Learning as a joyful experience-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
TWO quotes that pertain to human relations particularly resonate with me. The first is “The greatness of a man is measured in the way he treats his subordinates.” This line illustrates humility, for what greatness has a man who belittles those who are lower in stature than he is? Humility includes the affirmation of another person’s ability.
I would like to relate this passage to my work as a teacher. Those who are tasked to educate our children in school should be humble when students point out their error. You are human and will make mistakes. How you handle such situations will be an example to your students – an example as to how to behave when they make mistakes. Such situations are an opportunity to let a student stand out a little. After all, they are engaged in your lesson and have noted an inconsistency, a contradiction or a falsehood. It’s all right to tell them that they were correct and you are proud that they noticed it. You can say, “I stand corrected”, or “Thank you. I’ll fix that next time.”
The other one is “Be kind to people you meet because everyone is fighting his own battle”. This is particularly so in dealing with students in school. The rationale is simple- whatever is the case at hand, you do not have an accurate picture of what is going on at home. Be empathetic to students’ expressed difficulties and talk to them further at the end of the class if necessary to discuss your concerns about their incomplete work. Not everyone has the same family, values, or upbringing; hence you may not clearly understand the student’s life outside of school. Moreover, it’s possible that the student who has not completed the homework is already having a really bad day. You certainly do not want to be credited for making it worse, do you? The good teacher will have positive things to say about classroom events and the students she teaches, even if she has to call about a behavior infraction or an academic concern.
The quotes stated above convey positive feelings. When we translate them into practice we help students find learning as a joyful experience thus we make learning infinitely more successful. The words of Bertrand Russell express it well: “No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 31, 2013.