‘The depiction in Taare Zameen Par wasn’t practical.’
Mir Shujath Ali, a Maths teacher with Progress Global School, is a veteran and…continues to move with the times. He knows the student community inside out. He has 25 years of experience to his credit and teaches classes V to X. He can also impart Social Studies and English.
How has digitally-aided education helped the students?
Today, Students, in general, have an urge to learn concepts with lesser intervention from teachers. So, they enjoy digital medium as a teaching tool in class. However, since we are new to the medium and format the older students are taking time in adapting. The middle school students and students younger than that are coping up much better.
But in the long run, it’s only an advantage because concepts of Geometry, for example, can be taught on a visual medium. One of the power point slides said that if the perpendicular line that joins the base line at one end tilts to your right hand then it’s an obtuse angle and if it tilts to your left hand then it’s an acute angle. This is so visual and simple for a child to understand.
What are the toughest moments for you as a teacher?
The period between a point when you teach something new to the point when students’ grasp it is a struggle to any teacher. The other day I was teaching Factorization in a Class VIII and in spite of me explaining it, when I turned around, I found that students were just copying from board. It was painful to watch. At this point, we teachers need to be patient because eventually they get the concept right if we go about it the right way. Or perhaps it is just taking some time to sink in– at times, some concepts need practice, you don’t get it just like that.
During this time any teacher needs to figure out within himself as to what can be done to explain the new concept, this is a bit of a challenge. There is no fixed solution to it. At times, smart boards work and on certain other times, an experiment about the concept works. Or in some cases, you just need to let them practice it and come back to you with questions.
What is the one quality a teacher should have?
Passion for teaching. People must come into the profession by choice not by chance. Come into this profession only if you are really passionate about it and not because you didn’t achieve what you aimed for.
How do you handle dyslexic children?
In our school, we recognize that every child is unique in the way he learns. In fact, these children so-called ‘abnormal’ ones are the ones who are above average in their caliber. But these students need a special school where they can grow.
Taare Zameen Par was too idealistic. No teacher has the time to spend the kind of time Aamir Khan spends on the child. But yes, I am speaking only of dyslexia here. We are in no way intolerant to different learning styles. In fact, we are very open and encourage children to think differently. Though our school is located in a conservative locality we see that parents and students alike are gradually opening up.