Tali M Sashi Jamir
You are not the only teacher and the answer you give to the students isn’t the only right answer to a certain question.
Don’t put a boundary around your students by telling them to study only the answers which you have given them for a specific question. By doing so, you are limiting their sphere of gaining knowledge.
For instance, there was this General Knowledge question that asked the students to write down the names of “any six land animals”. At first, I told them to think of some land animals. Then, I asked them to read everything that was given in the GK textbook (there was a chapter on land animals). That way they could easily remember six out of (maybe) the given fifteen names of land animals. They studied that. However, the next day one of them returned from school and gave me this shocking news, “Regarding that question on land animals, our teacher told me that I would not get any marks if I wrote anything which he didn’t give.”
The first thing that came to my mind was “How foolish!?!” And, I thought to myself, if they could be this stubborn I’ll teach them a lesson! The next thing I told the student was, “Just write what you have studied about the land animals and should your teacher fail to give you marks, I’ll ask him what animals those are!?!”
DO NOT limit or put a restriction on how much they should or can learn, keep the sphere of their knowledge as open as it could be.
Don’t always teach them “A” for “Apple” and “B” for “ball”. Instead ask them, “A” for “?”. Make the teaching-learning process more interactive, inclusive and interesting. Include the students in finding the answers. Aren’t you trained to do that even during teachers’ training???
Very true. Unfortunately our Education is in a state where student memorise everything without understanding the matter, therefore it would take concerted and consistent effort from all teachers to change this scenario. And at tender age it will be safer for students to follow the teacher and once they learn to study by them self the teacher becomes only a guide indeed….
It took me so many years to finally meet a teacher who said “No answer is wrong as long as you can justify it.”
If only we could have that kind of encouragement from the beginning to be able to think outside the box and express why. (Not disregarding facts in the process, of course)
Monica Sunar Arlo
First of all I being a teacher I always encourage the students to emphasize more on their writing .. I ask them to write what they have understood from the text and not what I tried to instill on their heads.. but again their comes certain rules for the teachers as well as per the board and sometimes it happens that though what the student have written according to his/her understanding is correct.. we still cant give full marks because the board specifies the answers to be according to the manual book provided by them.. so here you cannot be blaming the teacher all alone.. we teachers dont want our students to be mere puppets but not everything works out as we want ..
Eshah Jampa Konyak
Exactly. I’ve been disturbed by such teachers too. The school authority must consider availing/conducting refresher courses or even in-school training to teachers from time to time. I also feel that there should be enough room for children to exercise their minds to find answers to the questions asked. When children are able to put their thoughts in words, mistakes are obvious, undoubtedly. But it is the duty of the teacher concern to not discourage but appreciate the effort made by the child and give necessary feedbacks. A teacher must realize that one’s teaching is successful only when the child achieve the zenith of creativity and proficiency.
Many teachers and schools are doing well but there’s still lot to be done. Quality education needs progressive teachers.
The world is moving at a rapid pace, so is the education system. Earlier we believed teacher impart knowledge to students (behaviourist approach) whereas it is proved beyond doubt that teachers are just a guide and students should be given the platform to search and create their knowledge (constructivism). We need to progress to the right direction for a better society. Some may follow the old system and some may adapt to the new dynamic system, but we need to think beyond our perspective and deliver our best for the society.
P.S: I am a teacher and the criticism is well taken and appreciated.
I also had a similar experience with a teacher of mine when I was in kindergarden. It was concerning the name of vegetables. Since I couldnt manage to memorise the spelling of cabbage, my mother had convinced me that beans was also a vegetable which I happily wrote in my exam. Much to my dismay, the teacher had struck it wrong as it wasnt the name of the vegetable he had given. I think the role of teachers is to inspire, mould and encourage children to be creative. If we go by this said regime, the system shall only be successful in producing a number of robots whose sole job is to memorise what is being given to them and then produce them in the exams. I do feel that teachers who have such mentality should change their mindset for the sake of their students.
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