Being an Instructor, I usually don’t give advice to the undergrad students because of their faces that communicate me messages as
‘Who are you? Our Mother?’ ,
‘We know better than you’
‘As if we are listening to you’ looks.
So, usually I avoid talking stuff other than the lecture. But few days ago, officially being responsible for a batch of newly joined undergrad students, I was supposed to counsel them for their misbehavior and for bunking classes twice and thus, being penalized. Not knowing whose at mistake, whether administration or the students, I listened to the one-sided story which students concluded as being innocent and administration at fault. All that came in my mind at that time was “Do not Get Back”.
Mostly students at this age respond to such a situation by reacting in a negative way. They think of teachers as their rivalry and for every step taken or advice given by the teacher for their good, they consider it as harmful. They follow the lead of their seniors who misguide them about the teachers. Kids not having good experience with the teacher portray a negative image about him/her to the freshmen. Some even exaggerate. And these freshies quickly believe in it.
What makes them believe in their seniors is their common role in the university – as Students. What makes two people stick to each other in an unfamiliar world? Its what they share in common. That is what I think.
Coming back to the point, a one student-teacher bad experience as narrated can not be applied to all. Just as not all students are same, the teacher’s attitude may not be the same towards all its pupils. Situation may vary from student to student. And by this I don’t mean that he/she can be biased but that the way he/she handles different students according to the requirement. So, I believe, one should not carry a judgmental attitude without knowing the grounds.
However, what these juveniles don’t realize is that teachers are second to their parents and are more believable than students. A teacher knows oneself better than others so he/she can tell a student better, in fact the best of what would help them excel in their course.
So, at that time what the best advice I could give to them in order to get the charges exempted soon, was to adopt obedience and politeness. And believe you me, it really works. from my undergrad experience, unknown of its real powers, I was an obedient student by nature and trust me, it was always beneficial. It payed me off, it still pays me off.
Now, as a teacher, as I put in my best efforts to deliver my knowledge, I realize what is most expected out of a student by the teacher in the end – its Respect. And nothing can replace it, not even a high intellect.
In a place where you have little authority, there are two ways to get your work done, either argue with the administration or make a win-win situation by bringing circumstances in your favor. The latter may help but the former has less than 50% chances of any success. Only the wise follows the path to success.