The Masters’ Stroke , An almost tangible freedom pervades in a school wherein learning is treated as an exciting journey and not an ordeal. Making learning ‘fun’ is not about doing away with all tasks, at class or home, or even eliminating the weekly, monthly or yearly assessments. It is about having all of that and yet ensuring that the traversing this distance between learning and testing is fun-filled, in a challenging way. It is a unique journey that makes your ‘growth’ palpable and gives you a strong footing to brave bigger challenges ahead. A classroom that presents no challenge is thus dull and where there is a lack of excitement, the learning that happens has a short mind and heart. Life lessons are processed best when there is an element of enigma ingrained in them, which can tease all of our senses and leave lasting impressions.
Classrooms, where the learners are free to question, are where learning happens. And it does not stop there, the journey continues when the learners are compelled to question the questions themselves and negotiate bends in variegated routes of thought. There are the smooth bends that we might wish to linger at and then again, the sharp hair-pin ones, where we meet with those jolts that make us see things a little better. After all, what is learning experience without these ‘bends’!
Careful observation will reveal that every effective classroom session witnesses a graphic climb and fall of sorts. There are the peak moments when we are lured into asking each other and ourselves daring questions. We ignore common distractions and genuine urges to veer into some other train of thought because we are absolutely engrossed in what transpires before us, ordinarily called ‘teaching’. There are moments which are no less than an epiphany, chiselling our senses and making us keen and so profoundly desirous to know and understand. These are magic moments, not just for the learners, but for the teachers too! Teachers have, and will always play a focal role in shaping the lives of learners. In their constant endeavours to craft the lives of students and them to make contest and (re)examine facts, to push us beyond the restricted horizons of just facts and pursue the limitless and to offer moral counselling in moments of great and small disturbances. They contribute immensely to help the students to achieve their optimum potential. And the space where most (if not all) of it happens is the classroom, so rightly called the play-area of thoughts and ideas.
The right blend of talk and tech that we witness in today’s classrooms, is what ultimately supports the tomes, which we have always relied on heavily and for just reasons. Technology can actually be the cherry on that cake called ‘teaching’. The human teacher can never be replaced by management software. The oft gentle touch of the teacher, the wit and humour that he/she has to regale the class with, the sharing of his/her mind-boggling and intriguing hypotheses are the essential elements that will endure the test of time. Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changing’ will ring true now, more than ever before, when one sees how absolutely fascinating today’s tech-driven and teacher-facilitated classrooms are. After all, the most momentous changes in society begin with those that commence in the classrooms. We have indeed come a long way, enslaving technology to conjure up rare moments in our classrooms, in the present times. Long live technology and more importantly, the teachers who have reigned and will always reign, come what may.