Teachers hold key to students' bright future

Our readers say that knowledge of subject matter, good teaching skill and positive attitude are must if one is to become a good teacher

I have not come across many teachers who lack knowledge, but unfortunately we were taught Science by an inexperienced teacher this year. She was actually the teacher of Class V and VI, but now she has been appointed to teach Class IX after two experienced Science teachers left the school to pursue further education. Since she doesn’t teach well, everybody seems to be cursing her for teaching us. She is just confined to text books. Whenever a student asks her questions, she just tells the student that it is not related to the topic without considering the fact that it is her obligation to answer. Since students know that she doesn’t answer questions, they don’t give their full attention to her subject and some can even be seen snoring in the class. If I have any doubts in Science, I clear them with my senior Science teachers. Due to her, my base of Science has worsened — I just memorise what is mentioned in the book without understanding it. We have to conceal this fact as nobody is ready to report this to the school office. I hope we could get rid of her soon.

— Sarthak Giri, Balkumari

Being a student, especially after changing lots of schools and colleges, I have gathered much experience on teachers and their teaching skills. Some teachers not only lack skills, they also don’t have the proper knowledge of the subject matter. Just for the record, I learned English from an English teacher who couldn’t speak English properly in the secondary level. While in Class X, I studied Nepali subject from an English degree holder due to some power play in a government school of Bhaktapur. Some abuse of power in the school led us to a dark future. The English degree holder teaching us the Nepali subject led me to score less marks in SLC and snatched my opportunity for future from me. The chapters were not finished nor were the finished ones understood by the students that it drove me away from the chance to getting scholarship and many others. This is just an example. There are many other students like me from many corners of Nepal, who are losing their chance of further studies due to unskilled teachers. So, I request the government to stop the play of power in education and educational institutions.

— Mitesh Pudasaini

Mata, Pita, Guru, Devata — is one of the sayings we have always been using on different occasions. It is our mother and father who guide us at home, while the teacher(s) is one who guides in school for our better future. Teacher’s guidance is vital for students’ future. Children are the future of our country. If a teacher’s guidance is wrong, the student’s future as well as country’s future will be in trouble.

All teachers are not completely aware of their subject matter. I have seen some teachers in my school who lack teaching skills. I have also come across teachers who don’t have sufficient knowledge about the subject matter that they teach, and students have to correct them. Sometimes we are made to shut up when we correct them or the teachers would change the topic. Such teachers have not affected me directly as I always refer to other books for more knowledge. But it always has some indirect effects. I become pretty disappointed with these types of teachers. We cannot put the future of students at stake because of the incompetence of the teachers.

— Venus Bhatt

When I was younger, I thought that teachers knew everything and they could not make any mistakes. By the time I reached my secondary level, I realised that I was partly wrong when I saw some teachers were unable to teach well. Then came the intermediate level. I was amazed this time because this was the first time I had seen almost all the teachers taught without looking at textbooks and explaining it really well. I have joined Bachelor’s level. Teachers prepare slides and just read out the things from that boring presentations. The condition can be best felt if someone has been admitted to government colleges. Most of the time teachers come late and leave classes early.

However, not all the teachers under whom I have studied, were bad. I am blessed to have some of the teachers who always encouraged me despite my setbacks. I was one of the luckiest students who got much love and affection from most of the faculties. It is because of their love and understanding that has motivated me to adjust in the environment without being distracted.

— Purna Chandra Koirala

Bad teachers have serious impacts on the students in every country and culture. My dislike for Physics from my school days has been due to the fact that I never was fortunate enough to come across one good Physics teacher to kindle my interest and love for the subject. I always found Physics to be a dry and boring topic with no interest to explore the subject until late in my life where I watched several exciting programmes on Physics on the Discovery Channel that taught me that the subject is not at all boring. And I am still learning. We hear about such stories regarding people’s fear about Maths or History or English; and if we connect the dots we will find that one of the important factors behind such apathy is poor teachers. But not all teachers are bad.

