|With Mr. Google openly playing the bugle and declaring with audacity, that he can be accessed at any unearthly hour and provide choicest detailed information on any subject under the sun, a teacher like me is often compelled to contemplate whether Mr. Google has replaced us teachers!!! Has “guru devo bhava” been replaced by “google devo bhava” ?!!|
When we were students, we were in such awe of our teachers, that we blindly believed every word they said. For us their words were “bhramha vakya”.. Our Indian mythology has a rich collection of stories which glorify the “guru-shishya” relation. In those days the shishyas would completely surrender to their guru,and the guru would in turn pass on his entire knowledge lovingly to his shishyas.
When I plunged into the profession of a teacher in 1999, I was highly influenced by these mythological stories. Little did I realize that I would be dealing with an entirely new generation of students, who were more tech savvy than the teachers themselves. Who had far too many questions in their curious minds than their teachers could possibly answer. Who could surf the internet overnight and grab more information than the teacher and challenge her wits the next day!
There came a phase when I was frustrated with the attitude of the present lot of students and found myself standing indecisively on a crossroad. Being a creative person , I had a lot of career options to explore professionally. I could have either chosen a highly paid job in the creative world of mass communication or continued as a teacher taking up the challenge of shaping, moulding inspiring and guiding the, future human resources of the country.
Today I am glad I chose the later. When we talk of the best schools today, we mean the ones that have all the latest technological support. Technology is the need of the hour and with schools themselves serving technology to the students on the platter, how can we possibly deny them food for their thoughts?
I realised that I needed to make peace and friends with technology because denying technology would be denying progress.
As the Cultural Coordinator of the school, my work profile is to develop the overall personality of students. Enhancing their speaking skills , creative writing skills , presentation skills, table manners , Preparing them for cultural shows , events , and competitions like quizzing , dance , drama , anchoring and last but not the least feeding them with moral values to make them a good human being.
Instead of sticking to the conservative style of teaching, I decided to experiment with some wild self developed concepts of teaching to cut the monotony. I used technology in a positive way and used it as an aid to enhance the presentation skills of students. The preachy lectures on moral values were replaced by witty yet thought provoking street plays. Students found themselves more confident than ever while reaching out to a raw audience and started involving themselves in such projects with conviction. Mikes were replaced by professional recording of dialogues at studios where the students learnt dubbing and voice modulation. Special anchoring tips and grooming was given for Radio Jockeying to enhance speaking skills .Caption writing contest was introduced as a fun way to enhance vocabulary
We have a very impatient bunch of ‘want to know all ‘children out there all set to drive us nuts .Neverthess they are like unlit fire with immense potential,. It is us teachers who need to ignite the spark within. I reviewed my way of teaching and discovered that to be a good teacher , I would need to step into two different sized shoes simultaneously ….one of the student and the other of the teacher and yet walk gracefully That was my challenge!
After 12 years in the field of education …I have finally come across the trick that works like magic with children. KEEP THEM INTERESTED!! HOW? Good question! Well, Teachers will need to keep their eyes, ears, minds and hearts open to change and continually derive new concepts and ways of teaching. Yes, it isn’t easy. But then nation building isn’t easy either!! Is it?
I was walking, the other day lost in thoughts, when a car shot past me and then suddenly stopped a little ahead. A young lad of 19 sprang out of the driver’s seat and rushed towards me. Before I could!!Think and react, I found myself locked in his warm embrace. Slowly withdrawing himself but with his hands tightly holding on to my hands, he burst out “Ma’m, I miss you so so much. Cant express what a difference you have made in my life “. His mother who had got down from the car too and reached me by then added.” Ma’m you taught him how to debate on grave issues in the school and now he is pursuing Law in one of the best colleges. He says he owes this confidence to his school and his teachers”
(So it is not “google devoh bhavah” after all!!)
In a second I felt so rich, I could have given Bill Gates, a complex and put him to shame!!
And they call us the most underpaid people in the galaxy? Big Deal!!
Technologies may come, try to throw their weight around, and go, but teachers are here to stay!! Indispensable!!! Rock solid!!!
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