Sunday, February 3, 2013

Teacher, are you ready?

"When the student is ready the teacher appears." 

And, so goes an Indian saying.  Or did we get it all wrong?
In this paradigm the absence of a formal educator is not an acceptable excuse. When one is ready to learn, learning is found, and the teacher appears. The onus is on students, and the role of teacher is clearly undefined.

( In a teacher-deprived society I admit it helped me navigate through education system of our rural pocket in India. )

But, now the tables have turned! I am trying to fit into the shoes of a teacher. And, man! It IS a difficult pair of heels to wear! There are so many inconvenient questions to ask- Will I be able to become a good teacher? Would it be the glassy stare or the precious awe that I will see on faces of my students?

Worse still, what if I continue lying to myself and believing that I am a good teacher as I turn blind to the glassy stares?

Eventually students will lose their innate desire to be 'ready' to learn because there are no 'teachers'.

Once upon a time ...

Remember the tale of those legendary people (-whose stuff is made of legends- and) who got their first email address when they reached a university. I am one of them.

I am taking the risk/liberty/whatever - of giving out this tmi on our blog to make a point. And, that point is this- for a very long time I stuck in my comfort zone, still aiming to 'teach' as I refused to acknowledge that the lives of my future-students is tremendously different from the life that I had. Inertia is so convenient (and this is the point) and I am guilty of it.

Now, this GEDI and PFP change is forcing me to shake-off all the notions I have held golden about education system.

Here is an existential crisis-  For am I still a 'teacher' when my students are not learning anything from me? The very identity of a teacher is a function of effective transfer of skills to the students. So when my students fail to learn, it is me who fails to teach. And, I am reduced to a 'zombie' lecturer- who speaks when no one is listening! Wow! Teaching is difficult!

All my hopes for my bewildered self stem from what Dr. Gardner Campbell said in our GEDI class-
" When you are confused, you learn. "

I am confused and it is time when the teacher-wannabe learnt about her students!

For when the teacher is ready, students appear!

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