Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 29th, 2020




A new year started and so many new boys poured into the school from different parts of the country, students from the same city or far flung cities and villages. One could have noticed students with different emotions and feelings. Some sad, some happy, some shy, some naughty while majority of them appeared to be trying to learn and adopt the new environment; new school, new friends, new teachers and even a new city.

First week passed by and on the first day of my second week, I asked the students to show me their home works. Majority of them had done that but four boys kept standing, their heads bent down and eyes staring at the open notebooks on the desk. As a routine practice, I went to them one by one to ask for a good reason.

Three of them came up with excuses, some genuine, some fake, and they were made seated. When I went to the last boy, he appeared to be very silent and almost lost in his thoughts. I asked him the reason but there was no reply. I repeated my question but couldn't make him to utter a single word. This annoyed me a little and I gently grabbed him from his ear. The very next moment, a big drop of tear gushed out of one of his eyes, rolled down his cheek and landed on the open page of notebook.

It was too much alarming! I gently pressed him from his shoulder and made him sit and without saying another word, resumed the class activity. For the rest of the period, the student remained the same; his head bent down, absolutely silent and corners of his eyes glistening with the tears. This condition of student made me feel really uneasy. Time and again his face came in front of my eyes and left me feel much regretted on what I had done.

When I returned home in afternoon and was able to sit alone and think, I felt even worst. I tried to put myself in place of the kid. He was merely 12-13 years old, away from the arms of mother, from the love of family and company of friends and here he was, alone, friendless, feeling uneasy and uncomfortable. Soon I went to a shop of stationary items and bought a big and beautiful geometry box filled with pencil and other similar things.

Next day, when I went to class, the geometry box was hidden in my teacher's folder. Bell rang and period finished and class was dismissed and boys slowly started leaving the class. I kept myself busy with signing the class registers. When a few boys were left in the class, I went to the student and softly asked him about his notebook.

This time he had completed it. I praised him aloud, shook hands with him and handed him over the geometry box, saying 'a small gift for you'. The boy was left with a blend of emotions on his face. He was surprised (rather shocked), happy, and I don't know what else and then I saw him smiling for the first time in these two weeks. When I left the class, he was thronged by his classmates who were a bit surprised and rather delighted for whatever had happened.

Life of a teacher is replete with such moments when he comes into a position to change his students absolutely; their thoughts, their attitudes, their personalities and thus the whole nation. It is the reason why teachers are called the builders of nations and guarantors of a bright future.

Teachers are regarded to be the King of the class. Unfortunately, this king appears to be using his powers to scold and punish the students, leaving them vulnerable for getting disappointed from the process of learning. On the other hand, a teacher can be a king with absolutely different traits. A king, who can be kind, generous and well-mannered! He is the king who always awards his masses and in return he is awarded with love and respect. He is the king who is in position of changing the lives of all of his students.

An uncle of mine left the school when one day he asked his teacher about the difference between a rat and mouse and teacher insulted him in front of the class, and declared him to be stupid and idiot by asking such a stupid and irrelevant question. He accepted that his question might be stupid but he never accepted it when the same label was tagged on his personality as well.

Teacher should be the best person who best understands the differences between the people. He should expect his students to be equally intelligent, hardworking, cooperative, and at the same time, naughty, lazy or non-cooperative (Modern research shows that there is no student as stupid or unintelligent or so on and even if there is, ratio is very low; one or two in 5000 students).

Usually we like all our students to be ideal and thus feel better to teach them and take them forward in the course of life. But, important thing to know is that every student needs motivation or self-respect. If a student is weak in studies, does not (or cannot) perform like normal students and if we, as teachers, ignore him or admonish him or leave him aside, we would definitely be responsible for bringing an end to his educational career. Usually, a small thing uplifts the spirit of a student, motivates him to take interest in his studies and brings a surprising change in his academic performance.

There was a student (let's say Ahmad) of whom every teacher complained. He was not working at all with his studies and his behavior was also not good with his classmates and teachers. Then a teacher came to me and left me in utter surprise when he told me that he had a plan to bring the kid back to the track. He had, anyhow, discovered that Ahmad was good at football. We started an inter-classes football tournament and for the first time in years, I saw Ahmad taking interest in an activity. His class won the tournament but everyone felt and knew that it was not due to the team-work, it was due to the sheer efforts of Ahmad himself.

He was awarded with a cup and prizes, He was praised by teachers and everything went as planned. Ahmad was the boy who had not been praised by any teacher for years and now for the first time, he had realized himself to be the part of class. His self-respect was acclaimed and praised and then we all witnessed a change in him; in his personality, his behavior and in his studies. He changed and changed in a way that left everyone with a surprise.

There are so many stories in my memory when a loving and kind teacher did something that absolutely changed the student and thus his fate.
In one of my present classes, Ibaadullah and Faizullah are two students who are regarded to be very naughty and thus blamed for disturbing the class too much. In a week I discovered that they were both very intelligent and too much energetic.

So one day I talked to them in private and asked about their previous education and as I was expecting, both of them had good distinctions in primary school. Only problem was that, their energies were now diverted towards disturbing the class and not studies. With a few brief private meetings and careful counseling, they changed so much that now I regard them as good students of my class.

In the end, most important thing is that, teachers need to be supporting their students at all occasions so that they should discover their gifted abilities and hidden skills and make them feel important and build their self-respect. Once this task is achieved, rest of the problems would automatically be solved. And this can only be done by the language of love; a language that was used by prophets who were able to change nations in a short span of time.

Muhammad Rasool Shah is the new emerging writer of Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He teaches English at Afghan-Turk School, Kabul. Email your suggestions and opinions at seventurkseas@yahoo.com)

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