Who is the best teacher?

Is he the one with the fattest paycheque?

Or the one who reports work thirty minutes early?

Or the one who maintains such a serious face and is so strict he doesn’t have to wear his lungs out shouting ”keep quiet” while banging on desks in order to maintain order in the classroom?

If you pick the first one, I wouldn’t say you are totally wrong.

Because many of us are judged by how much we earn, a teacher is often treated with some disdain. But just because people feel that way, doesn’t reflect truly on the teaching profession; teaching is one of the most significant professions in the world. The teacher has such a great influence on his student, he could leave an impact even greater than that of a parent sometimes.

What Type of Teacher are You; Fun, Boring or Strict? Take this fun quiz to determine

So back to the question,

Who is the best teacher, really?

Rita Pearson, an award-winning teacher with many decades of experience in the United States said in her TEDTalk, that there is no significant learning that occurs without relationships. Even though it’s not meant to be, we often neglect the value of human connection. According to Pearson, “the best is the one as Stephen Covey rightly put it, seeks first to understand and then seeks to be understood.”

Many of us can relate to this, right from elementary school, we were drawn to those teachers who had such a genuineness in them. Those who gave us a listening ear when we needed it most. Those who seek to understand us, those who even when they reprimanded us, we could feel the genuine love and care behind it.

How can we be the best teachers?

After listening to Miss Pearson, how can we apply it in our own lives?

The simple way is to employ that genuineness in our relationships with our wards. Even though they don’t say anything, they can truly feel it – as you and I can relate. Let’s value the feelings behind those tough little minds. As Pearson said, “Is this job tough? you betcha. But it is not impossible because we are educators, we were born to make a difference.”

So, even though it can get really frustrating given our pay cheques, let’s recognize the significance of our profession. Let’s mold these little minds with joy and passion. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of our wards, if you were the one there, how would you like to be treated? What would make you more drawn to the lesson?

This job is even tougher with the kids of nowadays, but it is not impossible. So, my wonderful fellow teacher, the next time you want to pick up your stick or reprimand, first ask yourself  “Have I first sought to understand?” And remember that you are there to make a difference.

This is what FlexiSAF’s Talk2Me is advocating for; Valuing emotions and human connection, employing empathy and the human-factor in education.

Work with Talk2Me now, to find more meaning in what you do and bring out the best in those young minds you are molding.

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