Good teachers teach well, great teachers inspire. This is one memorable line that a teacher friend of mine told me yesterday. We were discussing teachers as portrayed in films that time. The movie Dangerous Minds is such a big influence to her becoming a teacher.
In the film, the teacher finds herself confronted with a classroom of tough, sullen teenagers, all from low income working class backgrounds, involved in gang warfare and drug pushing, flatly refusing to engage with anything.
I was reminded of this from an article I have read: Teaching is not about managing behavior. It is about reaching students where they really are. True enough, the teacher in the film succeeded in inspiring her students to do better by reaching out and connecting with them (spoiler: she taught them karate, she used song lyrics to teach poetry).
According to research, learners gain more knowledge in a collaborative environment against a setup wherein they are just spoon-fed with information. Educators get to learn about their learners’ background, and in turn can have a better approach on how to guide the learner in his or her study. Collaboration also forges a stronger educator-learner bond: I have heard it time and again that teachers are like second parents to their students. Gaining trust and respect, educators then could empower students and inspire them to do good not only with their studies, but more importantly with their society. As educators, it is a comforting thought if we could inspire a generation that would then inspire future generations to come.