‘You cannot be a good teacher unless you have a passion for teaching and enlightening young minds. It is not just a career but a passion” – Monarose Sheila Pereira

Exclusive Interview of Monarose Sheila Pereira

Teacher’s a Day plays practically vital role in our life. It is the day to remember our teacher’s contribution to nurture us as well educate and as good human being. The teacher is something who not only teaches us but make us prepared to able to meet future challenges and our responsibility to become civilised even in contingency. On the occasion of Teachers Day Senior Journalist and Correspondent Mohit Soman have interaction with Writer, Author and Professor Monarose Sheila Pereira.

1) Teacher Day celebration initiated in the memory of Dr. S Radhakrishnan so what you think it is real essence or purpose behind celebration?

The celebration of Teacher’s day is to remind teachers of their responsibility to their students and society. They play a very important role in shaping the future generations and it is a reminder to teachers to take their role seriously. You cannot be a good teacher unless you have a passion for teaching and enlightening young minds. It is not just a career but a passion.

2) Teacher is known as equivalent in fact more important than parents for kids and children for better upbringing and moral values so according to you what is teacher contribution in life of people?

Children spend a great time of the day in educational institutes and parents are too busy these days to focus on their children. Therefore teachers play a very important role in developing young minds and preparing them to be good citizens they are the future of our world. A teacher’s job is not only to finish the portion and conduct exams. Their role is much bigger than that. While focussing on the syllabus they also play a very important role and have a great responsibility to groom young minds and prepare them to be successful and responsible adults.

3) Earlier teacher had great respect but now it is diminishing as ordinary what are the reasons behind it?

Respect is not about touching the feet. Respect for teachers has not diminished but it has taken a new form; just like parenting today. Parents and teachers have diminished the distance between their children. Today parents and teachers are considered as friends and they guide and develop the minds of the students through more friendly ways. My role as a teacher does not end once they have passed their classes; I even help them find jobs and guide them in their careers.

4) What qualitative and quantitative changes or reforms in current teaching techniques? And what is difference between traditional and modern teaching?

Teachers need to work as guides to their students. They not only impart the knowledge from the syllabus but they have to guide their students into becoming good human beings, so that we have a better society and a better future generation. They have to teach those values, prepare them for the corporate world and help them build a bright future for themselves, the country and the world.

5) You are teacher since more than decade so as teacher and children author your journey and experience about children teacher relationship or child behaviour?
Yes I am an author, journalist and visiting faculty for many graduate and post graduate institutes. Somehow they are all connected. In journalism we tell stories about people or events, as an author we write fiction or nonfiction which are also stories in themselves. I have developed a unique way of teaching my students. I connect what is in the syllabus to stories from the media world and from what happens in everyday life. This not only makes the subject interesting but also gives the students an anecdote to remember the topic.
6) According to you what are the best technique to teach student by physical punishment or mental thoughts restructuring?
I do not believe in harsh punishments; they only embarrass the students and rob them of their self esteem; though in extreme cases its helps. I believe in making the students realise what they have done wrong. Give them a reason and they will remember not to repeat it again. Your punishment should be in the form of an explanation. Besides, if the students love and respect the teacher then they will not go against the rules. I usually teach the final year students and they are very mature by then and focussed on their marks and degree.
7) What reforms in teaching method and syllabus needed?
The reforms in teaching should be in the form and method of teaching and respect for the student. You do not talk down to them as used to be the case previously. You talk to them as equals. Have them participate in the lecture through discussions and projects. Bring a sense of practicality into the lecture. They must find the topic useful in everyday life too; not merely for the sake of getting good marks and grades. They must have something to take home and remember for life.
8) Many students not giving much attention to school teacher as they joined private coaching classes?
Yes it is sad that private coaching classes have become almost necessary due to the tremendous competition in studies. It is a whole new business in itself. The problem is classes are too big and about 100 students are packed into one class in schools and the first and second year of college. Therefore the students miss out on the one to one attention that is very necessary. Also teachers are bogged down in finishing the portion that they have not time for innovation.
9) As a teacher and author what message you want to give to kids and students of mass communication on occasion of teacher day?
My message to students and teachers of mass communication and other subjects too is to be human and not robots when you do your job be it studying or teaching. Don’t treat yourself as a computer with information fed in and vomited out on the answer paper. Ensure that what you teach is valued by the students and it remains with them throughout their life. Here, anecdotes play a very important role in helping students enjoy their lectures and remember them too.
10) What are your upcoming plans on children related subject as an author or as initiative as teacher?
I Have done some story reading sessions for children and plan to do some more with the help of puppets and props. Unfortunately many schools believe it is a waste of time and it takes away the time for completing the syllabus. Imagine teaching younger students with puppets. It will be a wonderful experience for them.
This opinion article written by Mohit Soman, Senior Journalist  Prittle Prattle News.
(The opinion expressed in the article are personal )
Must Read – Being a Dalit
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