Teachers Take Lessons
   On Self-Esteem

The Indian Express
Express News Line
Thursday September 4, 2003

* Told it'll help them transfer experience to their students.

In a workshop for teachers of non-formal education (NFE) centers held last week, stress was laid on improving classroom interaction between students and teachers by increasing the moral and confidence of teachers.

Organized by SMILE, an NGO that works towards improving education, 35 teachers and 12 NGOs from Delhi took part in the workshop. Majority of children coming NFE centers are first-generation school-goers, who have little or no support from their parents. Thus in the absence of motivation from the family, the onus falls on the teachers to educate, enlighten and inspire the children and to retain them in the school.

“it has been observed that a positive nurturing envionment in school results in regular attendance, discipline and reduced drop-out rate, “said Jaya Misra, an HRD professional who along with Priyanka Jain, anchored the workshop.

Third in a series being organized by the SMILE Foundation, as part of their endeavor to improve the quality of education imparted through NFE centeres, the workshop had teachers go through multiple exercises, including one on self-esteem and self-image. Also, not only does exploring these concepts at a personal level enable teachers to understand themselves better but also teaches them how to transfer their knowledge and experiences through interaction to their students.

“Teachers are not aware of the impact their actions and words have on the a child's psyche. We explore that, “said Mishra, adding that during the workshop “many participants admitted to have used words with negative connotations while interacting with the students. Most participants also complained of an inability to control their temper while teaching and often felt frustrated. Very often individuals shift their locus of control from internal to external, where they start holding others responsible for their thoughts, attitude and actions”.

The earlier workshops had focused on child centered education, gender issues and story-telling as an effective teaching medium, innovative teaching methodology / teaching aids for Maths and English.