ROLE OF THE TEACHER IN FACILITATING GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
What we know about the child is vast and impressive. However, what we do not know is even more vast and overwhelming. Every new insight opens up new questions. Therefore, you need to update your knowledge of the problems of children in the context of the media explosion, of economic savings and resultant social, cultural and value changes so that you are able to make a reliable diagnosis and apply the knowledge of child psychology to better their adjustment with themselves and with the world around them.
You, as a teacher, should know what to expect from the child (student), and what he needs physically, socially and emotionally. You need not know your student only in a formal teacher-taught relationship when he (the student) is found to be a member of a drug sub-culture group or is heading in a socially undesirable direction. The routine teacher-taught relationship would not benefit him unless he is dealt with emphatically as a social being, as an individual self, and as a biological organism.
- Control and guidance must come from the student himself under the teacher's supervision.
- Student should not be punished lest it interferes with his developing leadership.
- Harsh, strict and unsympathetic control, and prescription of every detail of conduct leaving no place for self-control and self-direction are not conducive to students mental health and adjustment to life's events.
- Proper guidance, rational shifts of treatment, and principles of autonomy should be judiciously applied to ensure smooth passage through the turbulent period of students.
It is around the adolescence stage that students reach the higher levels of their school education. You need to receive adequate knowledge and skills with due preparedness in order to handle their emotional and social needs. You need to appreciate the fact that students at this stage are prone to revolt against established norms, rules, and authority. You should keep yourself ready to provide explanations and rationale for the beliefs and values which your students would question. Students at this time need proper guidance to decide on the right course of action. They need supportive judgments to do things which provide them self-confidence and self- assurance.
The range of individual differences in mental ability among adolescents is wide. You need to use some plan of classification to secure homogeneous groups in respect of significant abilities and achievements so that curricular and instructional needs can be suitably met. Studies have indicated that in certain tasks a student's performance would improve when others (teachers) are around. This phenomenon is called social facilitation. However, this is not a universal phenomenon. Still other studies have shown that when a student is first trying to learn something new, the presence of others is detrimental. In such a situation the teacher has to assess the situation (considering the class as a social unit) and the personality traits of his students and accordingly he should facilitate their growth and development.