It’s all about Teaching
I am a recently active member on SCN. Daily I find many blogs being posted here. On reading those I use to think “I wish I could blog” 🙁 . At the same time I use to boost myself by saying sooner or later I will come out of this zone and will definitely try blogging. Finally, here I am 🙂 .
Every one of us has constantly been under the guidance of teachers/mentors be it in school, college, social life, corporate life etc. I think the main motive of a teacher is to make sure that his students understand the topic that he is speaking about. However every teacher has his own way of approaching this.
Though there is some difference between a mentor, a teacher, a trainer, a tutor or a coach, somehow they all fall under same umbrella. The blog speaks about each of these professions however just to avoid ambiguity I am using a Teacher-Student relation. As a student and by also having a bird eye view, I would like to suggest a few things to the Teachers. So here is my first blog ever which gives summation of my observations and experiences which I have had from my schooling till my corporate learning. Below are some points which according to me are the “Characteristics of a good Teacher“.
- Right attitude
Dictionary says that Attitude means “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something”. When are you teaching always have a settled way of thinking about everything related to it. Take the opportunity of teaching only if you genuinely want to teach. Your attitude while teaching always passes across your students. If you are interested in teaching you can have a very interactive & interesting session however if you are disinterested, this comes across and loses the flavor of the discussion. In either case, the energy (positive or negative) with which you are teaching affects the session. So being a teacher you should always hold a positive feeling with everything related to it.
- Know your audience and act accordingly
You should know the level of your audience. By level I mean, you should know, whom you will be teaching. You should know what your student is coming in with. Based on this you should be able to customize your way of explaining the same concept to different audience. Say for example, if you were to explain “What is SAP ERP” to a student of class 10th, the way you will explain will definitely vary to that of explaining it to a Manager in IT Company. You can’t just read out the definition of SAP ERP in front of a class 10th student and expect him to understand. Similarly, you can’t use a class 10th definition of SAP ERP for a Manager and expect him to appreciate. So, you always need to know who is the audience and at the same time you should be able to customize the way you describe things.
- Start with building the base
I think the first session of every topic should be about discussing the basic questions around topic. These basic questions exist for any and every topic you can think of. With basic questions I mean, What, Why, When, Where and hoW. Below is the meaning of each
WHAT What is it
WHEN Situation where it can be used
I believe that if a student understands the answers to these 5W’s then he is all set for learning the topic. So I think a teacher should definitely discuss about these 5W’s before actually starting with the topic.
- Do not assume
Being a teacher, you should not assume that your student would obviously know some basics of the topic. A teacher’s assumption might skip some very important aspects about the topic. Imagine if you were to assume that a person who has come to learn driving will know the purpose of brakes because brake is a very common known term. This assumption might be very dangerous. So something that might be very obvious according to you might not be the same according to everyone. Hence a teacher should never assume anything.
- Use analogy
Analogy means “A comparison between two things on the basis of a common base line”. This is one of the best way to teach and easiest way for a student to understand. When you have to explain a topic, try to explain it analogically.
I would like to share a real time example here. A day while being trained for ABAP, our trainer was explaining what is an Internal table, a Work area and the difference between them. We never came across these terms in our previous learned languages like C, CPP, Java. For explaining this, He took a packet of Biscuits and said, if this packet is an internal table, a single (say first) biscuit is the work area.
This was something that we learned analogically and I still remember the example and analogy 🙂 .
- Give Examples & Demonstrations
Try to give relevant examples wherever possible. Examples help in relating things. Examples help to understand the various scenarios/possibilities that might exist. Along with giving examples try to give demonstrations as much as possible because there is a huge difference between just reading about SAP ERP and visualizing things on screen 🙂 .
- Be easily approachable
A teacher should set up a friendly environment within the session. A friendly environment will make it easy for the students to come forward with their queries, discussions and views. A query placed by a student x, might in fact clarify the doubts of rest of the students too.
I have personally experienced the benefits when these things are followed by a teacher and at the same time have seen the consequences too when these aren’t followed. All this experience, observation and understanding is the driving force of this write-up 🙂 .
Thanks for reading the blog 🙂 .