Malala Yousafzai once said, “One book, one pen, and one teacher can change the world”. While our expectations from teachers in the education field are set with the notion to bring about change in the system, at times we also need their wisdom and words for more than just in the classroom with their students.
We spoke to Meeru Brar, a teacher in Kasauli with 15 years of experience, to talk about and appreciate all that our teachers do for students beyond those four, often eggshell-coloured, classroom walls.
Here’s what she said makes a teacher’s role so important in a student’s life:
Children and young kids are very expressive with their emotions. We, as teachers, have the ability to detect even the slightest difference in their behaviour – be it silent, loud, defiant, or sad. Being around children most of my career, I can sense the difference in any child’s mood, especially if they are struggling. Whether it’s homework they need more time with, or someone to hear them talk to, they can be very expressive without being vocal.
As much as we want to help nurture kids and make them comfortable to be themselves, it’s a 50/50 effort from both – us teachers and parents. Not every child would want to talk to a teacher, and that’s completely fine. Parents also need to create a space for kids to help solve their worries. As a teacher, you can only go a small way to help a child with a personal issue but with the help of the parents and an open channel of communication, we can come to a solution that benefits the child in the most effective way.
Teachers are meant to educate children and make sure they understand their subjects but learning goes beyond what textbooks can provide. Kids don’t need to be burdened with mountains of test papers. Concepts like patience, kindness, and time management are skills every child can thrive with. As teachers, all of us in the institution strive to help students be more rounded individuals, not just smart ones.
Learning never stops, and sometimes kids can be the best source for learning. Over the years, I’ve had students whose experiences have helped me be more compassionate, understanding, and fair when it came to shaping my approach to life. It’s a great self-teaching tool for anyone in the education field and learning new things.
Knowing and understanding each student by their name and nature is very important. Every child wants to be seen, heard, and understood. Helping them along the way to make them better people will be more interesting as you learn about their unique qualities with a positive attitude. At the same time, unlimited access and intimacy aren’t the best when it comes to holding discipline. Here the teacher needs to find the right balance for each student.
Every child is unique with individual traits – and so are their educators. In order to make another individual’s life richer, a teacher must work on their own skills, and find aspects of the parts they need to strengthen themselves with to become a source of trust for the children they teach.
At Nua, we honour our teachers – past, present and future – who dedicate their years to shape and educate young minds, in and outside the classroom. We believe that education goes a long way, especially if the topic revolves around menstruation. Come, join us on the journey to ensure your wellness needs from childhood to adulthood are always met, one step at a time.