The Student-Teacher Buddy

VINODA HARIKRISHNA RAO| Vice Principal, The Brigade School, Malleswaram, Bengaluru
Vinoda has been a teacher for 21 years and believes that teachers should constantly strive for adopting innovative methods in teaching, to make learning approachable and desirable for students.



“Hey, she is a cool teacher bro!” This was the statement made by one of my standard 9 students as I entered the classroom. The sentence amused me and left me pondering over the fact that I needed as a transformation from a conventional teacher to a ‘cool facilitator’.

A teacher is better known as the facilitator of the twenty first century empowering the learner to learn independently with adequate guidance. In such a scenario of the child centered curriculum, the facilitator has to keep abreast of the contemporary topics, teaching methodologies, learning patterns, interests, hobbies, games and jargon of the Gen Z.
Gone are the days where students used to discuss their favourite books and authors and sports with their friends. These are the days wherein the discussions are based on video games- the kills they get in solo squads, music, movies, social media websites, gadgets and trending fashions with peers and teachers too. As a matter of fact, teenagers are eager to impart the knowhow and benefit of video games to their teachers when advised not to play the same.
The Gen Z students are uninhibited to share with their teachers their innermost feelings, interests, desires, ambitions and likes-dislikes. The teacher has to play the role of a ‘buddy’ and be a ‘cool dude’ to sensitive and empathise with them. With a nuclear family set up and busy, working parents, children often feel neglected and yearn to be listened to. They find their ‘homies’ in their teachers who are active and patient listeners and interact with them wholeheartedly.
Nonetheless the Gen Z teacher should be aware that he or she may be friendly with students but he or she cannot be their friend. The onus is on the facilitator to keep up his or her dignity and maintain the healthy distance between the teacher and the taught in the journey of effective education.
A teenager seeks to obtain a ‘victory royale’ in the game, whereas a teacher seeks to obtain a ‘victory royale’ in his or her heart in the process of education.
This article was originally published in magazine in the month of October, 2018.