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The 26th U.S President, American statesman and writer, Theodore Roosevelt once asserted,
People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care,”
has been a repeated truism specially in the field of education. The qoute says more about imparting knowledge to others and how the sense of being cared-of can consummate the job.
Vast majority of search results in google about teaching give technicalities, systematic styles and modules, classroom managements — this are said as teaching expertise guides. But these are just self-centered, pride-booster kits that would make one conceited. And only few from these articles give the correct approach, attitude and character of which are more significant — such as caring.
The message of Theodore Roosevelt implies to keep your eyes off of the book for a while, and start to behold everyone’s first. What do you see? If…
You see your student as imbecile,
You look at someone as slow-minded,
You despise those who ask for assistance and;
You proudly look at yourself because of how far you’ve become.
Then, these people have nothing to do with what you know. And you can’t even be their teacher unless you learn how to care for them.
Although, Ofsted said outstanding teacher demonstrates a “deep knowledge and understanding of their subject,” a deep knowledge and care for their students is just as important.
Take for instance, a baby cannot understand what adults are saying no matter how articulate or knowledgeable an adult can be. Yet, a baby can understand how everyone feels and sense how adults care. And just like any other human beings, if they do feel cared about, that will build a strong connection for a smooth impart of knowledge.
Whether you are a teacher, trainer, a boss, older sibling or just a simple nomad imparting knowledge to other people, showing you care is better than an exemplary lesson plan and 30 bookmarked syllabus. Expertise in teaching starts by caring.
Use kind words.
This is something that I am sad about. I seldom encountered a teacher who uses kind words during my grade school and highschool days. Most will judge you based on your grades or importunate section. And it is more sad when you experience it in a corporate world. While there is so much darkness going on in this world now, you can create a sparkling light by being kind at all times. Kindness is the first thing a student can learn, as Amelia Earhart said,
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”
Appreciate, commend, affirm.
Nobody’s perfect. That is why it is easier to find faults from students than to appreciate their positives. This fault-finding scheme of educators never helps but only adds problem, because a student whose afraid to commit mistakes will most likely not learn, scared their whole life. Prof.Van Helsing said
We learn from failure, not from success.”
One of the best learning experiences I had was during my training days to one of the biggest BPO company in the Philippines. I had this lovely trainer who always do these, appreciate,commend, affirm. She even placed sticky notes with positive comments on our computer monitors once (something that is very seldom to BPO trainers). It helps me focused more knowing that someone saw my efforts. Commiting mistake that time was not an issue, because I knew it was part of our learning stage. What she did was really remarkable, something that can never be forgotten. I tagged her as “The Best Trainer.” How many students will feel the same way as I feel if their teacher was like her? I bet absorbing their lessons could be easier.
Do not shout.
When I was in grade 4, my teacher used to scream at our class to silence us. And I remember not having a better relationship with him because of fear. I didn’t develop respect towards him either. It was past 15 years and I still remember him, not the lessons that he taught, but the treatment he gave us. Respect is not about having 40 silent faces shouted into submission, but about how you listened and understood your inferiors. As Leonardo da Vinci said,
Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.”
The true expertise of teaching is caring, and it is expanded in many ways. It is not by the way you speak, but by the way you listen. It is not by giving principles and laws, but by giving reasons and significance to live. It is not by excellence and leadership, but by humbleness and service. And it is not by loudness, but by meekness. Nothing more could give you the most precious honor of having a caring heart in teaching than having multiple degree, which even combined cannot exceeds the true expertise of teaching.
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