Posts tagged ‘coaching’

Teaching: Introducion

What is best about teaching?
A career in teaching is hugely rewarding for all the usual reasons, and for a whole lot of unusual ones too. The usual reasons? One, the respect earned from the students, if you are a teacher who knows their subject to perfection. Two, the admiration of your students, if you not only know your subject thoroughly, but can also help them learn it well. Three, the love of your students, if you can go beyond your defined role of the teacher and can inspire and guide them on more important things in life – courage, integrity, self-confidence, self-esteem, tolerance. Four, the opportunity to work with other highly educated people in an intellectually stimulating environment.
The unusual reasons? One, you are in great company – several Indian heroes from Dronacharya and Chanakya to Dr S. Radhakrishnan were teachers. Secondly, several Nobel Prize winners are teachers! Like all research scientists, they too have teaching as a major part of their responsibilities. Third, a good teacher is always in demand, wherever she moves to. Fourth, a teacher doesn’t need any infrastructure to begin functioning; all she needs is a student. The fifth is that teaching usually has such good working hours that teachers have ample time to pursue their other interests as well, whether it is reading or carpentry or research or an MBA by correspondence. And they can be home along with their kids!

How to become a Teacher?
If you think about it logically, it is simply a matter of having been a student of the same subject yourself. For example, if you have a postgraduate degree in engineering, you are qualified to teach engineering students. If you have been through a particular course in a computer training institute, you are qualified to teach that course. (Of course, this rule doesn’t always apply – just because you have gone through kindergarten, you can’t begin teaching toddlers!)
But in reality, things are not that simple. While the basic requirement is that you have been a student of the subject yourself, there are also exams you have to take and courses you have to do – a course in Montessori education or an ECCE (Early Child Care and Education) to teach pre-school students, a DEd (Diploma in Education) or a BEd (Bachelor in Education) to teach in primary and secondary schools, an MSc or more to teach the higher classes, and a whole set of different degrees if you want to be in special education – before you are considered ‘teacher material’, at least as far as mainstream education is concerned.

Are you teacher material?
To be a good teacher, you should be:
#Eager to learn – Teachers have huge opportunities for learning – from their students, from their peers, and from all the resources (libraries, courses, exchange programmes) that they have access to. It is up to you to grab the opportunities with both the hands and use them to further yourself.
#Open-minded – There is always another way, perhaps even a better way, to do things that you already do, but you will discover it only by being open-minded, and by keeping communication channels with your students wide open. Being obstinate that only your way is the best way will only stunt your personal growth.
#More of a guide and less of a teacher – There are three ways to teach – you tell your student what to do (good), you show your student how something is done (better), you suggest something and let your student discover things for himself or herself (the best way).
#In love with teaching – Are you the person your friends come to when they need a difficult concept explained? Do you enjoy explaining it to them? Do they understand? Then you probably will make a great teacher.

You should not:
#Look at teaching as a job – If you do, you will only be concerned with things like completing the syllabus, never mind if your students haven’t understood even 50% of what you have been teaching.
#Be indifferent about the subject you are teaching – The best teachers are those who themselves are passionate about what they are teaching. That passion will ensure that you try out all kinds of different methods of teaching, anything to make sure your students get passionate about the subject as well.


January 24, 2009 at 4:41 am Leave a comment