the doctor will look drawn, the patient's response is mirrorred and at once the exchange becomes strained. And let me tell you, that even the illness, which is a negative entity, somehow detects , rather absorbs the negativity in the atmosphere and only serves to become more pronounced! 

You will see an instant change in behaviour of the patient when you greet him/her with a refreshing wave of positive energy, one automatically becomes more relaxed, and is more willing to give a detailed heart to heart description of the illness. The bonus is that the patient will always prefer you over other brilliant but grumpy doctors to treat them.

I say this because I have talked to patients. Whenever, I'd be in a grumpy mood, I'd get the exact same response from the patient - tired, gaunt, unwilling. 

I love studying medicine. It has not only given me so much awareness but has also opened up other crevices of my mind, it has made me maturer in my thoughts, and I think it has actually increased my cognitive abilities. However, these are the things that I am able to think and feel only when I am studying on my own which is mostly on my weekends, meaning that my mind is less cloudy and more willing to study. It is impossible to reflect like that in the weekdays, because I am so stressed out in those days that I feel like my thinking has all but paralysed. 

This insulting attitude of the teachers drove me to ask some students how they felt about such teachers. As soon as we had lapsed into a heart to heart conversation, these students told me that they'd rather bunk class than attend them because they are so terrified of such teachers. 

Alas! As a byproduct, not only their performance at their subjects undulated, their attendance also suffered greatly at the end of the year.

The outcome of the behaviour of these teachers was like this: whenever an actually good visiting teacher came to teach at our college, and he/she'd try to interact and ask a question, all he/she would get would be silence.

Silence. Dead silence.

Silence, because most of the students would be sitting there afraid, thinking around these lines that: 'the answers that I have in mind are probably wrong and that I shouldn't say it aloud for fear of getting lynched with cutting words from the teacher or that I shouldn't say the answer aloud for fear that everybody will laugh at me and the teacher will encourage them.'

Those teachers who can't figure out, that whenever they'd ask a question, all they'd get from the students would be a chorus of answers all at once; and when they'd be told to just raise the hand and tell the answer, hardly any hand would go up.

HELLO! Don't you get it? All those students are AFRAID. SCARED. Afraid that they'd be made fun of either by the teacher or by the students or both. May be 'fun' is a little too strong a word. But I am pretty sure I have put the point through.

There are good students and then there are bad students. There are strategies out there to deal with the trouble-makers. Hello teachers, this is the 21st century, you have all the access to the internet so that you can go searching for teaching strategies, you have workshops available to help you become a teacher that is able to put that difficult concept into the students' minds in the best possible way.


It helps to keep one thing in mind, never degrade a student no matter how troublesome he/she is, because he/she will only get nastier, may be not in attitude but in his/her way of thinking of you; and you cannot get him/her to behave by failing him/her as your way of getting back at that student for being nasty. All you will ever get is lots and lots of curse from that student. As a result of your belittling attitude, that student may show signs of improvement, but he/she will never think of you in a good light. That student will never want to talk to you and never even greet you as you pass by him/her in the college corridors.


PS This is coming from someone who is both a teacher, and a student.

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