“Who’s your favourite teacher?”
It’s one question that starts being asked at four, when you’ve just started school and continues on well into your formative college years. The reason is, even when one doesn’t know the teacher, the impact they’ve made on the kid is clearly impressive and worth applauding.
But as the kid progresses to college, a ‘favorite teacher’ is a pot of gold they mostly don’t stumble upon.
What makes a teacher, a ‘favorite’ teacher?
The communication between the student and the teacher serves as a connection between the two, which provides a better atmosphere for a classroom environment.
A big problem is the generation gap. Gaps keep growing larger with every passing generation, with the launch of every new smartphone. In this fast progressing world, teachers more than anybody else have to adapt to the changes. They need to grab on to the core values and inculcate the advances made in its crevices. They need to understand the students they see today aren’t the same as the students they saw ten years ago.
It so happens the millennial have moved over to pave way for Gen Z who’ve now entered colleges. Generation Z is tech-savvy, they learn how to use MS Paint before the they learn long division, e-learning is nothing new to them. The professors now have to work harder to prove their presence over the mighty mammoth of the Internet.
So, now, professors need to go “old school”, talk, teach, get to know their students’ names and most importantly be passionate about the material they teach, if they’re excited and knowledgeable about the material, they can make it relevant to their students’ lives.
A sense of connection with teachers helps students feel like they belong at the institution. This connection can be built if students understand that they should get to know their professors, if only so that faculty can teach them better. Faculty members who understand the learning needs and interests of their students can appropriately tailor assignments, expectations, and conversations.
Not only should students ask faculty for general scholastic advice, but they also should learn how faculty became invested in their particular areas of expertise. Such conversations are helpful for students searching for their academic passions. These conversations can also be helpful to students who believe they have solidified their academic interests, as references, and research opportunities can arise from these relationships.
College is the threshold to adulthood. Students are told to behave like adults but are treated like children. So those teachers who demonstrate respect towards their students, automatically win favor by having active learners in their classroom. The arrogant or offensive teacher will lack these positive qualities due to his or her lack of control over the students.
A professor- student relationship should be nurturing and supportive. A professor should encourage ideas and new thoughts. Learning is an emotional experience, so the more professors shed their ‘professor-ness’, the more human and approachable they’d seem. And learning would continue on, with or without technology, like it has for centuries.