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Teachers as parents away from home

MMAOTHO SEGOTSO
A teacher, also called a school teacher or, in some contexts, an educator is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

However, it has emerged that the main role that teachers play in the lives of learners, is being a parent away from home. They are role models and second parents.

When asked what in their view the best teacher is like, a learner once said, “My best teacher saw me as a continuum of herself; she is someone who has personified teaching for me.

There are times when I think my mannerism match her personality more than my own mother, she treated us like her own children and watched out for us, making sure we always do their best.”

Teachers shape children’s minds and help them to recognise their talents and goals. As a sports coach I have has parents exclaim, “I didn’t know she can play netball, thank you!” Because of the keen interest they take in children, teachers are able to unearth gifts and talents in children that parents were not aware of.. Because of their passion, they go an extra mile to polish the gem in the child.

They correct the pupils if something goes like they do with their own children. Good teachers are not judges, but counsellors who make children see where they go wrong and kindly guide them back to the correct road. They recognise that it is human nature to err and appreciate that their role as parents is to rebuke, correct, mould and above all, love through it all.

Some learners come from broken families, while others don’t have parents and live with immediate relatives. Teachers fill the gap by identifying the children’s needs and assisting.

At times, learners voluntarily share problems they experience at home with teachers. And teachers always find a way to engage the family and see how the situation can be resolved, putting the interests of the child first.

A good teacher appreciates the efforts of the child. Once a pupil feels that the teacher appreciates what they do, they will trust their teacher more. Children spend more time in school than at home. It is the teachers’ role to make the school, safe space.

Children are like wet cement, they are imprinted with all that is taught to them. Ensure whatever is engraved and sponged into their minds doesn’t break them, for a broken child never fully recovers. Grown ups are epistles of what the child’s life was like.

The attitude of the teacher towards the students sets the foundation for the kind of relationship they have with the child. Respect is a two-way street. Teachers should show learners respect before expecting it. Yes, there will be those unruly ones, but by and large, if a teacher respects learners, it boomerangs.

Communication is an essential component in fostering a good relationship between students and teachers. Talking to a student can help a teacher understand a student better. A teacher should come across to student as a friend, counsellor and mentor and partner.

A student must feel that the teacher appreciates what it feels like to be a student. This births trust that flows to learning, a student will feel free to approach the teacher with things they do not understand.

Once teachers make criticism a norm, learner develop defence mechanism. This creates a wall that does not only affect their relationship with the teacher and  other learners, but also their education. For how do you learn

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in an environment where you feel threatened?

TIPS:

Praise students before scolding.

Never let fear be your image but love.

Give them a sense of belonging and not empty threats.

Avoid comparisons as it is deeply resented, each child should know that they are unique and loved in their uniqueness.

One must never label a child but try and understand their needs.

Listen without judging. Learners need to tell somebody even their most horrid stories.

Never criticise, criticism extinguished the fire in the belly and steals the sparkle in their eyes.

Encourage learner to laugh. Some of them never experience it at home.

What the teacher is to the learner. (Jemi sudhakar)

  • The teacher is always there for you.

Be it that maths problem you have difficulty solving or a life problem you can’t figure out; your teacher is always there for you.

  • (S)he is your guiding light.

The teacher always shows you the right way.

  • Sometimes, your teacher knows more of your secrets than your mother – and still keeps them.

Be it the subtle flirting in class or that bad habit you indulged in once and were caught, your teacher knows it all. However, he/she gently guides you to the right path and sometimes holds your secrets close to the heart.

  •  Teachers are sometimes harsh, but only because they love you.

Just like your mother, your teacher too is sometimes harsh with you. However, this is only because (s)he wants you to grow and be a good individual.

  • A teacher is truly selfless.

It’s tough being a teacher.

  • Teachers are inspirational.

Teachers truly inspire you and push you to follow your dreams. A teacher stands by you every step of the way and shows you the correct path and helps boost your confidence.

  • Teachers never blow their own trumpets, they do things quietly but surely.

A teacher is proud, very proud but not of himself or herself but of students. (S)he will never boast but will be supportive and helpful.

  • Only a teacher can push you to explore your full potential.

A teacher sometimes knows you and your strengths better than you yourself.

  • A teacher is a lot more than just someone who teaches.

(S)he is a guide, a friend, an enemy and a parent.

  • A teacher is the only one who will celebrate if you rise beyond him/her.

Ever wondered what your teachers feel when you become rich and famous but they are still there at the same salary? They feel proud. because silently, they made you, you!

  • A teacher is not afraid of telling you the truth.

All those times you hated your teacher for being harsh? Well, you were only being moulded into a better individual.

  • A teacher might not remember your name after 10 years but will remember every little quirk of yours.

What lies in a name? But a lot does lie in your personality and a teacher will never forget that.

  • A teacher always puts him/herself second.

You are the first priority. Always.

Teachers are there to be instruments for your learning, too. And the best teachers look past what is written in textbooks. They go as far as thinking about how your learning today can affect your future.

 They also see how you deal with pressure, express yourself verbally, evaluate situations, approach problems, accept mistakes and find solutions.

“Students who are loved at home come to school to learn, students who aren’t loved at home come to school to be loved.” Nicholas A. Feroni



Educationally Speaking

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