Online or offline our heart and soul are in line with our students. True, our lives as teachers revolve around children, we are continuously thinking about them, planning for them, taking feedback and implementing them; and learning, relearning, and unlearning for them and with them. Teaching-learning is a continuous process and is similar to the life process. And, online or face to face mode of teaching — there is no difference. We care, We share, We learn mutually and we grow together!
This year was very challenging and I learnt a lot. I learnt, unlearnt, and relearnt too.
I implemented professional humanism.
What does the term mean? Professionalism denotes a way of behaving in accordance with certain normative values, whereas humanism denotes an intrinsic set of deep-seated convictions about one’s obligations toward others. Viewed in this way, humanism is seen as the passion that animates professionalism.
We are all professional right but we are all the same in the level of heart, mind, and soul ( students and teachers). This implies that as professions we strive to include a variety of personal qualities and behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to effective performance in a given job. These include commitment and confidence, responsibility and dependability, honesty and ethics, and appearance and professional presence.
Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.
When we are in the Classroom as teachers I try to understand that the child is going through a lot of challenges (if not more ) in this pandemic. Children are confined to their homes. They are missing their classmates, friends and all activities in school. These have psychological effects on them. When I do find they are disturbed a bit or a little irritated I stop for 5 mins and just chat with them. I say to them – Hey you know I understand what you are going through. It’s ok. Can you share how to make a yummy vegetable salad? Thanks, see you are a good chef.
The two terms: Professionalism and Humanism are not contradictory but complement each other. Now the question is how I implemented it?
First and foremost, I am viewing students as individuals who have their holistic perception of life. I respect them, understand that they are facing challenges as we are all facing in this difficult time. I am being flexible but firm with them. I am assuring them that I am there for you no matter what. You are more important to me than anything else in the world. We are a team. I love them no matter what irrespective of parameters. I show them my true self and uniqueness. We are all unique in our own way! We are different but we are one!
It’s not easy to implement these at times and there is no golden rule to make it work. So, here are some of my thoughts if you would like to reflect on and consider implementing:
- See children as holistic individuals. Also, make them see how unique they are.
- Make them believe it’s okay to have a bad day. A bad day does not make a bad life. There is sunshine at the end of the tunnel.
- Let your emotion flow through you but don’t define yourself based on your emotion.
- Take feedback from others but always their opinion is always based on their state of mind and it has nothing to do with you.
- Make other’s life and yours too easy- Be flexible but do your work. To cite an example- one of my students in class suddenly became stressed about the study and I said, “let’s connect for 10 mins after class”. I tried to make a study plan by understanding in which subject he /she needs to focus on buffer time and lots of flexibility.
- Be there for others and for yourself too!
I would like to conclude by sharing that we are different but we are also one! 21st century is driven by the principle – agreeing to disagree and being different but one on the level of humanity. We can learn, relearn and unlearn only if we make the life of others and us easy and more humane!
As E. O. Wilson has rightly said -” If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable”.
Grades-XI- XII; Social Science, Political Science, Legal Study
Ekya School, ITPL