Heard an exclamation from radio: What does a Teacher say about today's education system? The RJ on Red FM kept his voice on the top of everything while bringing phone-ins.
It had reference to some discussions about putting on hold the salary increments of teachers if the result of their school is poor. The whole edifice of torture and accountability falls on the poor teacher who is in competition with those who never wanted to become a teacher but happened to become one.
Teaching has its apt allegory in the cricket playground of a locality where a team needs 11 but could not find all good. As they had not trained all to be so. They 'compromise' and this leads to a chain reaction in the game. The opponent tries to hit the ball in the direction where that poor fellow is deputed. Students are the players on the pitch and teachers are the bowlers. Though we play it otherwise here. Teachers need to drop opportunities and moments of learning to them. In return they need to be able to grab the learning and earn a boundary. This allegory can be created with any other segment of life. One needs to comprehend the foundations of education and to learning process one does not require a degree from the best of institutions. Familiarity with education and learning comes itself to us. We have been learning by observations and have imparted it as well.
Why teachers are at the receiving end today? Or they are not? Is there a false perception about the fall of the 'teacher' or there has been a decline in the quality of teaching? Why the governments fail to train the teachers and why they do not higher the trained ones, even when there is a need? Why the private players are claiming quality and the governments' institutions have been muted? Why IIT-IIM-NITs or DU or JNUs have failed to inspire other institutions? Why the student disregards the classroom and asks for freedom? Why teachers are over-burdened or they are not? Why do we discuss the plight and predicament of the teacher? Is the teacher a punching bag? The students are not able to sustain learning, why? The crowd in the teaching occupation is earning and not imparting?
Hundreds of questions and disappointments are there. We tend to talk like a pessimist when we talk about the state of education. There is no end to the data that can be hyperlinked in this post and we shall have no end to the claims and counter-claims. In this ping-pong of education and learning, the teacher is the agent to be talked about. In this section of Eklavyaism, where we have been sharing 'Learning', intentions have been clear and crisp. Let us rewind the tape and re-affirm what our belief in learning has been. A Teacher deserves to be talked about and the real role in this age of information and knowledge overload, it becomes more important to talk about the one who seldom demands.
There is nothing like a true teacher! Actually, each teacher, if the teacher is teaching, is true. We need to bifurcate between the ones who get salary and who get satisfaction along. This is an age where the students do not want the teacher to rule through the monologues. Rather, the demand is to be a 'Co-Learner' in the classroom. This seems intriguing to many of us as we have not been taught this way. We have been migrants in this age of information and internet and the youngsters have been the natives of this digital planet. The decision to maintain the gap creates a wall between the learner and the teacher. However, the risk factor lies here. This amalgamation of 'Learners' has happened and where ever it has sprouted to the green, it has brought good results. Students have more faith in the teachers who learn along. In fact the formula that Eklavyaism has been following is that a Teacher is a Co-Learner.
None of us is as smart as all of us!
Life Long Learning is the basic criteria of being a teacher and one needs to adhere to this. It is the classroom where the teacher Learns-Unlearns-Relearns everything and in this process, the students are taught sustainable learning. Collaboration is the best tool in the hands of the educators. The modern day technologies have entered the classrooms through students but can stay only through the teachers. This collaboration is needed to adapt to the new world of educational technology. Personal Learning Network (PLN) is a known learning segment now a days and the institutions are promoting it worldwide. Using social media (EduSoMedia) has widened the scope and success of learning. The curriculum is not a slave to the walls of the classroom; it has surpassed the boundaries of age old schools of thought. All this has happened on the planet and to the learners. Teacher has made it happen.
Learning with the student does not mean that the teacher should stop standing in the front of the classroom or leave the dais for them to speak. The educator needs to create space for the students, not be removing himself or curtailing his own. Students fall in the ethical trap of learning if they find that the teacher is allowing them to learn the way they want to. It is challenging for the teacher to guide them in the right direction and adopt only the 'meaningful' technologies or tools for the creation of PLN. Using Social Media is not a taboo for the teacher and we need to face the reality that there is nothing called privacy of the teacher. Students know you, and they know you really. The shades of your character are visible to them as you spend most of your conscious time with them. Without being a co-learner in the classroom, you can not survive with success. Adapting to their literacy of technology, integrating their versatile awareness and knowledge with the subject in hand and making them work together as a team, can generate good results. A Learning model does not get developed in the lab, it happens in your class. When you work on the same frequency that you have set for them, the invigilation is stronger.
The modern day academics has been demanding freedom from the clutches of business mindset and will not survive if Education is continued to be treated as a factory for resource creation. Becoming a co-learner can help in the survival of the Teacher. Controlling the students can be easy and guiding them will be more fruitful. Students will be more ready to consult and collaborate with you. Remember that technology can place a threat to the existence of 'honest educators', they can empower themselves by taking a learning leap along with their disciples.
Allow them to think, analyse, criticise, develop, question, integrate, implement, collaborate and above all, Join them in Learning!