Should Teachers Be Held Responsible for Children’s behaviour?

Guru – the teacher was considered the living God in the past; is it the same in the contemporary scenario?

India has witnessed many phases of transformation in the field of education; in the ancient times the children of the royal families and the warriors went to the gurukuls and ashrams to learn the arts and philosophy of living and were taught the use of weapons and the laws of ruling and politics. The guru shaped the life and future of disciples and student in such a way that they learnt the values in life and followed the ethics in most of the cases though some kings and warriors demonstrated cruelty.

In the later days the education saw a new light when the teaching started as a community activity and played an integral part in development of the society. Some of the families did not want their children to study in groups or in the community run schools opted for the home schooling in the initial years and later on sent their children to large institutes for higher studies.

Those were the days when the teachers had a huge impact on the students, the students held high regards for the people who shaped them in better individuals. There was a personal touch in educating and teaching.

But with the modernization in education and professionalism in teaching the scenario is completely different. In the past teaching was a noble service to mankind and only the learned took it up and the born teachers ruled the hearts of the student s. But in the present times teachers are made, a stereotyped set of people possessing degrees to impart the knowledge according to the syllabus. They perform their duty by covering the course in the text books and take tests. The student-teacher relationship has lost its charm.


Why has the student teacher relationship lost its charm ?

  1. The competitive world that we are living in has made education look like a burden to the students as well the teachers. It is only the degree and marks that matter. This approach towards learning has made it more mechanized process.
  2. Teaching is a profession these days and not a much sought after but is more or less taking form of a ‘no other option so took up teaching in the private school’ in most of the cases. Exceptions are there though. Mostly the professional teachers with the relevant degree teach only until they get better paying opportunity. Also the coaching culture and the private tuitions that are flourishing these days show the money mindedness of the teachers who focus more on taking tuition outside than the school where they teach.
  3. The education system and the modern parents have set up a system where in a teacher has no rights to check the children, no punishments to the children is allowed (I am not in favour of brutality but the parents even consider homework as a burden) a teacher has no freedom to take a call by himself/ herself if some or the other problem arises but to follow a mechanical approach set by the management.

Should the teachers alone be held responsible for the behavior of the children?

This to an extent is a tough to be answered question as:

  1. These days, teachers are not the same as they used to be decades back they are either professional or not adequately equipped in terms of authority.
  2. The private schools are already underpaying the teachers and making them do a lot of tasks so they hardly get time to get personal with the students.
  3. The smaller children do respect and listen to their teachers more than their parents in the primary classes but gradually with time the respect takes a back seat for everyone. The reason is the surrounding, the TV culture and the company.
  4. It is also observed that the children from the well to do families value money and status over everything and the schools also make provisions according to their comfort as they cannot lose on the big fishes.

The children learn from everyone and everything around so there shouldn’t be a single factor held responsible. A child is clay dough that can be shaped as desired with love and care, so it is the moral responsibility and duty of the teacher to take an extra step to mould a child into a better human being. It is the responsibility of the teacher to guide the child better. It is the duty of the teacher to motivate the student in positive way rather than having a negative feeling about the student if he is not good at academics. It is the moral responsibility of the teacher to treat each student equal irrespective of his financial background.

This does not mean that the parents should leave everything up to the teacher and exhale a sigh of relief; parents duty increases once the child starts going to the school. Rather than being overprotective or pampering the child they should leave the child to learn freely under the able-guidance of the teacher. Parents should respect the teachers and demonstrate a respect for them in front of the children. Too much of expectations from the child should be avoided as this is mostly the threshold that determines the child’s destiny. Money should never be brought into conversations when children are around and no one’s financial status should be discussed.

It should be a joint effort by the parents and teachers to bring out the best in the child. It is possible only when both the entities take an onus of their responsibility and be accountable for their actions. The teachers are the parents at school so parents should be the teachers at home as children follow the footprints and examples set more than any bookish teaching or philosophical preaching. They learn better from their surroundings.

So, in my opinion, no one should be held responsible for the behavior of a child alone, neither the teacher nor the parents. But, the teachers should definitely try to overcome the money factor and professional teaching patterns and build a personal bond with the children so that they can shape the future entrusted in their hands in a better way, giving a correct definition to teaching, the noble task of “serving and nurturing the future of the nation”.

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  1. Charity begins at home! We all have grown up listening to this quote. Any child spends a major portion of his time at the home and one-third of it at the school. If one is spending his time in this proportion at two different places, then I feel that guardians at both the places are equally responsible. A teacher may only teach the ways to his students but to practice what is preached, the home mates have to assure the equal contribution.

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