April 3, 2010
General Teaching Musings: Kindness
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
*I guess this is primarily inspired by couple of my professors, my math one comes to mind. Jazak Allahu Khairah*
A quality of a good teacher: Kindness.
Having the ability to convey information is one thing, but to do that with kindness is a whole different level. I think if students are treated kindly and with respect, they respond better to teachers, the material that is taught and student learning increases dramatically. I also think it can impact a student’s behavior and may want to make him/her a better human being.
Case and point: A friend of mine had told off her teacher in one of her classes *in front of the whole class*. The teacher did not respond for a minute and continued teaching. After class, the teacher asked the student to have an appointment with him. The student visited the teacher, expecting to get told off for being disrespectful (I don’t know why she went to him if she thought she was going to get told off) but the teacher let her in and offered her a seat.
The teacher smiled and told the student:
My friend was straight up in shock and the teacher went on to say that it was kind of the student to bring the issue of her concern to the teacher and that if she wasn’t so *passionate* about it, the teacher would not have known how much it affected his student. Needless to say, my friend felt terrible and she apologized *profusely* (her word) for being rude. Ever since, she has been very careful not to be so candid.
So teachers, teachers to be, and the rest of the world: be kind. It has a profound effect. Maybe we don’t see it and maybe it seems trivial, but it can literally change someone’s life. Want an example? Me.
For that story, I’ll leave for another post.