The late management guru, Peter F. Drucker described the 21st century as the era of 3cs; accelerated Changes, overwhelming Complexities and tremendous competition. The world is moving very fast and changes are taking place on a regular basis and the reality of it is that some roles are more sensitive than the others.
A teacher is someone who impacts knowledge to young minds. A role like that of the teacher who is responsible for not only impacting knowledge but also instilling discipline and setting good examples to adolescents our future generation; which are still in their formative years, is an extra sensitive role which is almost sensitive as parenting. In a society like ours which is intensely challenged by youth restiveness, cultism, kidnapping, militancy, partially illiterate literacy to mention a few, people occupying the teaching role needs to buckle up to be able to face the responsibility that their role comes with.
With the introduction of the internet, cable television, mobile phones and information technology all of which has both positive and negative sides, the opinion and character of your young ones are easily shapped by the outside world because they adopt attitudes and behaviour without questioning authenticity. This is partly because of a neuron in the brain called the mirror neuron which helps people mimic what they perceive from their environment.
In the light of this technology advancement, the duty of a teacher has taken a new dimension. Therefore, it takes more than a certificate to be an effective teacher in this day and age. Teachers in this day and age must be; leaders, coaches, inspiration givers and people sensitive to the needs and wants of the 21st century child whilst consistently updating their information level due to constantly advancing technology to be able to combat the negative influence of this technological craze age.
A 9 year old boy had an addiction with raw sugar his mother got to know of.
She tried all that she knew from treat to love yet the boy won’t stop. One day she took him to see his teacher and told his teacher about her son’s addiction to raw sugar and how disturbing and destructive his addiction is getting.
Her son’s teacher asked her to go and return in two weeks. Hon they return after two weeks, the teacher took the boy inside the house and had a private conversation with him. It didn’t look like much but after that encounter the boy stopped the habit. A few weeks later, the excited mother asked the teacher saying “why did you tell us to go and come back in two weeks when you knew just how to stop my son’s former addiction?” the teacher answered; “as at that time I was struggling with sugar addiction, I had to cure myself first before I cure others”.
The moral of the story is that nothing is as powerful in shaping of people like the examples set before them. Also people especially children, are susceptible to change and improvement when they perceive likewise in persons expecting their change and improvement. Character moulding must start with the moulding of the characters of the teachers first and this is not about sugar addiction but rather about setting good examples.
The reality that most homes are dual income (both parents) or single parent homes, were parents are busy looking for how to pay bills with little or no time dedicated to the moulding of their children’s character has resulted in the detriment of the character of their children. They come home late and leave early life style has comewhat transferred the responsibility of character moulding to school teachers; illiterate house helps; television miscreants and etc. of all the character moulders of our young ones beside parents, teachers are most likely to usurp a higher level of authority of which if they take extra care of just become a little more observant can save the child from straying.
Now let’s look at the strategies through which we can shape the character of pupils.
Beliefs are formed by what the people we respect and honour think about us. People like our parents, teachers, coaches, pastors and mentors. An experiment was conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area by Dr. Robert Rosenthal’s of Harvard University in the late 1960s or primary school’s year the principal called three teachers to his office, and said “we have been observing your teaching styles and we have concluded that you the three best teachers in this school. As a special reward for teaching excellent we are going to give you each one classroom of the brightest child in school. These children have been selected on the basis of recent IQ tests, and we expect them to make jumps of 20 to 30 per cent in academic achievement over the course of the coming year. But, because we don’t want to be accused discrimination, we want you to keep this confidential.
The teachers were happy. They taught with commitment and zest. At the end of the school year when the result came out, the three classes led not only the entire school district, but their grades achieved a leap of 30 to 30 per cent academic achievement.
Later on the principal called the three teachers into his office and congratulated them. The principal then explain to them that it was all an experiment. He told them that the students were not exceptional and they too were not exceptional teachers but they performed because a credible person (the principal) believes in them, and the students perform because their teacher believes in them.
He also added that believe in the pupils as well as their teachers will be adopted regular practice.
Thierry Henry former Arsenal No. 9, made his first team debut in 1995, helped Monaco take the French title in 1997 and played a major part in France’s victory in the 1998 world cup. Prior to his joining Arsenal FC, Wenger Arsenal coach always told him “You are a No. 9” so when Henry came to Arsenal FC he put his theory to test and the rest as they say is two premiership title, two FA cup wins and over hundred premiership goals. If you raise your belief bar, your pupils will raise their performance to march up with the standard you set for them.
Instill Discipline. It takes discipline to achieve greatness. It takes discipline to live your mark on the sands of time. I take discipline to be all that you can be.
Discipline is a choice you don’t receive it from birth you develop it.
Discipline is a natural outgrowth of people who want to achieve big dreams; they know what if they are disciplined financially, spiritually, emotionally and relationally, they will he able to achieve their dreams.
An effective teacher is suppose to be able to instill discipline with the knowledge that every pupil his or her care can amount to greatness due to a teacher diligent concern. And to achieve this amount of discipline every teacher that intends to make an impact should push aside the thought that this is a meagerly paid job on children and not mine but rather passionately give to their pupils what they would that their own children should have considering the fact that they are our future leaders.
Discipline is not the easiest thing to do but it is very much possible to be discipline, and every good teacher should imbibe the culture of discipline themselves to effectively discipline their pupils. The best way to discipline is to remember the reward of that particular discipline. Reading for hours a day is not easy, while others are having fun. But remind yourself of the joy of knowing more about your line of duty.
In a world full of distractions such as ours, some of which are subtle while the others are obvious, only a discipline person can choose to focus on a growing child even it means sticking with it like a pit-bull until they get what they want.
Encourage pupils to set goals. Goals can change the character of a person. I once heard a successful leadership consultant says that because he knew that he was going to train leaders around the world he did not smoke when his friends were smoking as a student and he achieved this as a result of his setting not-to-smoke as a goal.
Advantages of Goal Setting. Goal setting enhances a pupil sense of accomplishment after achieving each goal. It increases the level of believe they have in themselves as well as the trust you as a teacher have in them. The process of setting and achieving goals increases a sense of responsibility. It enables the pupils become aware of their potentials. It also gives the joy of being successful at developing your pupils.
How Goals setting works for pupils. Goal settings should start with little tasks before moving more tasking ones. A time frame should be attached to each of their goals. Writing and reviewing of their goals should also be instilled.
Paul Foh is the founder of Katalysts Business Academy, Port Harcourt.