We are not teaching students, we are scaring them.
I never took my studies seriously until one of my teachers told me that if I would not take interest in studying he “wouldn’t help me any more”. Though it was a common thing or may be a mantra which many teachers have learnt by their heart, as they repeated it more often than anything else in their lectures. But it was first time this teacher have said anything negative in his lectures.
The reason I am sharing this thought is a recent incident I went through, I have been teaching computer programming to one of my younger cousins, he shows extra interest in learning and does it quite well. I was visiting him today and there was his private tutor trying to teach him something and to my observation the student was reluctant in learning any of those things the tutor was trying to teach. Then to my surprise it was maths that was in the discussion which, according to my cousin, was his favorite subject.
It was quite clear after watching them for a while, it wasn’t the topic, nor the subject neither the student himself, it was the teacher who was making things difficult for the student. Instead of comforting him or trying different examples to let him understand the concept, the teacher was getting offensive when student was asking questions. Student was clearly uncomfortable around the teacher.
This is what is common in our schooling systems, where teachers think they have the authority to scold, insult, get offensive or be bossy over the students, and this makes students completely loose interest in their studies or in anything they are doing. Teachers in their first place should have a personality such that students themselves want to be with them. Secondly teachers should be responsible for making the learning experience interesting instead of relying only on students to show interest.
I think our schooling systems need a really major change in this regard, we should also train teachers on how to deal with students instead of just forcing students to be respectful to teachers for no reason, I have witnessed students abusing and cursing teachers because of the same behavior. I think this was the reason that I was more touched by the words of my teacher telling me he won’t help me any more, because he was different than others, it was his teaching style that made his students comfortable around him.
Teaching is a noble profession, and I think teachers deserve the most respect. But respect should not be out of fear it should be rather an outcome of the love and knowledge they would have given the students making them a better person.