Sunday, May 16, 2021

What is in it for me? - RP Devgan

For me, it is the opportunity to make a difference. I am the blessed and the chosen one to take care of children, the future of our society. If I look at the enormity, the seriousness of my job, it is quite frightening. I have been bestowed with the trust and responsibility of the school and the parents to guide children to grow up into successful and endearing individuals. I have been given and I have taken on the responsibility of nurturing young impressionable minds. To do so I have to be a role model myself. 

Years of experience with children, especially ones who are a challenge for various reasons,  has taught me that nothing succeeds like affection and understanding. Children are very good judges of educators. They take their time to see whom they can trust and confide in. The minute they are sure of trust,  they need to know if the concern of the educator is genuine. Once the children feel that the educators genuinely care for their well-being, it is only then that they open up and are uninhibited. Children must feel that the educators ‘care' for them.

With information and knowledge available on the internet, the role of a teacher more than anything else is of ‘Pastoral Care’.The children should be brought up with the right values and empathy. This starts right in the early years in a primary school. Students are most impressionable when they are in primary and middle school.

Going back to the educator and the question: ‘What is in it for me?’

The Educators must realise the important role they play in guiding children in shaping their opinion, beliefs and convictions. Living up to principles in the teen years needs courage and willpower. This is the time students need to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong.

To carry out this onerous task the educators need to grow and change with the times. Their self-development must not be for themselves alone but for the benefit of the students. The self-development of educators is often associated with ambition and many believe that this self-development should lead to climbing the ladder and winning awards. Educators must stick to their jobs and realise that ambition can lead to frustration. Successful educators are those who follow their passion for educating children and not look for awards and rewards. They must be selfless and work for the good of society.

Today, an educator needs to be versatile and open-minded. Teaching in the classroom and online is not enough. Educators need to spend time outdoors, in a natural environment, to be more effective. Students are far more responsive to suggestions and advice when they are in a free and comfortable environment. Educators who are musicians, sportsmen, who direct plays or spend time with children outside the classroom are far more successful in getting through to them and winning their attention and trust. That is where holistic education steps in.

Students who are achievers, if guided properly, turn out to be good human beings without any effort. This is what the world today needs; students who pass out of school as achievers and yet are compassionate and caring human beings.

Unfortunately, this is not happening in most schools. Children are graduating from school confused and with the wrong values, unable to distinguish between right and wrong. An example is for all to see in the current pandemic crisis; black marketeers of medicines and oxygen cylinders today, a real shame to the society we live in. 

What can educators do today?  The answer is that they can make a difference to the lives of hundreds of children they come in contact with and make our society and the world a better place.

All educators should be proud of the profession and proudly say ‘I make a difference.'

RP Devgan, Chairman Learning Forward India
With near five decades of experience as an Educationist and having served as a School Leader for schools in India and overseas, Mr Devgan brings in rich experience as an administrator, sports person and champion for teachers.

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