September 05, 2019

Teacher's Day

This word 'Teacher' probably is an apt translation from the word 'Guru' of Indian origin.
Seriously and sadly, the meaning of guru has somehow gone wrong.

Who is a Guru?
When is a Guru required?
What is the role of a Guru?

Ancient Indian Education had children mostly spending time for the first 7 years at home alongside family members while some specific interests of the child would be observed by his family. Around 7 years or 9 years, the child would be taken to an appropriate Guru who would further take the child's interest forward by providing appropriate resources.

Fast forward to this day.

There are many teachers all around us. Teachers to teach every single thing to little children. Teachers who are bound by what they have to finish teaching in a certain period of time. Teachers who take the trouble of teaching a 3-year-old some sight words while all that the 3yo is interested in is free PLAY. Teachers who really control their temper trying to be cool while handling a 2 yo's temper tantrums because all he wanted to do was Play instead of sit for the circle time. Teachers who work very hard for children. Teachers who take up the responsibility to teach children. Teachers of all sorts.

But, let's go back one step.

When was this 'Teaching' required? Was it required right from the day a child is born? Children are natural learners. They learn from everything, everyone and everywhere. They need not have specific teaching instructions. A human born at any age of this world has the capability to learn the basic skills needed for that age. If reading and writing are treated as basic skills, so be it, the child would ultimately learn because all he sees is people around him are reading and writing stuff. If empathy, kindness and emotional balance are basic skills, so be it, the child would learn these from his close circle(usually the family) in whatever degree it is being displayed at home. If math and science are basic skills, so be it, the child learns those with his natural curiosity to count chocolates for sharing among friends or to count the money that he had saved for himself. Whatever it is that the child sees around is naturally and beautifully learnt by the child and even put to practice. This natural rhythm is disturbed once there is an intrusion of too much instructional teaching.

As a proof of natural learning, just observe how beautifully and naturally children learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk and even talk in their own language, communicate ALL on their own!!

There was a post that I remember reading but don't seem to find it now.

(Source: Internet)

If there were schools that teach children to crawl and walk starting from the age of 6 months, children, parents and the entire society would be made to believe that a child cannot crawl and walk without actually going to a school and being 'taught'.

That has how the fate of Guru changed in the modern world.

What kids need are facilitators to take them forward in the areas of their interest. If the child still wants to pursue it, the child will realise to 'look' for an expert in that field.

That is exactly when the following lines seem true:

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear” 
"Once you seek with your heart, the guru appears"

In this modern world, the terms Guru or Teacher do not hold just one meaning. No matter what, there are teachers starting from those that work hard for the 6-month-old to those that try to teach a 4-year-old to those that worry about the 12-year-old who doesn't do much math. Kudos to their work. There is neither any wrong on the part of the teachers nor the parents or children.

Though the teachers work hard, so much of hard work is being misused in the name of commercialisation. (do not take it as a generalised statement, yet, holds true in most cases)

But, can we start thinking about where the society is heading towards when little children are intruded more and more with too many instructions?

Can we start to think a little beyond what the societal norm is and actually probe into what the child is seeking?

Can we start to think about the child?

Can we start to think what the child actually needs?

Can we, as parents, be their facilitators first until their interests are nurtured and they are looking for an expert as a Guru(again, this could be the parent)?

Can this one thought be the starting point of something new, something different, something unique - ALL in the benefit of our children?

#ReThinkParenting #RethinkEducation



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