Ability to win students’ trust and confidence by teachers, though not easy to evaluate when assessing a new teacher’s suitability before deployment in class, is critical in the academic achievement and personality development of students anywhere.
This ability is a function of leadership. Teachers are leaders. They have followers, they are motivators and role models. Their students love them. Their communities respect them. Students love and perform best at schools where they feel they are growing up, learning and teachers are keenly interested in their future prosperity. Where there was effective communication between students, teachers and parents.
Winning students’ hearts is certainly not Advanced Calculus. Any teacher who consciously wishes to gain the confidence of his or her students and practices leadership techniques is most likely to be one of the most admired staff at any school. Great character, subject knowledge and being “Professor of human Nature” are some of the qualities which work wonders with students.
We know a business that does not show a profit, at least equal to its cost is irresponsible, since it wastes our society’s resources. Similarly, a school that does not consistently post satisfactory educational performance is bound to be frowned upon by all key stakeholders . We all wish to associate with winners, with great names.
Being among the top schools in examinations does not come easily. Our system is very competitive. It comes from great teachers and hard-working students and world-class facilities.
For a teacher to win his or her students, the teacher should first have strong desire to be a good teacher. The students are always able to discern this strong desire from the teacher’s face. Students are good readers of body language. Educational psychologists have always reminded us that as teachers, “a thorough knowledge of what we are teaching is very important, but a thorough knowledge of the students as human beings is as important.”
My Headmaster in Wajir Full Primary Schol in 1973, Mr M.M. Said was such a teacher. He would go great length to be a good teacher. He told us great stories and motivated us to be the “best that we could all be.” He was energetic, a person of character and professor of human nature.
Today, teachers are hired for their ability to manage students and understand human relations as well as for their technical skills and knowledge. Our students are largely what we make them. There is no such thing as perfect students.
Every student has certain abilities and shortcomings, even as the teachers and everyone else. The teachers’ job is to mould the human weakness of their students in the proper, noblest, most desirable direction.
Teachers should be loyal to their students and should not ignore them. A lady teacher named Josephine became sick and was admitted in Hospital. She was surprised that not only all the teachers and students-756 of them, visited her at the hospital, but the students persuaded their parents too,to visit their teacher. She was uncompromisingly loyal to her School Community. When the time came, the community reciprocated. Later on she started her Private Academy which proved a fantastic success.
Teachers must not be afraid to give praise to good students. To praise is to give “mental sunshine and mental wage” by expressing appreciation for good School work , for discipline and for character. A great teacher is one who remembers the faces and names of his or her students many years after they had left the School. One of my teachers in High School remembered almost all the names of his students, their looks, their habits and their class-work.
Teachers should not be too lenient or too severe on their students. Both have severe consequences. There are indicators to show whether a teacher is too lenient or too severe. Students rarely respect a teacher who is too soft. They will display a lax attitude towards their studies. They will avoid one who is too harsh. Students will restrict their output and appear sullen.
It pays to win students confidence. All teachers should cultivate habits of winning their students. It is great for academic achievement and personality development of students.
Mr. Billow Khalid who is a former Military Officer, is a Motivational Trainer.