By Aruj Sipra
Teaching is one of the oldest and noblest services to the society in any culture. It’s also a process to prepare the next generation of skilled professionals and workers like engineers, doctors, educators, legislators and good citizens.
Being a teacher myself, I can say that teaching enlightens both parties, student as well as the teacher. Not only the students learn but the teacher also learns the lessons of life from students.
I started my teaching career right after graduating, as a way to start earning and the thought of getting my paycheque kept me going though I would say, it was not an easy ride. I was and still am fond of little children but at a distance so having a class of 20 children under the ages of three years old was pretty hard especially when you are young and naive yourself. There were many cries, grunting and kicking and to make matters worse, at times, I was the only teacher in the classroom. I survived against all odds because I had in me, one of the most important powerful teaching tool, patience. A teacher’s patience is the heart of students’ long-term learning and skills.
Teaching isn’t for everyone, but if you love being around children, then it’s one of the noblest professions. You should have patience and to make it easier, have a pretty good sense of humour. Many times I have noticed children say the funniest things and I laugh with them. I feel much better because my students see me as a happy person.
Pre-school is also one of the most rewarding and fun grades to teach. Everything is new and exciting to these students. They love to sing and play games and really can learn to work together and treat each other with a great deal of kindness.
A positive feedback, simple words like“good job” or “excellent” may not mean much to us but they mean the whole world to students. Publicly praise positive behaviour and show your students that you are celebrating their achievements as well.
The hardest part of being in this position is when parents don’t back you. If you have kids throwing punches, you simply can’t have it. And the parents will sometimes come in and make a hundred excuses; it’s not their child, it’s not their fault. When you don’t get support to correct problems, it’s disappointing.
I am often asked by the parents, “What are the best ways parents can help teachers and that teachers can help parents?” My answer, The Child-Parent-Teacher Triangle method which was developed by Dr Maria Montessori.
The three best ways parents can help teachers:
- Be involved in your child’s education – show them that you care and create a positive ‘triangle’ relationship between yourself, your child and your child’s teacher.
- Educate yourself on the current trends in education – how is your child’s teacher educating your child. Times change and so does the way we teach. As a parent it is your job to come to grips with the new ways of learning, to best support and guide your child through their learning journey.
- Send them to school happy – give your child a hug before they walk out the door and you head off to work. Look them in the eye and tell them how much you love them, how proud of them you are and boost their confidence every day. They will be more secure and ready to start a positive day of learning.
The three best ways teachers can help parents:
- Communicate – it is the key to success and keeping parents involved in their child’s education is critical. Don’t wait until parent conferences to let them know that their child is falling behind. Email them, call them or talk to them at the gate – keep them involved!
- Educate them – bring them in for professional development – teach them how you teach Math or English – support their learning as it is just as important as their child’s. They have to support learning at home.
- Be positive – send a note home or an email to let them know the amazing things their child is doing. Make no exceptions, do this for EVERY child. The smallest thing, can make the biggest difference!
There is always a leg-up personality in every successful person’s life. In most of the cases you will find, it is either one of their teacher or one of the grandparent that helped them how to ride and control reins of life. Aristotle said, “Those who educate the children are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
About the author:
Aruj Sipra is the community manager at MuslimMoms.ca, a teacher who absolutely loves her job and derives true joy from interacting with little ones.