The world would not be what it is without the efforts of teachers. They have turned students into successful nurses, doctors, engineers, pilots, accountants, journalists, teachers, and so much more.
“My high school class teacher believed in me, supported me even when I didn’t perform as well as I should have, and there is no day she ever said mean statements to me. Her faith in me is what enabled me to wake up early every morning to read. Teachers can easily boost or kill students’ abilities, like with the comments they make,” says Clare Mutesi, a student of Mount Kenya University.
It is through the support of teachers that learners advance their academic endeavours, which helps reduce the number of dropouts in schools, she adds.
According to Barbra Kantengwa, a teacher at APAPEC-Irebero School, Gisozi, teachers give assignments to students which elicit critical thinking. When students are assessed, this gives them a sense of ownership.
She says, it is also teachers’ roles to curb or stop bad behaviours in students, like bullying, fighting, untidiness, among others. Learning institutions should have friendly and educative curriculums for students, as this creates an inclusive and collaborative learning environment both in the classroom and outside.
Kantengwa adds, teachers help students develop self-esteem through giving them a chance to take part in class presentations, debates, sports and other activities. When parents are away, teachers play the role of parents and help to groom them to be disciplined. They motivate students to excel in their academics through revision and also help them with the corrections when they fail.
She notes that it is the role of a teacher to create a lively learning environment by engaging students in active group discussions and peer interaction, which in the end builds their social skills.
“The new national education curriculum called Competence Based Curriculum (CBC), encourages teachers to engage students more in practicals and group work in order to build their social skills, and this has enhanced them to be innovative and creative in their day-to-day lives.
“This trains the students how to organise, apply and utilise the knowledge acquired because if they know what, why, and how to effectively study, then they learn with a purpose, thus using the skills learnt in the future,” Kantengwa explains.
Nelson Ampuriire, a teacher at Kigali Parents School, Kigali, says teachers are role models and students have a lot of hope in them. Which is why they should use all the skills and methodologies to equip students with competences that will be used to earn a living in the future.
He notes, teachers help students understand their strengths and weaknesses, this is through guidance to work hard on their weaknesses and build their strengths. It is also a teacher’s duty to impart problem-solving skills at an early age.
Kantengwa says that a good teacher stimulates hope, instils the love of learning, and that way, students develop a purpose in life and discover who they want to be in the future.
Bridgette Uwase, a mother of two, explains that teachers ought to take note of what students are good at or interested in, and provide opportunities to make them capable in their respective fields. However, they should also inspire and motivate students to take risks and create their own paths, by providing all the necessary support needed to empower the students.
She adds that teachers should offer mentorship, guidance, motivation, and inspiration to their learners, as this is a way of supporting academic and social development throughout their learning levels. It is important for a teacher and a student to have interaction because it creates a calm, safe and secure learning environment.
Mutesi further states that teachers are like ladders—they help students climb up in life. Their intention should be to build character, instruct values and boost confidence that will enrich the learning capacity and provide students with inventiveness, creativity and competitiveness to face the future with bravery.
She says, teachers are role models to the students they teach, as they guide, discipline where necessary, and inspire them, which is why students look up to them a lot. Teachers should, therefore, be exemplary in whatever they do.
Ampuriire says that teachers create routines that students understand and respect; they take into account student developmental levels, learning styles and diversity, and create situations in which students construct knowledge.
He notes, teachers influence their students by shaping their rational and moral virtues, hence, play an important role in moulding society as a whole.
For Mutesi, the main role of a teacher is to impart in a way that actively involves and engages the students during every session, this is why the teacher should use clear language to allow the students to understand.
Kantengwa says a teacher should also manage the learning process from when the students start to when they complete, they should ensure that they assess their progress, give learners pertinent relevant feedback and keep appropriate records.