Friday, September 5, 2014

The Learner!

I started my teaching career in’91 and have taught in quite a few schools during this course of time. What I have learnt is that children are mostly the same everywhere.They usually fall into certain personality types. There are the bullies, the attention seekers, the wall-flowers, KTPs, the athletes, the monitors, the funny ones and the out for fun ones. There may be more types but it’s almost uncanny how similar children can be in personality no matter where they belong. In every place that I worked in, whether in Guwahati, Delhi, Ludhiana, Mumbai  or here in Nagpur, the school managements differ, the teachers are diverse in personality, but the children they were always the same. Here are some classic examples.

The ones which all teachers dread is the bully of the class. The bullies in the class have massive attitudes. They rarely pay attention to the teacher’s teaching. They never have their books and stationery. They will argue and test the teacher’s patience. They have an air of "I don’t give a damn, what can you do about it" Most of the time they go about rubbing people the wrong way. Children fear them and keep their distances. Some silently look up to them, hence their fan following.

Then there is the attention seekers.They flock around you. They want your love and attention. They will volunteer to help you, raise their hands to speak every time (even when they may not know the answer!) they border on hero-worshiping you. They want to know about you and want you to know about their lives. They may lack in confidence but not in their sweet smiles.

The wallflowers are the shy introverts of the class. They never speak, volunteer or have anything to contribute to any discussion. They keep to themselves and mostly mind their own business. They will sit silently during your class and avoid looking at you. In fact most days you may not even notice they are there. They usually have very few friends. Any attempt to draw them into a conversation and you get mono-syllables as reply!

KTP a term I coin to club the keen Type Performers of every class. They are excellent in academics.  They are the Toppers of the class. Their general knowledge on current affairs is outstanding. They will usually be monitors and prefects. They participate in all the extra-curricular activities. Teachers dole out praises for their talents and skills. Sometimes however, the praises get into their heads; they develop an air of superiority that borderline in rude behavior. Yet most of them are modest, well behaved, disciplined and very hard working. Teachers love them and every teacher-parent wishes for this perfect KTP child.

And the fun-loving children of the class. They are always looking for some ‘masti’! They will do anything for some light moments of humor. They get brilliant, innovative ideas of doing mischief. Very prompt at saying sorry but rarely learning lessons from their mistakes. They always find the class room a dull and boring place and they love the recess period. They have a pack of friends always hanging on to their every word.

These are just a few types of children I come across in every school that I have taught in. Children are all good at heart. Though they lack in the years of experience they are basically smart and aware of things. Adults just need to talk to them, show them what’s right and wrong. Discipline them by example, because they hate to be condemned. Leave them alone to find their own path. Today on Teacher’s Day I salute all my colleagues for guiding the children to be good humans.

The school is a miniature world. There are all sorts of personalities here that add color to life and make it the perfect place of learning. And I am a learner here.

Post a Comment