“When I was in 10th standard, I was once revising my maths lesson for the exam in the next period, but in the sick room.
The sick-room matron (a very dear lady), she took away my notebook, saying that studying should be done in class and not in the sickroom.
In the next period, I went back to my maths class, and when my maths teacher asked for the notebook, I just said that matron had my notebook, so I should go and take it back.. maths teacher allowed without any further question.
Later, she called me and charged me of lying to her, the fact that I did not admit my folly, and just put it as if it was the patron’s fault was just not right.
She said that she, afterward spoke with the matron and found out that I was reading in the sick-room(which was not allowed) so she had taken my book away, and that I was extremely wrong in framing the sentence as per my convenience, so I should go and say sorry to the matron…. I broke into tears, because, I had not realized that hiding the incident was actually wrong; I had thought that it was not important or significant, but my teacher guided me through the process of this realization.” Anonymous.
This is how teachers often educate us with several values which later help in our mental growth and development. The teacher could have just left the matter, or just punished the child outside class for 15mins, but that would never make her realize where she was wrong.
This is how the role of a teacher transforms into a counsellor.
Gone are the days, when counselling in a general social structure, was applied necessary for so-called eccentric people.
Counselling in schools or educational institutions was a myth. Students will require counselling! Why? What problems do they have? In actuality, students only learnt from books and followed what was taught to them by parents.
But in recent times, children are turning smarter, they are being exposed to complexities of situation, and in relation to that, their own problems are getting more complex.
In an academic structure, earlier, counsellors were there only to give and receive forms at the back office. However, today they are an important segment of the body.
Children need to be guided when it comes to what is good for them regarding their education. Which field of learning is suitable for them, and can give them better scope are discussed by the counsellor. Now these discussions are no longer generic. Each child is special, each have a different skill and competency in a unique field. It is the job of a counsellor to recognize this skill in them and boost them to pursue it further so that they can excel in the specific field.
Besides, a psychological counsellor is also responsible for solving the problems of a child, which is disturbing him, or he needs to get rid of, so that, he can better accustom himself to his situations, and develop his mental strength and knowledge.
Now if we observe closely, a teacher is a person, who can be an educator, a counsellor as well as a psychotherapist for a child.
The role of a teacher as a counsellor, is a critical one. This idea dates back to the times of Socrates, so we often find in the writings of Plato, where Socrates behaves as counsellor for his students and followers.
We know, that books cannot provide the entire knowledge, but institutions feel that teachers should teach, and professionally skilled personnel should be hired for work like student counselling. Actually, many teachers themselves fail to realize the essence of counselling; they fail to realize that in their words of wisdom, they are actually counselling the students.
Counselling is not treating a mad man; it is about mental wellness as a whole.
Teachers can be the best counsellor. No-one knows a student better than his own teacher, and what he is capable of. To be a good counsellor, a person should be a good friend to the student, and no-one can play the role better, but a teacher (if they want).
The format of education is changing, so is the graph of teacher-student relationship. No longer we find teachers trying to make ‘murga’ of their students with a wooden ruler. Infact courses on education technology, train the teachers to be friendly with the students, so that they can share can confide things with their teachers, which they are unable to discuss with their parents.
When this inter-personal relationship is developed, the teacher can guide the student with the idea of knowledge of right and wrong, what he should do, and what he should not, in a positive manner, where the child won’t feel that he is being lectured or humiliated.
Many teenage problems like sudden crush affairs, or Internet hazards faced by students, can be easily solved by their teacher, if they confide them to him/her. The teacher can identify the source of the problem, empathize with them, and guide them with awareness and ideas, as to how they can deal with the nuisance.
#PersonSpecificAttention is important requisite for a counsellor.
Most teachers know their students’ academic qualities, especially; in a class, the class-teacher knows every single student well.
So the teacher can best say, what subject should be pursued by the child in the future, which activities should be avoided by them and which activities can add to their mental health.
The teacher should be the primordial force to guide and boost up the child for growing towards the achievement of excellence, in the subject that he most is proficient in; it can also be a co-curricular activity. If a student is not so good in maths, but great at sports, it is the duty of the teacher to identify that, and push him towards it. It is also his/her duty to make the parents understand that their child will shine out if he pursues his ambition, but will remain mediocre if he is forced into a general subject which the society calls him to do, for quicker job opportunities.