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“Luminous faces, sparkling eyes, Arched smile, energetic movements, Curious lines Almost flying bundles of questions, They are just mine………
Dr Aarti Gutch
I am a teacher. I ask myself a question – how different it is to teach arts students than it is to teach the Science ones. I want to learn.
Entering a class room of modern youth is a unique experience. I am suddenly pushed back in years when I enter here. A momentary flash comes to mind to remind me the times when I saw my teachers walking in. We all expected new things from the teacher and most of the times this desire was fulfilled. Now it is different. I am a teacher and my students are already ignited with the knowledge on the internet. But now my anxiety is of a different type. Do they already know whatever I am going to teach them today?
Yet the fundamentals of teaching and learning remain the same. The students are still carrying the Botanical specimens, in their pockets, bags or in their hands. They come bubbling with inquisitiveness and they get disheartened if their eagerness is not fulfilled. Their eagerness to share the samples with their teachers, showing the unique aspects that they have noticed in them, is almost a discovery.
I must not only write something on those mental slates but my contribution should be worthwhile.
I notice them with intrigue. Whenever they meet each other, they are ready to share their opinions, with innocent hearts. Their questions are deep and versatile. These lovely expressions on their faces motivate me to be a part of them. Is this the way I will achieve my goals of teaching?
These blooming buds, while interacting in their unnoticed assemblies, add energy to my entropy almost perpetually. They depend on a significant tool – asking questions. Science has a special tool that we can use easily and without reservations, that is interaction. Interactive sessions make the learning of Science very effective and interesting.
Students are in formative years. They promptly react to all situations. Their grooming decides how their future will turn out to be. So, what I have learnt over the years is that their learning process can be channelized by introducing three fundamental elements in their daily routine – Listening, Observing and Co-relating things to daily happenings in life. Children are full of energy and they inherently experience these attributes. All that we, as teachers, should do is to develop and imbibe these attributes in their character. It is a painstaking job.
Listening can be more effective if we add some subject related happenings in the lecture. This ignites as a stimulant to start the learning process in their minds. Once this happens, achieving the second element becomes easier.
Observation – the second element, is the backbone of understanding sciences. If a student observes things as a routine and it becomes his second nature, his attitude towards learning changes. And if he fails to observe things, then all that gets recorded in his mind, is merely a rusty impression.
Intelligence gathered after listening and observing, gets converted from the state of being a ray into beams and they automatically move ahead to the third element ie correlation – relating the concept with day-to-day activities. Correlating things is a rather difficult trait. It comes by experience. More difficult is to co-relate cohesively. This is how some students fare better than the others.
So if we develop the necessary tools for listening, observing and correlating we could achieve amazing results. Our Science students can become innovative particularly when it comes to examinations. They do not need last-minute preparations. The skills achieved then open the windows for their unrepealed talents.
These results are difficult to achieve and they come slowly. We need to constantly use the concepts of queries, sharing of the experiences, observations and collection of specimens. I make it my habit to use all tools to achieve these skills in students. Some of these are abundantly available in nature – walk, open group discussions, laboratory experiments, educational tours and seminars.
My constant aim is to not to see a brighter student perform better in examinations, which of course is required, but to achieve a larger benefit. A student must be able to innovate in different situation in life, based on scientifically applied postulates.
Dr Aarti Gutch
(Ph.D. Botany ,Vikram University Ujjain ,M.P.)
Presently working at Delhi Public School, Pinjore, Haryana