It is an established fact that no child is born with an inherent willingness to go to school, learn umpteen numbers of subjects and write exams because they simply don’t see the significance of it at that stage of life when they see the world through rose coloured glasses. That is why it becomes necessary on the teacher’s part to make the learning experience unique and enjoyable so that the child looks forward to learning as he/she would to an exciting roller-coaster ride. Again, in a class of, say, twenty children, not all prefer the adrenaline rush that comes with a roller-coaster. Some may prefer a slow boat ride, while a few may crave for a lazy stroll in the garden and there would still be a few whose idea of fun is to do nothing. The same is applicable to learning and thus, the teaching strategies need to change and adapt according to the needs of each learner.
As a teacher of English, I encounter the question, ‘Why should I learn English? It is so difficult.’ so many times that it has stopped surprising me anymore. Of course, I can always tell them that it is the international lingua franca and that they need to learn it in order to live in a globalized world. I can also tell them how it helps them understand the other subjects. But the second part of the question needs more actions than words. While with one student, it will work with encouragement and praise, constantly telling him/her that it is not difficult for someone of his/her caliber, for another child it would require an honest and straightforward, ‘You can learn this if you practice everyday.’ Of course, there must be a certain amount of concern and trust resonating within that frankness otherwise the child would feel pigeonholed.
Each child is special. As clichéd as it sounds, it is true and must be the prayer of every teacher. Every child responds differently to the same strategy. Without a bonding between the teacher and the learners, the efforts of the teacher become a futile search for a needle in a needle-stack. Thus, before planning a lesson or a strategy for teaching the lesson, it is important that the teacher understands whether or not it will apply to all the learners.