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New Roles of a Teacher

Vasavadatta Sarkar

Education makes the world go round—so we’d been told when we were young. Name and fame will perish but education will persist and will be the legacy that will be passed on from generation to generation. This was what our elders told us and we persisted as we believed what they said. Those were the days when children were seen and not heard. They accepted all you gave them trustingly without batting an eyelid and the content and quality handed out too was taken without question. Hard facts to be swallowed whole—cold and unappetizing.   Well, we have come a long way from there and education now is a totally different ball game. There is a steady hum which has reached a crescendo. Voices have become strident. Listen carefully and you will hear more the voice of the student and less that of the teacher. There are questions and questions and nothing is taken at face value any more. They are bitten, chewed, argued over and only when satisfied is it accepted. The teaching profession has taken a new turn—it has become increasingly challenging. Educators now would do well to keep in mind the 3 I’s—Innovate, Interest and then Impress. With the first the attention is captured. The second sparks the child’s curiosity. The third enables the child to retain. However mundane or run of the mill the topic might be, if it is delivered differently, then facts once learnt will never be forgotten. The child will always associate it with the sights and smells taught in class that afternoon, so many years back.   But all this is easier said than done. In these times when Google is the buzzword and students have access to a huge amount of information at the click of a mouse—they pose a huge challenge for educators. They come in different sizes with varying attention spans, learning abilities and retentive faculties. But the one common factor is that all of them expect something different and expectations are very high. Class numbers are small and the thirst for knowledge is enormous. Of course there are exceptions!   Teaching is no longer a simple profession. One would ask how is it different from earlier times? There is still a fixed curriculum—is there not? Yes there is BUT now the educator has to think up ways of delivering it—differently. It would ...

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