Wanted: Teachers who can lie to students without hesitation!

Published: September 5, 2016 at 8:36 am

Last Updated on

I often wonder about who is a teacher? Or what defines a good teacher. People often expect a teacher to inspire and motivate. How exactly does a teacher do that?

A teacher without passion can suck out the soul and spirit of eager young minds much like a dementor in the Harry Potter stories. Unfortunately, many join up as teachers because “they did not get anything better”.

So passion is an obvious prerequisite but for what?

A passion to make students comfortable – not just with the subject, but with themselves.

A classroom should be a place where students lose their inhibitions and can ask questions without fear. To enable this, the teacher should discuss the subject as an equal and not be afraid of being proved wrong.

Every class can be approximated by a bell curve. Kids who do not need a teacher and can learn on their own, form one tail. Kids who are not interested learning form another tail.

The central mound is filled with the so-called average students. Kids who may go on to excel if teacher lend a helping hand. As a teacher, my focus is on this mound. If I can make a small fraction of this group lose their inhibitions and make them believe that they have it in them, I would have done my job well.

This brings us to the title of the post. We need teachers who can go in front of a class and lie without batting an eyelid: I have confidence in you guys. I have faith that you are the best among the world and with some dedication and hard work, you will excel. 

It is a lie because there is often very little evidence to back that up! It is a harmless lie and a gamble.

Tell a class that they are no good, chances are only a handful will take offence and work to defy that statement. The rest would see that as proof of what they think about themselves – not much.

Tell a class that “I have confidence in you” (remember that song from Sound of Music?) then it will fire people up. Not all of them, but enough of them.

In order to take such a gamble, the teacher must be a secure person. Mental security comes from professional competence. Clarity of thought tags along with competence.

It is this clarity of thought that defines a good teacher. Clarity about the subject and clarity about their role in a student’s growth curve.

All this sounds nice, but the trouble is, do educational institutions worry about such aspects when they hire teachers?

It is unfortunate that encountering “good teachers” is plain dumb luck. It ought to be way more frequent than that.

A salute to all the teachers who had faith in my ability when I myself did not.

Do share if you found this useful
Share your thoughts on this topic at the  Reddit freefincal_user_forum

Reach your financial goals like a pro! Join our 1600+ Facebook Group on Portfolio Management! You can now reduce fear, doubt and uncertainty while investing for your financial goals! Sign up for our lectures on goal-based portfolio management and join our exclusive Facebook Community. The 1st lecture is free!
Want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (will work with any index!) or you buy the new Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any kind of paid articles, promotions or PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now. It is also available in Kindle format.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 199 (instant download)
Free android apps