Teachers are also students

Teachers teach students, but does it go the other way round, too – do teachers learn from students?  Here are opinions from some teachers:

“The teacher-student relationship is a symbiotic relationship, in which the teacher must always be willing to learn, and the student must always be willing to share.”

“Don’t try to fix the students; we need to fix ourselves first. A good teacher makes the poor student good, and the good student better. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed.”

Teacher! A role model, a path to enlightenment, and the embodiment of knowledge. Someone you bow to before bowing to God. A lot has been said about teachers and teaching as a profession – they mould young minds to craft the future. They must, therefore, operate with responsibility and respect. Indian culture, in particular, has always revered teachers, placing them alongside, if not higher, than parents.

However, a fact that we often overlook is that teachers are all, ultimately, students themselves. While their students may go on and become someone or the other, the teacher remains, and never really stops learning. When we looked around, we found several instances of how a teacher learns from a student:

  • A teacher’s role is to know more than the student, yes, but more importantly it is to help a student achieve his true potential.
  • There will be instances where teachers meet kids who have superior intellect, if not knowledge. Teachers should use such opportunities to go back to their basics and re-learn tough subjects.
  • A teacher needs to be more than a source of knowledge – he also needs to be a guide and a moderator. Think of all the sports coaches whose students turn out to be better athletes than they are. The role of a coach is to coach, not to be a superior athlete.
  • They learn patience – over and over again!
  • They learn that everyone is capable of learning, but not everyone learns in the same way.
  • They learn humility.
  • They learn to find love in their worst student.
  • They keep up with the times, learning current trends, good and bad.

In short, teachers spend time learning from experience.

Students who have a healthy rapport with their teachers have a better chance of success.  An ideal student-teacher relationship must be based on mutual co-operation, trust, understanding, and a little bit of firmness, too. When both the student and the teacher are happy with their participation in the subject, they come away learning far more and also growing as individuals. After all, you must dig the deepest to find the greatest rewards.

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