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Teachers should be friendly, not a friend

Published : Saturday, 23 September, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 813
Prof Dr Md Mahmudul Hassan

Teachers should be friendly, not a friend

Teachers should be friendly, not a friend

The teacher's relationship with students is developed through close supervision and caring behavior in the Teaching-Learning  process.  A teacher imparts education to his students with affection, love, sincerity, deep concentration and genuine friendly behavior, where there is discipline to brighten their future career.

In the behavioural reactions of teachers, some are very easy-going, some are harsh, some are autocratic and some are just friends.  None of these behaviours are conducive to the teaching profession.  The teacher should be a friendly teacher with unique ideals.  Although the words; friend and friendly are derived from the same root, the quality of friendly teacher is very consistent and accurate with the teaching profession.

Friendly teachers treat their students as friendly, but never as friends.  Because, the relationship of 'friend' involves personal interest and infatuation, but that of 'friendly' involves the teacher's selflessness, open-mindedness and self-sacrifice.  A friendly teacher can actually teach by combining both a teacher's guidance and a friend's understanding.

We all expect a cordial touch of a friendly teacher in the learning environment.  A friendly teacher  acts as our friend, philosopher and guide.  If students take their teacher as a friend, they can never get desired direction on the right path in life.  On the other hand, when the teacher treats the students in a friendly manner, they can be self-interested in achieving the valuable goals of life and they never deviate from the right path.

If a teacher is friendly, he becomes very polite, humble and decent in his behaviour   and communication skills.  All students are equal in his eyes and he treats everyone impartially.  But if the teacher ever becomes a friend, then he creates a rift in his behavior and the mentality of nepotism, favoritism and one-sidedness intensifies in him.  He cannot see everyone equally.  As a result, students fail to achieve their goals and become disoriented in building a career in life.

So every teacher should have some characteristics of friendly behavior.  Then such a teacher can prove himself as a good educator besides being closer to the students.  Amiable teachers are the great builders of creating ideal lives for students.  Several developmental characteristics of students can be observed in the teaching strategies of these friendly teachers, such as;

Encourages open discussion: It is often seen that students engage in open discussion in a friendly teacher's class and do not feel constrained.  Even an introverted student responds positively to the company of a friendly teacher.  Open discussion and open participation in class are vital to a student's life, as they learn to give and receive new ideas and opinions.

Creates close bonds: A friendly teacher succeeds in developing a cherished bond with his students.  Such teachers are undoubtedly the ones whose absence is missed by the students.  There are some teachers who teach well, but cannot really bond with students.  Only a friendly teacher is able to do this, because students can get real education by presenting themselves freely in the behavior of these teachers.

Offers Constructive Criticism: A friendly teacher never shamelessly criticizes a student for insulting him or her in class.  Rather, he always gives constructive criticism and encourages students to learn from that criticism.  Criticism in a negative or shaming manner hurts young students.

Teaches gentleness and humility: A friend teacher becomes so free with students that he gives them free rein regardless of where and how to behave.  As a result, students do not want to obey their friend teachers and do not cooperate in maintaining school discipline.  On the other hand, a friendly teacher likes to teach the students with love and allows them to express their opinions freely, as well as he plays a strong role in maintaining the rules and discipline of the school.

Encourages learning: A friendly teacher is a great teacher.  Teachers' Friendly behaviour with students motivates them and increases their interest in learning.  On the other hand, a  friend teacher spends time gossiping in the class trying to finish the syllabus in a disorderly manner.  The meritorious students are deprived of their teaching process and diverted away from the proper course of education.  So, friendly teachers are not just ordinary good teachers, they are definitely great teachers.  William Arthur Ward said, 'Ordinary teachers only say.  A good teacher explains.  Superior teachers demonstrate and great teachers inspire.'  Therefore, the friendly teacher takes his profession as a vow and encourages the students to acquire knowledge through various analogies and open discussions.

Regardless to say, all teachers in the teaching profession can not be defined equally good teachers.  But a good and ideal teacher can be a good friendly teacher, who is respected by all as a great teacher, just as his acceptance is very high among the students.  A friendly teacher knows how to strike a fine balance between being kind and strict to meet the expectations of students.

In essence, the teacher will be a great role model for the students, following which they can brighten their future.  Friendly teacher always remains updated in applying modern teaching-learning techniques.  In their teaching process the students learn with joy and eagerness and get proper initiation to build an ideal life.  On the other hand, a friend teacher is completely different from a friendly teacher.  They become so free with students that students don't want to listen to them anymore.  As a result, students' confidence in the teaching-learning activities of peer teachers decreases and the quality of education is questioned.  So, our teachers should be friendly great teachers, never friends.

The writer is Educator, Principal and President, Bangladesh Smart Education Network (BdSEN)

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