Thursday, June 11, 2009

Part 1: An Ideal Lecturer -A Neutral Perspective From A Friend

Good day everyone,

In response to a friend of mine's request on the topic of what are student's expectation towards lecturer and indirectly how to be an ideal lecturer, here are some words to share upon:

A few questions and statements before proceeding to the points :

1. This is not just from my experience + expectation but collectively after asking, researching orally , and understanding ... from a number of individuals.

2. Why be a lecturer instead of a school teacher/other profession? What do you after? A better position, money,fame/status and ... ? Everyone can teach but the Q is, how good are you?

3. Age, paper qualification, look and experience - are not the major criteria to distinguish between a great lecturer or just a common salary man/woman. There could be people asking, how come paper qualification is not significant? 1st, you are filtered b4 entering this profession, which means u had fulfill the minimum criteria being a lecturer- i think that is all about paper Q, other than 1st time impression, nothing much meaning behind it plus you are not necessarily be teaching the subject you are good at.

4. We are not discussing good teaching methods here, if there is a need, Google it out , i am sure plenty of info on that topic available online.
What an ideal lecturer must have?
A summary version (from my online research)

A good lecturer should be able to

1 Ability to communicate well (it can be informally , who cares about Bhs Rojak !)

2 Sincere desire to teach

3 Empathy with the students (point No 2 n 3 ... i think many are forgetting these ...)

4 Love for the knowledge and teaching

5 Happy to see students acquiring knowledge

6 Believe in making the students think and become important individual seeking truth in knowledge instead of just being grade As students due to 'bookworm - memorizing to death' method.

7 Always being a good example for students to emulate in or out of lecture halls

8 Have the ability to joke and make students laugh

9 Occasionally let your hair down and join the students in their groups. I believe instead of occasionally, try to practice as frequent as possible. A cup of drink at the mamak stall will boost the moral and bond of both individual (lect & stu) tremendously. Only be formal with students when there is a need.

10 Give experience, field knowledge to enhance the subject.
You don't have to be a walking encyclopedia to the students , do practice 'spoon feeding culture' - ONCE in A BLUE MOON. It is better that a lect provide the guidence and the resources for the students to research on about a particular subject instead of giving out answers and tips for exam.

Further elaborations :

1) Passion
- enthusiasm about the work,not about the salary and fame.
- willingness to sacrifice time for the students NOT because of you here for a paycheck or just protecting the job.

Be a person who they can consult to anytime and be a person who can talk and discuss anything with stu, from sensitive to common daily life issues... no strings attached !

While being with a good friend of mine who used to be my lect,even if there is a big gap in age, when we are placed together, we synchro-talk just about anything and time passes quite fast meanwhile we just can't get enough of it.

NEVER EVER look DOWN on stu no matter what condition. Don't even think of a reason to do so !

- high understanding / synchronization with the students

2) Good body Language, physical contact and careful control of emotions/words.

- A good liar doesn't mean he/she is good with the body language. No matter how or when a lecturer encounter a student , either he/she is in a superb busy condition, irritated (various of reasons including personal matters), tired physically n mentally, .... any situations, in order not to enlarge the gap between Lect & Stu, beware - certain student need plenty of courage and thinks a lot b4 meeting up with a lect, you wouldn't want to scare or turn down their high expectation on u.
If an unavoidable situation occur - 'super busy': rearrange an appointment with pleasant choice of words, help them to understand your situation instead of commanding/demanding them to.

- When u are summon by the stu in a room, meet them face to face, do not shout/talk from a distance, never drag ur feet to meet them, and do not use this taboo word- ' WHAT?' when you meet them (bahasa yg tdk berlapis seolah-olah benci hendak berjumpa). They come to meet you for a reason and they believe in you. If a small act of kindness can save a soul, what can a small act of ignorance potentially cause to an innocent soul?

- Use your personal touch/physical contact as much and as appropriate as possible. A handshake or a hug works well most of the time just be caution on the gender issue.

Words of encouragement will never be wasted as a slight boost of motivation is needed by any individual everyday and every now and then.
Actually physical touch have been mentioned and hghlighted in Al - Quran and other religious materials, their are significant in life and undeniably, human exist for it and impossible to live to the fullest without them.

- No humans are perfect. You can cry , shout and scold the students in the class, as it will deepen the relationship between stu n lect. I personally know a person who cried due to stress and family issues while lecturing in a class. Our bonds become stronger due to his willingness to be honest, sincere, concern and to share his life experience with us. No need to pretend smart or strong in front of stu, you gain nothing from it yet you will lose something. Don't be a pretender !

I believe i need to pause here, TBC (to be continue - i am afraid of saturation and boredom will haunt around the corner if i proceed longer ...)

Let's end with a very important and clear point here :

As we progress in life, we would notice peoples with great entities presence in life. A question will be, who else other than the family members that we have are our invaluable/priceless/ irreplaceable treasures in life?

Friends? Clients? Underlings? They are all equal to = Your students. Can you deny their importance? Said who they can't be an important individual? Believe in us, and we will answer to your calls/expectations.

Dear friends, do point out any part that you may need further elaborations/examples. Do comment as we are all trying to improve here. Take care and May Lord bless you always,


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