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Experience Is The True Guru

Discussion in 'Religious places & Spiritual people' started by drs3232, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. drs3232

    drs3232 Silver IL'ite

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    Patience and tolerance are the two key factors which make a successful teacher. You should be very patient and tolerant with your students. Most of the students are very active and when they become more active they will become more restless. The punishments you give to a student should indicate that ‘I do not like what you did’, rather than, ‘You did it’.

    Eye contact is something very important to maintain discipline in a class. You have to face the students by looking into their eyes. (Please do not stare). It should be like that you start from one point of the class room and end at another point. It is not so simple, you have to practice a lot and do homework. I used to sit before a mirror and look at my own eyes every day for at least ten minutes.

    During this period I would give suggestions to my mind, “I am confident.” You should have such positive messages for the mind. The result will be simply marvellous when also supplemented by simple mediation techniques. When I am in a class, if any student misbehaves, I will simply look at him stopping the class for a second; there will be abrupt silence in the class and all the other students will be looking at the particular student. Next I will just turn my face off towards the door, and he understands and will go out of the class but he will stand near the door. He will keep standing there, and after 10 minutes I will go to him and ask, “Do you feel for what you have done?” He will immediately accept his fault and then I will say, “Please get in” This is very important, the use of


    You have to recognise and respect the feelings of each individual irrespective of their age. There is a joke about one professor in our college who is a language teacher and is not so familiar with the use of English. One day one boy did some mischief in his class. He immediately shouted at him, “Get out.” The boy went out murmuring but he did not leave the premises. He was standing near the door for some time, and the professor’s heart melted. He felt very uncomfortable and he said to himself, “What I have done? I asked him to go out of the class, and now that boy feels sad and I too feel for it. I will ask him to get in.” But the words “Get in” would not come to his mind or he did not remember it at that point of time. He just went outside the room and said, “Get out”, pointing his hand towards the class room, and the boy went into the class room happily.

    Teachers are students always as they have to learn each day to keep themselves updated. It is interesting to find that sometimes our own students give us some new information. We have to accept it and appreciate them for sharing such information. I also found that sometimes students correct us by looking into the black board and saying, “Sir/Ma’am there is a mistake in the spelling.” We should not get annoyed but again accept and appreciate their efforts as not all students dare to do this as they are sort of shy or afraid to point out these errors.

    The students should be provided with information outside the text book but relevant to their study in an interesting manner. For example, in one of my management classes I observed that my students were sitting breathless and concentrating when I shared an information about the “X Brand” tooth

    paste. Showing them the carton I asked them, “Do you know at which place this is manufactured?” They gave different answers starting from Mumbai, Chennai and so on.

    I showed them the carton of the tooth paste and the place of the manufacture was the place in which they were living. I came to know this by keen sense of observation. When I use a tooth paste, I do not simply using the tooth paste; I used to observe details such as its manufacturing date, place and so on out of curiosity. This is a quality a teacher should develop to impress the students. You may ask why I should impress them. Simple, to extract respect for your knowledge.

    You have to also read the latest subject related magazines and journals so that you can mix it in your lecture class not in detail but in excerpts which the students will enjoy a lot. In fact it is not the text book information which is prepared three years ago, but the current information you share that attracts them.

    For those students who are not so good in English, I used to recommend reading cartoon story books, which I found useful in improving their vocabulary and also their spoken English. (In fact I improved my English using this technique).

    Teachers have to think about the need for evaluating the knowledge rather than the memory of students. It is very pathetic to observe that till day we are following up the very old traditional memory test for testing the knowledge of the students.

    The evaluation system in the higher education level is done in such a way that you have to evaluate a certain number of answer scripts in a day. I hope we are not in a manufacturing process that certain number of products are to be manufactured within a day. Even in manufacturing some sort of quality tests/standards are maintained.

    There is a system of continuous assessment in higher education for which each university prescribes its own thumb rules. For example some universities follow the norm of twenty five marks for internal assessment out of hundred marks. Is there a system to monitor this, and who supervises this? Has the student got any role to be played in this? Is he given a chance to improve himself? Is there any grievance redressal system? If you go in depth only this??? will be left as your final answer.

    Our country is never in short of eminent academicians but they are all very busy in elevating their qualifications and the number of their research papers. Why do we hesitate to come out of this traditional system of evaluation? Is it because we lose our remuneration for answer scripts evaluation? Then it is the right time to think about the future and career of your own children. Because, they too stand a chance of becoming just personalities with good memories, and not with good knowledge.

    Money is the vitamin M for livelihood but not at the cost of the career and future of the students of mother India. Teachers, think twice before you carry out your evaluations and assessments, because the tomorrow of the youth of this country is spread out before you in the answer scripts you are going to evaluate.

    Be a true teacher; evaluate the answer scripts thinking that you are evaluating the answer script of your own children.

    A teacher is a student always as he has to learn every day to keep him up to date otherwise he will

    become something similar to an outdated machine or software. How we will keep ourselves updated in this fast changing world? The key factor here is the student himself. Nowadays he has access to the latest information. You cannot restrict the flow of knowledge. My findings are that internet is the major source of information for students of this day. Although they use it for accessing many types of social media, they also come across a variety of useful information and they record this in their minds. This pops out when the teacher discusses something relevant to this in the normal lecture class, sometimes placing you in a difficult position.

