Completed one year as Assistant Professor in a reputed engineering college in Salem gives me immense pleasure. Joined the college by December 5, 2011 without knowing what is teaching and how to handle students in a class. Through out the last one year I have been experimenting many aspects in the classroom. I would like to share my view about Good qualities of a teacher.
When it comes to qualities of a teacher one needs to understand that we don’t admire at all the teacher we come across in our life. From your childhood days you have seen “n” number of teachers but you will remember only few, because you believe that they are the one who really understood you. As a teacher, I understood many things are required to be an inspiring teacher.
Understand the students:- You have a heterogeneous crowd in front of you. Try to understand each and every student. This will help you in finding out their expectations and problems. When you understand them better, it is easy to shape them.
Treat them as your friend:- Students should feel free to share their problems without any hesitation. They should also feel confident in sharing information with you. This will happen only when you become their friend. Be one among them even if your age is not matching with them.
Prepare well for the class:- When you enter the class, you will be in a myth saying that you know everything about the subject. One thing you need to understand is, it’s your brain which is going to convince the other 60 brains in the class that whatever you teach is right. Will that happen all the time?. No way, so prepare well for the class. Expect different questions and opinions from the students side.
Accept your mistakes:- Human can’t work like machines and that too while delivering lectures certainly mistakes may creep in knowingly or unknowingly. If you make mistakes unknowingly convey the right message to the students in the next class. No harm in it!!
Don’t show partiality:- When you are able to watch, understand and analyze 60 people in the class, think how much they will analyze you. There are 60 different views about a lecture session. If you are being partial to students certainly it will backfire you anytime. At least one or two students in a batch get inspired by you. So the human mind will try to help them and in teaching profession, professors may share important questions, award more marks in the internals, not keenly looking at their discipline and attendance. Be cautious.
Create a healthy environment to learn:- When students sit in the class silently, it doesn’t mean that they are keenly listening, they might feel sleepy. So, use the right teaching methods to grab their attention. After getting into the class, straight away don’t start teaching, interact with them by asking few general questions like, How is your day going on? What is your plan for the weekend? anything similar to that. Then give a brief outline about the topic you are going to take. After this, talk about application part related to the theory in the real world that evokes their interest. Also ask your students to share their experiences related to the topic. Start teaching after these things are done. Make the session interactive.
Break down your class time: Planning brings in perfection. It’s wise to break down your class time to make the class enjoyable. Normally lecture was allotted 45 minutes to 1 hour. For the first 5 minutes go and talk to them generally, next 5 minutes take attendance by calling out their names individually, take class for 20 – 30 minutes, summarize your class for another 5 minutes and in the last 5 minutes give them time get their doubts clarified.
Don’t be monotonous:- While you are taking class ensure that your voice is not monotonous. It will certainly make your students yawn. You must stress words when it’s required.
Understand the situation and act accordingly:- There are occasions where the mindset of students will be completely different, they might have attended a boring lecture earlier or they are in festive mood or they are not ready to listen to you. As a teacher, the environment might not be congenial for you to deliver the lecture. Hence understand the situation and act accordingly by giving them activity based work like debates, quiz, and etc.
Dig out the interest of students:- Students normally have varied interests. In a class there are technology enthusiast, social workers, artists, musicians and so on. Is that only competitions conducted in the college should help your students to showcase their talents? Why not you class? Go ahead give them a chance to show it in the class. Also if they are interested to start some productive just support them other than that they don’t expect anything.
Respond to them properly:- By becoming a professor, don’t think that you are GOD. Students are human beings too, the simple difference is you got a job and they are students. While comparing the intellectual level they are far advanced than you. So respond to them properly and give them every chance to share their views.
Work with them:- Understand that students don’t know the nuances in organizing events, conducting symposium, presenting papers, and similar aspects. Instead of extracting work from them, work with them. Help them in understanding how the work should be done and what are the problems associated while carrying out the work.
Don’t restrict yourself to the syllabus:- Heads of your department will insist you to complete the syllabus soon and get good results. Yet as a teacher, don’t restrict yourself to the syllabus. Do share day-to-day happenings and tell them how the theories taught by you is applied in the industry. Also tell them how it will help them in their career.
I’m talented:- This attitude is not going to fetch you anything. Yes of course, as a teacher you are talented.You need not to show it off. Execute work, initiate something, help students realize their dream that will automatically prove your talent.
Make it simple (subject):- Teachers’ prime responsibility is to make the subject simple. As years pass in teaching profession your knowledge level will increase and then you will get good expertise on the subject. Hence you will talk hi-fi jargon’s to the students. At the end of the class students will not get any information from you. Even though your subject is tough,try to make it as simple as possible.
Don’t get preoccupied ideas about your students:- When you are allotted with a class for the semester, normally your peer members will share information about that class. Even if your peer members are saying about the students behavior listen to them but don’t value it.
There are many things in my mind and whenever I feel like adding to this post, I will add those points, enjoy your class with student friends.