While teaching is one of the most challenging professions, it is considered easy! Teachers are the ones who groom us. Poor teaching not only detracts potential students from a subject but often creates a fear psychosis in them for a particular subject. Contrary to common belief, I have rarely seen quality teachers in North American universities! The pressure of research on the professors is so high that it pushes them to cut down their emphasis on quality teaching at the university level. Success in research brings recognition, funding and networks for a prosperous career; while good teaching only brings a dry ‘thank you’. However, we fail to recognise that if university teachers do not attract the next generation of brilliant minds through their active engagement and quality teaching, the future of research is going to be seriously impacted and compromised. Unfortunately, I have seen only dry power point presentations in North American university classrooms with zero passion and no connections to the true objective of teaching other than a handful of exceptions. In this age of apps, social platforms, blogs and smartphones, teachers have lost their relevance and positive impact in the classrooms. Good teachers are now a critically endangered species and a highly marginalised community across the planet.

— Saikat Kumar Basu

Not every teacher is qualified and well-trained for teaching regardless of their academic qualifications. After all, teachers are also human beings — no one is perfect. And I’m not among the ones who doesn’t study the subject just because one doesn’t like that particular subject or the teacher. I also don’t prefer blaming the teachers for my disappointing performance.

My creative Mathematics teacher, Kishor Khanal had once solved a tough mathematical problem in a lengthy way when I was studying in Class X in Tansen. I found that methodology so irritating that I decided to look for alternatives to the solution of that problem. Eventually, I asked the same problem to my favourite teacher, Shankar Khanal (Science) and he solved that question within few seconds by using a simple formula. I got so exhilarated that I showed that shortcut solution to my Mathematics teacher. He smiled and showed me a gesture of appreciation by patting on my head. Even nowadays, he talks about that wonderful memory with me whenever we meet.

I have learnt to be more creative and innovative due to my encounter with teachers who have relentlessly guided me on the path of success. Moreover, this has widened, replicated and enhanced my knowledge in a way that has motivated and driven me towards the path of my ultimate career goals.

— Sanjog Karki, Tansen-6, Basantapur, Palpa

Ineffective teaching skills of a teacher have a direct impact on students and his/her career. I’m a victim of it. I’m a student and had attended an English medium school. But I am not fluent in the English language. In school, we were taught through the iteration process without understanding its meaning. Now, I want to study abroad for which IELTS class is compulsory. I have joined IELTS classes but I am having difficulties in understanding English language due to its high level. I have realised that I really need to improve my level of English without relying on others. So, I’m trying to improve my English skill now by writing articles in various newspapers and magazines.

So, a teacher must guide his/her student in aligning his personal goal with his academic goal. Students who receive this positive influence show stronger self-confidence and experience greater success than those without teacher’s good guidance.

— Anonymous

Teachers, who are our second guardians, are not only responsible for teaching us the subject matters but also guiding us towards our future. They have an important role to play in our knowledge, career and overall personality development. However, there are some teachers who lack teaching skills and do not have substantial knowledge about the subject matter. They guide the students ineptly and following this path might not be good. I also have faced such a situation where a teacher who lacked teaching skills and was pretentious about the subject matter. And he taught us something erroneous. I was in Class VIII and I used to think that what teachers say or teach is always correct. My father saw my notebook and found that something was wrong. Instead of believing him, I started arguing with him that my teacher was right. I only believed him after he took out a textbook and showed me the correct thing. Since then I started studying assiduously taking in the teachers’ guidance and textbooks’ knowledge. No one in this world is perfect; even our teachers have some individual flaws. But to guide the students on the correct path is their prime responsibility.

— Kabita Gautam

Being an engineering student and a leadership trainer, I have come across so many students and teachers in my day-to-day life. There is an urge in a teacher to know how to grab the attention of students and deliver the subject matter in an innovative manner. Frankly speaking, there’s no teacher who knows any less than a student, but preparation is vital. Preparation helps to deliver the knowledge in a systematic manner, else the lecture becomes rampant.

I have seen teachers who threaten students because they yawn or talk in class. However, it’s the teacher’s fault to be unaware of modern methodology of teaching. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the college management to help them hone these skills. An unprepared teacher seems to be lacking sufficient knowledge in the eye of students and thus they lose respect. Motivation, for students, to study the subject is lost. The impact lasts until the professional life where the concepts need to be implemented. Ultimately, the negligence of teachers give students a feeling that teaching, in modern terms, is merely a professional act of delivering one way only and guru no longer means eliminating darkness with the light of knowledge.