    I remember in the year 2004 when I was undergoing a special training in University Grants Commission in E-Learning. (I was one among the two professors selected from the state of Tamilnadu in the first and final batch). I found that many of the professors who had come there for the training representing different states were sitting idle before their computers, as they were not aware of how to start their computers. I do not blame them; what our trainers should have done first was to give them not training in E-Learning, but to teach them the basics of the computer. The professors were selected on the basis of a project submitted, without enquiring into their basic knowledge in computers. A few of us trained the other professors daily in handling the computers effortlessly. I was lucky enough to be with one of the mathematics professors from Kerala who was the first one sent to UK to learn the intricacies of the computer, and he brought one of the first generation computers to India, purchasing it out of his savings to educate his students. Even today students flock in large number to his house to see this first generation computer as a historical piece. (I have also worked on this computer; in those days, after switching on the computer we used to go to the nearby tea shop to have a tea and by the time we return the computer would be ready for work). Today we are not satisfied even with the latest platforms; we want speed and more speed. The moment the computer hangs, the world comes to a standstill for us (we will tolerate anything except this in our life).

    I do remember that in the year 2000, while I was working in the Maldives, the one thing I was afraid of was computers. I had made up my mind that I would never go near a computer. I used to request my fellow teachers to help me with computer related work. (Ironically, I later achieved the Guinness World Record in Online Teaching for teaching 1934 students from 16 countries worldwide using a computer only). As teachers we should keep ourselves updated each day, each minute, each second, otherwise you will get outdated and you will lose the respect the students give you. I am happy when my students get up and greet me when I enter a class only if my knowledge level is maintained at a higher level than that of my students.

    Many people are very much interested in obtaining a “Dr” title before their name. It is a craze for many corporate heads and even others as well. Many corporate heads who have approached me have told me how they were cheated by many study centres, because many of such universities represented by study centres vanished into thin air with the passage of time due to varied reasons. The main reason for this is that private universities give the role of marketing to private individuals who pay heavy amount for obtaining the national rights of marketing. These people, for the sake of making money, act without any ethics as they are only worried about multiplying their profits.

    What really happens is that sometimes they go to the extent of printing certificates and selling them

    without the knowledge of the concerned university. One fine morning when the cat is out of the bag, the UGC declares that all the degrees issued by the particular university are not valid. Some innocent scholars think that they have already completed their degrees, and so that is not applicable for them; no friend, it is not like that - degrees are not valid means none of the degrees issued from the very beginning are not valid. In simple words you have lost your money, time and energy.

    One thing people do not realise is that research education is something of a high order and level. Only people with the right qualification and right experience can guide you towards the right path. Please understand that if you pursue a research degree through a study centre of any university, it is not valid, as UGC has already stated and announced this in their notifications.

    You have to acquire your research degree only through a Private/Deemed/Government

    University/Approved Research institution, and the mode of study should be part time or regular.

    Experience makes a teacher perfect. I have observed students remaining in pin drop silence when my classes are going on; it is not because I am a strict disciplinarian, it is only because they love classes which are informative.

    I remember while I was working in a college in Kerala, one day while taking the class I just looked out casually and found that in a particular class students were standing crowded. Out of curiosity, after my class was over, (that other class continued even after the interval bell) I went near the class and noticed that the teacher was engaged in narrating in an interesting manner a story in the text book. He was a language teacher. When I enquired with my fellow teachers I came to understand that students from other classes also attend this class even at the cost of absenting themselves from their own classes, as this teacher’s classes were so interesting. Such is the student psychology which is quite unpredictable, and which you can learn only with the passage of time.

    While I was working in a women’s college, one day our principal took leave and put me in charge of the college. It was the habit of some students those days (and even today), to cut their afternoon classes and to go for a new movie. Everything went so smooth except in the afternoon, when I found that most of the students were absent. On enquiry, I found that they had gone for a movie absenting themselves from the classes. Fortunately or unfortunately, an order was received at that time from the district authorities to let off all classes due to some official reasons.

    I did not waste any time. I discussed with my fellow teachers and decided to go for the same movie for which the students had gone. I went with all of our teachers (tickets sponsored by me). We took tickets for the higher class so that we would be sitting behind the students without their knowledge. All went well till the interval when lights were switched on and one of students who was sitting in the front row just turned back and scream aloud in the shock of seeing all the teachers together in the theatre. We never asked anything; I did not want to be a spoil sport. Next day when the same students came to the college none of us asked them anything. They were really shocked to see our NO REACTION but RESPONSE.

    Teachers are not just teachers nowadays - they are Government/Aided/Private college/school teachers. The position of Guru is very important in shaping the future of any student. But why are there these variations in status? Today one of my friends, a very learned and experienced scholar, had a

    discussion with me. We discussed for a long time about the present scenario in the field of education and how to make changes in it. A teacher is always a student because being a teacher places him in a very important position. He has to learn every day to keep updated to impart the latest knowledge to the students. The teacher should realise the role that he is playing and the duration for which the impact will remain in the hearts of the students.

    The teacher should keep the students engaged for the full hour of his allocated time. You may wonder how this is possible. This is possible only by prior planning. When I am going to a class, I plan in such a way that I lecture for thirty minutes and for another thirty minutes I will share the notes. I used to plan in advance, that these are the topics I am going to cover, this is the new knowledge in the subject area I am going to share. Teachers who engage their students in this way will remain in the hearts of the students for ever.

    Once I was visiting an educational exhibition sponsored by a leading newspaper. While I was taking my rounds, one gentleman (he was the Professor of a very leading college in Coimbatore, admission to which is only a dream for many of the students) stopped me. In fact I did not know who he was, but he introduced me to his faculty saying, “Do you know who he is, a teacher who will never refuse to go for any number of classes, if asked he will handle any subject at short notice.” This gave me plenty of strength in the future when I was a teacher in many other colleges. Actually I never knew till then that this is another quality others expect in a teacher.
    Deepika23 and GeetaKashyap like this.

  2. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Interesting sharing of your experiences, Sir. I am sure it will be of great use to many here.

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