Teachers as role models

Author: Latika Sakhuja, Project Lead at Mindful Souls 

Children look up to their teachers for every little thing. And they absorb every action and every word spoken by a teacher. Teachers are role models for children and this is a huge responsibility. Let us identify some ways that can ensure that we fulfill this responsibility well.

The behaviour and attitude of children are largely influenced by what they see around them. Considering that they spend half the day in school, it is evident that teachers have a huge impact on them. In fact, teachers are role models for them, they are the people that they look up to and learn from. Their perception of their teacher and the attitude of the teacher colours their perception of not just the world but also themselves. This is quite a responsibility and as a teacher, there are some ways that you can ensure that you are setting the right example.

Accept your mistakes

As children, we were taught not to make mistakes. And admitting that you have made a mistake is altogether a different ball game. However, students need to know that you are as human as them and as prone to making mistakes as they are. Accepting your own mistakes gives them an opportunity to see the human side of you. Consequently, they understand that the intent is not to be perfect but to attempt to achieve perfection and if that is not possible, to accept that we are all on a learning journey where mistakes are acceptable. being perfect is not the

Let them think for themselves

Let the children in your class think for themselves, treat them in the same way that you would treat a group of adults. Tell them that their thoughts are valued and their suggestions considered. This will help to build a stronger bond with them and will establish a foundation of trust. Children need to respect and trust an individual to look upon him or her as a role model.

Develop empathy

As teachers, we may believe that we just need to mentor our students, guide them in the right direction, and then let them be. While that is a part and parcel of what we do, we also need to develop empathy. We need to be able to understand what a child is going through, put ourselves in their shoes, and only then would we be able to model the behaviour that is right for them.

Applaud the positives

Maintain an environment where anything that may have a positive impact is applauded, creates a happy space for children. Rather than focusing on the mistakes, as teachers, we need to look for the positives and bring these to the forefront. This positive environment makes children more receptive, they absorb more and they absorb better This teaches children to give constructive feedback which lists out the positives with suggestions for improvement

Don’t forget your promises

Teaching children to fulfil their promises is very important. As a teacher, you need to remember that every word matters. If you make a promise fulfil it. This builds trust, and if children trust you, they trust your actions too. And if you cannot fulfil a promise, try explaining the reason why. Children value honesty and are non-judgemental. Your honesty will once again create a chance for a dialogue that can teach them a lot.

Teachers are not only responsible for teaching a subject or a concept. Their role extends way beyond the classroom. Teachers act as role models and to be good role models they need to set the right example. Let us attempt to be the kind of teacher who children look up to, be the kind of teacher that children remember, and a role model that sets the right example for them.

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