The days are gone when education was a one way track, where knowledge was handed downby the teacherto her pupils through lectures. The method of education where the teacher is the only active participant- giving knowledge, assessing the progress of students, giving feedback on assessment and setting the future course of action for all students- and students are passive recipients of that knowledge, was fundamentally flawed, and has been done away with, for good.
The role of the modern teacher is not limited to giving lectures based on the syllabus. As the focus of education has shifted from being teacher centred to student centred, the teacher’s role has been shifted from being the instructor to being the facilitator of learning.
The teacher, without realising it sometimes, becomes the role model for her students, and her behaviour is reflected in the class's environment. Whether the class is shy, motivated, afraid or confused is usually dependant on the teacher's attitude. The teacher sets the tone of the classroom. A teacher should be able to guide, mentor and nurture her students and bring out the best in them.
Teachers are lifelong learners, the modern teacher is always looking for new and innovative ways to teach her students. She uses a variety of technological tools like audio-visual tools, computers, the internet etc. to engage her students.
Understanding the psychology of the students is crucial for a modern teacher due to the presence of the whole spectrum of learners in the modern inclusive classroom. The modern teacher should be able to recognise the slow learners and the fast learners among her students and mould the lessons according to the capabilities of all the children individually. She also keeps an eye on the progress of every child and prepare positive feedback and plan of future action for each student.
The modern teacher responds quickly to any signs of trouble, and provides guidance and counselling as required by the situation. The teacher provides a safe and warm environment for all her students coming from diverse backgrounds. She helps in building their confidence and self-esteem by letting them express themselves. The modern teacher is not afraid of questions. On the contrary, the modern teacher tries her best to arouse the creative genius and thirst for knowledge in her pupils.
Research has shown that the more is student is involved in the learning process, the more information she retains. Hence, a good teacher tries to engage her students in various activities that are fun as well as educational. This student centred approach to education promotes innovative ideas among the students and builds their self-esteem. But, it must be kept in view that an inclusive will have learners with different learning capabilities and the same approach may not work for all of them. Consequently, it is important that the teacher uses diverse teaching strategies and tools to make sure that all the students are able to grasp the concept or skill being taught.
Another teaching technique that has shown promising results among learners, specially slow learners, is peer learning. The modern teacher uses this approach extensively in her classroom. Peer learning promotes a healthy learning culture by encouraging collaboration, experience and experimentation.
The assessment model of the modern teacher is very different from her earlier counterparts. The teacher uses her best knowledge and innovative learning techniques to assist in the transfer of knowledge, abilities and skills to the students. But the student becomes an equal partner in her educational process. The teacher involves the student during the planning of the lessons, the lesson itself, in preparing the feedback and also in planning the future course of action for the student. This approach gives the student more incentive to work harder to achieve her goals. The student gains ownership over her knowledge and progress, this further builds her self esteem. Another significant departure from the traditional process of assessment that the modern teacher applies is the method of positive approach to failure. The failure of the student is used as a source of motivation, instead of chastisement. A positive approach to failure instead of reproach, works wonders in lifting the student's spirit and inspire her to do better.
India is a country of vast diversity. It’s classrooms are as inclusive as they get, with learners from various social, economic and cultural backgrounds mingling together. The entire spectrum of learners is studying together in our schools. But the modern approach to teaching is still a distant dream for many learners.This scenario is slowly changing with many schools adopting modern teaching approach in their curriculum. Many schools like Heritage World School in Gurgaon, The Valley School in Bangalore, Rishi Public School, an ICSE schoolnear sector 31 Gurgaon and numerous others have qualified teachers who have adopted these techniques as part of their teaching methodologies and given great results.