04 September, 2018

5 lessons learned from being a teacher

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5 Lessons learned from being a Teacher

September 5th is celebrated as Teacher's day in India. On this occasion, I want to share my learnings on being a teacher. 

To the people who don't know, I am a professional classical dancer (Kuchipudi) and I am teaching some students at home just to share my dance skills and improve myself. I have started teaching dance since last year and there are many new qualities that I learned so far in this journey.

Having Patience :

I salute each and every teacher who taught me with patience during my childhood. I think this is a must have quality in a teacher. 

There will be different types of students - a few might be over enthusiast and want to learn more in one hour, whereas a few students don't want to go to next class until they refined their old lesson. A teacher should have the patience to deal with different types of students. 

Sometimes, a teacher needs to repeat the obvious thing a hundred times until it goes to the brain of the student. If some students cannot focus, a teacher has to talk to them about how they can concentrate. I am still learning this new skill and improving on it.

Giving Support :

When I joined my dance class at the age of 6 years, I don't know what dance is. I was not sure if I could do the steps taught by our teacher Ms. Parvathi Ramachandran. But, my teacher and my parents believed in me when they joined me in Dance class. They supported me and encouraged me to learn complex steps and face challenges. 

Now, I am learning to be supportive to the students who underestimate themselves. I am encouraging them that they can take baby steps initially and take time without hurrying. This support and trust from the teacher on a student make a lot of difference in their learning.

Being a life-long learner :

When we teach something to the others, we will actually know how good we are at it. While being a dancer is one thing, teaching the skill is an entirely different thing. If you are not 101% sure of what you are teaching, you cannot teach. You need to practice better first, to be able to train others. 

Thus, I learned that I shouldn't stop improving myself and I should be a life-long learner in this field.

Appreciating the uniqueness :

An art is different when compared to academic learning. To a maths teacher, a student solving a problem himself based on the formula she taught might give her satisfaction. But, in any art, there is no limit of creativity and no two persons have the same creative skills. So, as a teacher, we should only guide students on how to express the feelings, present on stage and other technicalities.  But, a student might completely surprise us with their unique style of presentation. 

After the basics are learned, it is the uniqueness of each student that makes a difference. A teacher has to appreciate this and encourage students instead of forcing his/ her style on the students. 

Dealing with failures :

I remember failing on the stage once or twice. But, I didn't remember my teacher scolding me for that. Mistakes happen and that's how we learn. As a teacher, we should talk to students about their shortcomings and how they can improve instead of hurting them and making them feel low. 

I think as a teacher my responsibility is to prepare my students to face failures, learn from mistakes and deal with their mistakes. 

A teacher can transform your life. I am trying to be a better teacher day by day. So, Happy Teacher's day to all those lovely teachers and to me as well ;-)

In your opinion, what other qualities are important for a teacher? Do let me know in comments. 

Until next time,

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter.

Also, Linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne @everydaygyaan. 

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