Role Of Teachers In A Boarding Setup

Being an educator around the clock: 'Is it pressure or is it a joy in disguise?'

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” -Alexandra K Trenfor

School is a second home to a child, the things they learn there shape their minds, set them for success as a person and inspire in them a drive to do well in life. A child carries what they're taught at a young age throughout the remainder of their lives, today's youth will become tomorrow's leaders and teachers play a really vital role in this as they are the ones who have access to teach them in the most impressionable years. They have the power to shape leaders of the future and people who make an impression and have the facility to vary lives. A boarding school also known as a residential school is an institution where children have to live within the campus while following a certain set of rules. Children in these schools, study and live during the year with their fellow students and teachers among other administrators and only visit their homes on festivals or during holidays. In such a setup, the most important question arises that, ‘Is it pressure or is it a joy in disguise’?

A teacher is not only a mentor, a role model or an icon but most importantly they play the role of a parent.  “I believe that residential school’s attempts to more out-of-class experience with in-class learning as it allows effective time management with safe, stable and conducive atmosphere. In addition, the consistent contact between teachers and students contributes holistic development,” says Jaya Dwivedi, Professor and HOD, Chemistry, Banasthali Vidyapith.

These teachers live with these kids more than their family does and indeed have a serious impact on a kid's mind and life. They are the building blocks of a child’s personality, a good teacher is not only admired by a child but they also try to act and be like them. During an exclusive live interview with Pankaj Sudan, the visionary and founder of The Plenum School shared his own experience of a boarding school saying, “I remember when I was a child, one of my teachers used to have curly hair that looked as if he has barely combed them and I used to try and mimic how he did his hair so I could look just like him.”  These teachers need to have an exceptional skill set where they have to be good at both being a mentor as well as a guardian, finding this right mix is what makes them different from other teachers at the day school.  

“Teacher's Day celebrates the unique role that adults play in the lives of young minds, particularly in such a setting. The occasion is marked with a lot of fun and frolic keeping in mind the importance of this celebration. Before Covid-19 struck, students showed appreciation and gratitude for their teachers by giving them cards and gifts and serving a sumptuous lunch to the entire faculty. And during the day, some of the classes were taken by senior students as part of role-reversal. However, last year it was celebrated virtually and it was no less. Students had painstakingly organized a cultural evening which had every aspect of creativity that one could think of - Choreography, Mimicry, Musical, Entertainment, etc.” says Dhirendra Sharma, Dean (Co-Curricular Activities), The Scindia School.

The most important thing in teachers is their attitude towards not only the children but also other people at the campus as adolescents tend to pick up things from their surroundings. Among a lot of things, the teacher should be open-minded, as a lot of children come to them for advice and opinions, they need to be a good team player as well as treat everybody in the same way and give everyone an equal opportunity, should have the love for teaching and someone who has the intellectual curiosity and wants to learn more things.

They play, sing and live with these children and try to make them feel loved and protected even if they are miles away from their homes. They say the influence of a good teacher can never be erased, and I’d say that indeed is the reason why their profession has so much more value and respect.

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” -Michael Morpurgo

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