Whenever I asked people what their favourite subjects at school were, I would always make an interesting discovery: people‘s favourite subjects were always the ones that their favourite teachers taught. In most cases, the favourite subject happened to be the one in which they excelled.
This naturally begs the question: is there a relationship between the love for a subject, the love for a teacher and good results? The answer is “yes!” The key is something that we as educators all too often overlook: LOVE.
Love is like a USB cable that connects two hearts and when we connect to somebody, we welcome everything which that person is offering us. In the learner/teacher relationship, this means that the learner is open to what that specific teacher is teaching and the learner is most likely to do well in that subject. It is no mystery. It is a principle.
But we must elevate our understanding of love in order to understand what I am referring to here. The kind of love that I am referring to here is the one that our Lord, Jesus Christ, had for his disciples and humanity. Did the Lord not summarise his teachings saying, “Love God with all your heart and love thy neighbour as you love yourself”? Well, dear teacher, your learner is your neighbour. Love her/him.
I strongly believe that one reason why our learners are failing is because teachers do not love them. I even met teachers who just did not care about their pupils. Those special teachers actually get paid for making sure that our children fail!
Repeat these words seven times during your preparation and right before you enter your class/lecture room: My love for my learners will accelerate their learning.
Commit yourself to this simple yet powerful exercise and loving your learners gradually becomes a habit. Where love is present, understanding flourishes.
Shapumba ya Shapumba is the founder of Natural Learning Education Consultancy. He teaches the Art of Learning to students and the Art of Teaching to teachers. For bookings contact: 0812786925 or firstname.lastname@example.org