— Bishesh Dhakal, Bhaktapur

More or less any student can be affected by unskilled teacher. Same thing happened to me when I was in school and even in university. While I was studying in one of the reputed government colleges in Lalitpur, there was a teacher teaching in two different colleges at one time. He used to skip our class and teach in another college and did the same thing in that college too. Due to this unusual way of teaching, we didn’t score high marks in exams as we had expected. We knew about his act from one of his friends.

I came across a few such teachers who hold very high post in the university and have insufficient teaching knowledge about the subject matter. We students have no other option for replacing those teachers mainly in government colleges. Because of this, students’ career, aim and their future can go in the wrong direction while the impression of teacher profession can also be inflicted. Moreover, importance of teacher and their prestigious status can also be tarnished.

— Subha Dangol, Bhainsepati

I used to be weak in studies, especially Mathematics. It was difficult for me to get what was taught in the class. As a result, I failed in the subject. I started finding Maths boring and difficult. I used to hate the subject and its teacher as well. Our math teacher was untidy and careless. Not only did he lack teaching skills, he also didn’t have sufficient knowledge about the subject matter that he was teaching. If any question was raised, he scolded us in rage as a response. So I feared to ask him anything.

Now, we have a new teacher. She is diligent and passionate in teaching. She is frank, cheerful, smart, talented and punctual. I am impressed by her teaching style. She solves every problem simply with logic and tricks that makes it easier for me to understand. She draws the attention of the whole class and maintains discipline. She gives extra marks to those students who actively participate in discussion on the subject matter. Sometimes she takes class tests and gives assignment. It motivates me to study regularly. She has encouraged me to practice more to improve my grades. She has also given me guidance to develop my personality. Now I find Mathematics interesting and numbers wonderful. I love the subject now. As a result I’ve secured 90 out of 100 in Maths. I’ve also done better in other subjects.

— Anonymous

When I was in grade VI, we had a literature teacher who graduated from one of the universities in India. So, I was excited to see this new literature teacher but unfortunately his attitude discouraged me on the very first day of his class. When he first came to our class, he introduced himself to the class and took a test; he advised us to write a short article. And after we were done, he checked the articles. I had expected that I had done well and the teacher would praise my work. But instead he got angry and scolded me saying that I had made a lot of mistakes in writing. He told me that I knew nothing and was shameless, et cetera. Instead of praising what I had done right and encouraging me as a student, he left a negative impression on me. Since then my idea that every teacher would be kind and talented has changed.

— Anonymous

I have come across teachers who don’t have sufficient knowledge about the subject matter that they teach. Such teachers are aggressive, ignorant and arrogant in nature. Their presence influences the turnover of students in negative form. The students always achieve lower than what they actually deserve. Such teachers discourage students. They discourage interaction with students simply because they might hear a new term that they are unaware of. If a question is asked to such teachers, they don’t respond, either by ignoring or giving a frown. Such a response discourages student like me to ask questions to teachers. And when we stop questioning, we learn nothing. This becomes a habit and later makes you a reserved, shy, silent and sensitive person. This kind of base leads us nowhere near to where we could be, had that teacher not ignored or scolded us for the question that interpreted our curiosity of willingness to learn.

— Chungchung Bhutia

Student life is the most important part of human life because student life is the time of learning and discovering new things. And for a student, teacher is like a god because teacher plays a vital role to make his/her future. Therefore teachers are required to be skilled and have sufficient and adequate knowledge about their subject so that no confusion is created among their students. As a student I have faced confusion regarding many subject matters due to teachers lacking teaching skills and inadequate knowledge. In fact I am still facing that kind of problem. Now, I have known that teachers play an important role in student’s life but they cannot only be held responsible for any student’s bad future because student themselves are responsible to built or to destroy their future. It is also the students’ duty to do the hard work and learn everything whether teacher teaches or not. Teachers who lack teaching skills and their inadequate knowledge can affect students very badly but students should posses the capacity to overcome this weakness and move towards growth and success if they want to achieve their dream in life. Students are also responsible for their future. If you want to achieve something in life, then you should make your own way and shouldn’t depend upon others.

— Roshani Acharya