September 05, 2010

My Idea... of an Ideal Teacher

"Teachers teachers everywhere, everyone has to preach
Teachers teachers everywhere, not a single to teach"
I have been a student all my life. And as a result, have encountered teachers of every kind based on region, language, gender, color, and physical appearance. They being a teacher, these criteria does not matter also. But may be barring a few, most of them haven't been able to meet my high (impossible?) expectations. But this post is not about showing negativity and disappointment. This is about positivity and hope.. that may be aliens will teach us someday.

I myself have been a teacher in some sense (teaching my brothers, and being a part time tutor). But I know I am nowhere near the perfectionism that I want from a teacher. But that does give me some idea about what I, as a student, want from my teachers. Here is my idea of an ideal teacher:

1. Impartial: An ideal teacher got to be impartial towards students and give each student the same time and support, keeping personal perception aside. She (from now onwards, 'she' implies 'he/she') must give more marks for the same question, only because it deserves them, not because the answer was written by her favorite student. Many a times, I have been guilty of getting better marks this way, and believe me I feel really embarrassed.

2. Understanding: Is it too much to ask from a teacher to be understanding? If one becomes a teacher, does she stops being a human? Its a known fact that, not every one has as high IQ as me (no, don't laugh, I am really intelligent!), some students need more time to understand the concept than others. Anyone can teach students who can self study, to teach the students with low motivation towards the subject is the true test of a teacher.

3. Patient: So many times I have heard teachers telling students to ask any concept 'n' no. of times, till the time they don't understand it. But it is amusing to see the same teachers getting irritated when the student is unable to understand the concept even after the third attempt (may be n=3). When I was a kid, I used to get beaten by the teachers for not knowing the alphabets. I learnt them properly only in 3rd standard. Today, I ask myself, what difference did it make in my life to learn alphabets 4 years later than what children normally do? Was it justified to get slapped and scaled on the palms?

4. Adaptable: The field from where I belong keeps changing overnight. In this scenario, it is unacceptable for a teacher to be rigid about her teaching methods. She should be ready to accept that a student can find a better solution to a problem, he/she can know more than her. An idea should not get rejected just because its not mentioned in the book. Anyone would love to go into a class, where the teacher is innovative in her style of teaching. Takes real life and unimaginable examples rather than copy book examples.

5. Knowledgeable: It never hurts when your teacher is the master of the subject, truly passionate about the things that she teaches. It only gives a student confidence that he/she is in the right hands. But to tell the truth, I give a rat's arse about the teacher's knowledge of the subject, as long as she meets the above criterias. If the teacher is willing to do the hard work, ready to accept her ignorance about a topic and willing to learn with and from the students, it doesn't matter to me, whether she is a B.Tech or a PhD.
"I may not be the best of the students.. But that is the precise reason why I deserve the best teachers"
PS: In junior classes I studied about ideal gases only to be told later that there is nothing like an 'ideal gas', but its poor cousin the 'real gas'. I think an ideal teacher is an endangered species, if not non-existent. So, my real teacher will be:

1. Hot: I mean not metaphorically but literally. If her temperature remains high all the time, this will mean nobody will dare ask the questions (such a waste of time). The syllabus gets over well in time, and you can concentrate on better things in life. Also, when she is burning hot, that means she will take loads of holidays (she is not well stupid), implying loads of free classes.

2. Sexi(st): Its been a long since boys have been victims of discrimination in the class. Its time girls should also get the know what it is like to be beaten, just because you are not a boy. Grr..

3. Charming: There I said it. She doesn't know anything about the subject? No problem. She can't solve even the basics of problems? I will manage. She doesn't think she is qualified to be a teacher? You are in majority, mam! All I want is that she (here she implies she) has a nice personality, good looking face and sweet voice. If you can't be easy on brain then just be easy on eyes and ears. Just don't make the 50 mins of an already boring class a torture for me.

Happy Teachers' Day!