The first piece of advice I received from Professor Manasser Nshuti when I started lecturing at the University of Kigali was to manifest good teacher behaviour and decent conduct when in and outside class. “Your behaviour and conduct will influence your relationship with your students as well as their performance both at school and after school,” he noted.
The notion of teaching goes beyond good pedagogical content mastery; one must consider the environment where learning and teaching is taking place and it’s primarily the role of teachers to ensure its effective implementations.
Classroom management is highly regarded in education administration and for teacher trainees is a significant factor for the success of their work as teachers. It is however important to note that students-teacher relationship is key in the classroom management and effective learning and teaching but this can ably supported by the behaviors of the teacher as the controller of the class.
Teachers must exhibit excellent compassion, determination, conscientiousness, honesty, and flexibility as humans as this will build a lasting mark in the children they are teaching and be able to cope well with society after school.
In this regard therefore teachers must be thoughtful in the way they react to students’ issues or comments. Normally teachers react by using praise, acceptance, and criticism in responding to students but in a friendlier manner, teachers need to understand that they are parents and they are handling people who may not be of the same cognitive level.
Scholars advance that behaviour is a response, which an individual shows to his environment at different times therefore behavior can be positive or negative, effective or ineffective, conscious or unconscious , overt or covert , and voluntary or involuntary considering the time and the activity
Therefore teaching is the activity that is primarily carried out by teachers with the sole purposes of educating people, young and old by capacitating them with human life skills for their survival. It is equally regarded as an arrangement or manipulation of situations in which there are gaps from where an individual tries to overcome the problem from where he or she learns.
With all that on the back of a teacher’s mind, he or she must be able to understand that his relationship with his or her students should always be at the helm where he has to play the role of a guide, counselor disciplinarian, evaluator and many others including foreseeing co-curricular activities in school.
Teachers from all walks of life and should be aware of their role in the context of education and they should therefore understand that their role and attitudes or behaviors are not fixed but revolve around the influences of changes that takes place in the society and within the education structure.
Making a decision to become a teacher is like, deciding to become a Roman Catholic priest, where you make the vow to serve all people equally and lead many to heavenly Kingdom. Becoming a teacher therefore is making a covenant with parents that you will be the custodian of their children academic and social success.
Therefore teachers have to possess the abilities of adjusting to the changes in the institution that can in one way or another have an impact on the general students achievements in the academic arena.
On that accord, teachers must at continue to be the oracles of hope for the future generations, they improve their knowledge and skills through participating in professional development activities and should adequately prepare well before they face the students.
Teachers must not forget that they have what it takes to shape the already existing talents from the students into formidable talents that can turn out to be the benchmark of their success. They must listen to the students with outmost, respect, patience and tolerance as well as guiding them in their spare time. Teachers should always participate in co-curricular activities with the students building character in the students by relating the subject matter to the lives of the students.
The writer is a PhD student of Comparative Education at Beijing Normal University