A Nostalgic Musing
A teacher is a trustee. It is just like the birds. You take a flock of young students under your wings, nurture them, teach them to “fly”, and when they are ready, you release them into the world, set them free, watch them with pride as they fly into the sky, soar high above you, knowing that they will never come back, wishing that they reach great heights which you could never reach, for nothing gives a teacher more happiness than when his student excels and surpasses the teacher himself.
I have learned from experience that teaching has got less to do with knowledge and more to do with communication. Teaching is about relationships as well as pedagogy – it is more about feeling than facts.
It is all a question of vibes. Once you establish positive vibes with your students, you can feel the delightful chemistry between you and your students, it is like perfect impedance matching, the maximum power transfer theorem, and you can experience the classroom rocking with resonance, when all the resistance to the flow of knowledge disappears, the intellectual friction vanishes, the barriers melt away and seamless effortless learning is achieved.
It is not important how much a teacher knows. What is important is how much the student learns.
Like I said, communication skills are far more important than qualifications. Teaching is about relationships as well as pedagogy – it is more about feeling than facts. Soft Skills outweigh Hard Skills as far as the art of teaching is concerned.
A highly qualified Ph.D. who does not know the art of teaching and fails to establish good vibes with his students cannot make his lectures engrossing which may result in students losing interest in the subject and in some cases an insensitive teacher may even end up making his students hate and despise that subject.
It is easy to make simple things difficult but it requires good teaching, communication and soft skills to make difficult things easy and enjoyable to learn.
Today I feel a sense of pride tinged with nostalgic sadness as my protégés “fly” off to conquer great heights of success in their careers. It was a delightful experience to mentor young bright minds, to see them flower, blossom, bloom and flourish before your own eyes, observe them metamorphose from students into professionals.
I love being in the company of young people, full of zeal and enthusiasm, with a zest for living and a passion for learning. It makes me feel good and, as always, I “learn” more than I “teach”.
I feel sad, wanting to hold them back, not wanting to part, but I know I have to let them go to their destinies.
My dear students, as I watch you with pride in my heart, swiftly fly away, soaring high above me in the sky, vanish into the distance, to all my dear students, I sincerely wish you from the bottom of my heart: GODSPEED.
Godspeed – a wish for a prosperous journey and good fortune, my dear young friends, as you embark upon your first career, a new phase of your life.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Appetite for a Stroll