An Eager Child Or An Enthusiastic Teacher

Often heard in the parent and teacher meetings and at other forums. 'This child is not interested'.  'Your child should show some curiosity or interest in the subject.'  'The child is not attentive in the class and does not keep up with his or her work'. 

Most often the burden to learn is put on the child or the student by the teacher and the parents. On the opposite end of the spectrum are teachers who are so enthusiastic that they do not have disinterested students in their class! What thus is the the number one need to have a great classroom experience?  If I asked you to name your favourite teachers from kindergarten through graduate school, it would be easy to answer, wouldn’t it?

Good teaching is as much about passion as it  is about reason .... It's about caring for your craft, having a passion for it, and conveying  that passion to everyone, most importantly to your students. 
- Professor Richard Leblanc
Award-winning teacher,  York University, Ontario

If the teacher's having fun, there's a good chance the students are also. Students of all ages appreciate a teacher who's having a good time. Hard work and dedication are not exclusive of having fun. In fact, one of the valuable things I learned during my student teaching was that the harder I worked outside of class getting ready for it, the more fun I had inside the class. When students say that a teacher is "fun" or teaches a "fun class," they don't mean it's all fun and games in which no teaching or learning is going on. They simply mean that the teacher enjoys what he or she is doing, and that it becomes an important part of the atmosphere of the classroom. In the teaching profession hard work and fun go together.
- Hal Urban

Having fun while working hard
There are other words that are similar to enthusiasm and passion. They also describe our favourite teachers. Here are a few of them:
zest
excitement
energy
fervor
eagerness
enjoyment
delight
zeal
liveliness
vitality
vigor
devotion
During their career, teachers face a lot of challenges but the most difficult of all is to motivate unmotivated students. There are different ways to motivate uninterested students but these methods prove to be effective only if you show patience and a lot of perseverance.
  • If you find an unmotivated student, welcome him/her with a classroom atmosphere that focuses on effort instead of achieving something great. Encourage unmotivated students to participate in class activities and answer the questions whether right or wrong. Let them feel that classroom is a safe and interesting place and giving wrong answers is just okay.
  • Being a teacher, try to find out causes of lack of interest and motivation. There may be some problems at home, in school or both which may be distracting for a student. Also see if student has some mental or physical issue that hinders his/her ability to stay motivated and focused.
  • Take a lot of care of unmotivated students. Try to establish goo relationship with that student and ask him/her about goals and future plans. Share your experience and mistakes you encountered when you were a student. By telling your mistakes and how you dealt with them can motivate a student a lot.
  • Do not criticise the student. Instead increase student’s self-esteem by rewarding positive and good behaviour. Continue rewarding the unmotivated students for their good deeds. This will encourage them to behave positively.
  • While teaching, be enthusiastic and maintain high level of energy. Give small and positive challenges to such students to help them build confidence. Also teach them how to face an unfavourable situation and allow them to evaluate and monitor themselves
Learning beyond accumulation knowledge is the most fun activity too, and this is where the onus of making the class experience lies on the teacher. Most of our teachers are pushed into the profession by chance and not by choice, this is the reason why many do not have any fun in the classroom, and treat teaching as a process.

It all begins with fun!

Fundamental, too begins with 'fun', and also has 'mental' in it. Any form of  learning must begin with fun and then move to mental, break the word and read as fun-da-mental. I will dare to explain this as fun with mental ability.You get the true meaning of fundamental, hope the linguists will note censure me for this rather overt interpretation. Their quest for learning and the stereotype thinking will challenge them to connect with the young people. Only if fun is meant for all will there be any form of creative learning.

Today we talk of learning beyond the classroom, and we simple move to a space below the sky, without actually the creative ability to use the fun element. All sociologist and even most educationist rely on life skills to initiate learning and education. The key element of life skills is 'fun' alone, and this has been the proven as well as tested method too for  working with beginners and adults. We rely on ice-breakers, mind games, brain storm... all enforces the hypothesis that it is 'fun' that makes it happen. It is imperative for us as mentors to engage with youth and never miss out the fun.



Many students leave school  only able to think in words, a limited and un-dynamic way of thought. But even worse for them, the  Joy of Life that comes from creative thought is lost: ideas  of the visual dimensions of the brain including mathematics must make it the most beautiful object we can possess in the universe. Our minds are far the greatest mechanism we can ever possess yet we hardly take notice of it. It is our ‘Play House of Infinite Forms’ of R.Tagore. This is the marvellous choice we can make in life. The greatest and the most beautiful mind.



Let us not be escapist by pushing the burden on the student, it is really the leadership of the teacher that matters and ignites the mind of the eager learner. Before a good 'shishya' there must be a good 'guru', and often it is said we follow the footsteps of our mentors. In the words of the students, the 'boring' teacher is one who is not able to find the eager child. Yes it is important to be eager and this preludes the enthusiasm that propels us to further learning. For a great classroom experience we need the eager teacher and the enthusiastic child. A teacher must be an 'eager beaver', one who is exceptionally, often excessively industrious or zealous: "The eager beavers of industry seldom reach their potential, much less rise to the top". Beavers are considered to be very industrious, always building dams. A person can be eager, just like the beaver, which sorta (kinda) rhymes. Zealous is unrelentingly eager, just like the beaver building his dam.

O my great teacher iyou want to work in a great place, find a great leader - or become one yourself. The leader is within you and the choice is yours to delve within, enjoy what you do, have fun and lead you students to a great learning experience, and not once should you ever complain that the student is not eager to learn. If you as a teacher 'enjoy you job' the students will love every minute of your class and you will have every student be the eager child.

Teaching is a rewarding and satisfactory career but it can frustrate you when you have to deal with unmotivated lazy students. If you have lazy students in class, you should devise some strategies to motivate them.

References:
1. http://www.catholiceducation.org/
2. http://adamtheteacher.wordpress.com/
3. http://www.creativeinfinitymind.com/

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