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How Cool Can Teachers Get?


Jayanthi Sridhar


Jayanthi Sridhar has a strong interest towards self−care practices and earth sensitive living. She loves to connect children with nature and revel when they develop a bond towards nature and learning. Jayanthi conducts gratitude journaling sessions, likes to write on sustainability issues and education, and loves collaborating with like−minded people whenever possible. She is currently an ICT facilitator at Sri Kumaran Children's Home, Bengaluru.

 

Teachers as professionals are eclectic. We have our own quirks, traits and talents. And we make optimum use of these when we are with our students.


Our profession has demands mottled like none other. Picture this − waking up, making meals for the family, packing your breakfast and lunch boxes, going to the school on time, being energetic and enthusiastic enough to match students’ ebullience and dollops of patience to deal with students’ vagaries! And did I mention that you are expected to know how to deal with students across your classes? More like a young bride/groom expected to know what marriage is all about when they get married. This is your routine school day.


Yes, that’s also what makes this profession extremely interesting. You do not work for the pay you get or any incentive, you are intrinsically motivated every day, to give your best. You, after all, are dealing with the tomorrow, today.


All this means you have to be cool − I mean, literally. Your head space needs to be calm, poised for all the surprises that the day brings. So, do you have a self−care checklist? Self−care is of paramount significance for teachers now. You cannot function well or have a good rapport with students when you are emotionally disturbed. Students look up to teachers as their role models, picking up traits subconsciously, shaping their experiences of life based on what teachers offer them. This simply implies that you have to take care of your ‘self’.


Be gentle with yourself first before you start filling your students’ school days with kindness and make them receptive to life’s lessons. Thankfully, the idea of a self−care practice is gaining more acceptance − yoga, walk, meditation, journaling, gratitude practices, sports, exploring outdoors − the list is growing. Covid times have taught us this − gear up for the unexpected. A calm presence conveys kindness, control and trust to the young minds, thus setting the scene for an exchange of positive energy, conducive to learning.


A teacher begins by learning, observing, connecting and reflecting to better the practice. Many assume there is no rapid progress like a corporate counterpart − think again! There is always progress every day. We know that core subjects can be learnt in myriad ways. It is what values you bring to the classroom that your students remember with gratitude. You are changing, transforming into a person with deep insights, your child like wonder intact, with a growing aptitude for lifelong learning, collaborating with peers. You want to transfer all that you learnt by effort and practice, happily, generously to willing, eager students.


You are an educator, a visionary. Cool, right?


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