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Sunday
Feb192006

A Good Teacher/Leader

I was sitting here bored to tears waiting to try and log on last night. With nothing to do, I went through some old mails, hoping to clean up the boxes. And I came across a few emails that flew back and forth a good friend of mine. I believe we were discussing what makes a good teacher/leader and below were my 2-Sen worth. It was refreshing to read it again and I think I still maintain the same stance on the matter.

A good teacher would be one whose students do not forget what's been taught to them. I totally believe in using any sort of way to inspire, to bring a certain message across and make sure it stays. The teacher would be willing to use even unorthodox ways to do so. A good teacher would be a flexible one, able to assess the situation and act accordingly. For example, I may have prepared a certain lesson, to do this and finish up that etc, but when I get to class, it may not be possible. Circumstance made it so, rainy day - students came late, students had exams/sports before they came etc. So the teacher had to make best of situation, do something else instead, or to do it in a way it does not look like a chore.

I guess the most important thing a teacher/leader has to do is to know his charges. Some respond to harsh and strict treatment but some has to be coaxed. But many a student had been broken in with hugs and encouragement. It's amazing what a hug will do. Methods, for me at least, has changed over the years. Nowadays, they don't take your word for gospel truth. They will probably do what I say but there might be doubts in their mind. When I need them to do something, I try to explain why it needs to be done that way, and when there's a reason, they responds positively.

A good teacher would be one that can motivate another to think, to try and improve. The student will go away, chew over the events/class and come back with some positive improvements. I do not want to be a teacher who serves 'staple diet'. I do not want to tell students of the 'one and only way' to do something. There's never 'one and only way'. Like you always say, thousand ways to skin a cat...........

My satisfaction comes from watching my students 'surprise' me with results. To make me gasp and say, 'My God! That was beautiful'. When that happens, it makes all the hard work worth it.

My Teacher will be one that inspires me to 'find myself', explore the many ways to bring out the hidden potentials in me, polish me and make me shine. Occasionally, nudge me toward the right direction, when I seemed to be going wrong. And when I do go wrong, my Teacher will tell me, "Hey, it's ok. I'm here. Hold my hand and we'll get out of the mud".

Different people use different things to trigger different memories. It could be the teacher, the place or a keyword. I use the key-word method very often. It may even be the teacher's perfume. Yes, I kid you not. Smells does things to me, makes me remember things very vividly. Sometimes music also does it. Notice I didn't say memorable teachers are nicest also :) I don't want to be remembered being 'nice'. I want to be remembered being good - good at what I do. Being effective. Ultimately, if there's a job to do, I want to do it and to my best ability. Some people might have different ideas as what is best but to me, if it draws out the potential of the student to its fullest or least till there's a certain calibre, I am happy. You will agree that we set different targets for different people.

Interesting about what you say is a 'teacher' and a 'trainer'. What am I? I feel I need to nurture and also be able to channel. Then, these are all just labels. Like I said, it does not matter what the label says as long as if there's a job to be done, to quote Nike, " Just Do It" orthodox, unorthodox, conventional, unconventional..........as long as we get the end result.

Reader Comments (2)

Treasured wisdom from a seasoned teacher. God has blessed you with wisdom. Keep up the good work!
February 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJi Jian
*blush* Thanks!
February 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaty

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