Teaching is a noble profession that impacts greatly on the human society. With humans as ingredients, teachers must demonstrate humane attitudes toward their students. This is relevant because students have varying personalities and levels of development churning out from their diverse backgrounds, training, and culture. As a result, teachers must be wary of how they relate to them. This relationship must be hinged on individual personality traits and not a general assumption of the makeup of students. This means that how a teacher relates to student A will be different from student B. This requires a great deal of empathy and sympathy.
For instance, the learning or ‘grasping’ abilities of students differ greatly from each other. While fast learners can easily master the concepts and content being taught, slow pace learners sometimes must grapple before the same content is understood. In the case of very weak students, the string of sympathy must be stretched extra on the part of teachers to exhibit tolerance and perseverance as they undertake remedial lessons to assist these frail but equally important ingredients in every class. Some teachers feel that such a venture soaks a great deal of time which could have been harnessed in heightening the academic prowess of the good students while others feel that such an action can disrupt personal duties and schedules. True, these reasons may be, it is, however, satisfying and rewarding to go an extra mile helping in the development of these seemingly weak students. There are numerous success stories narrated by dozens of experienced teachers that emphasize that it really pays to demonstrate the virtues of empathy and sympathy toward weak students. It is interesting to know that teachers who do not give up on these weak students are able to groom them to attain the greatest peak of societal change, development, and progression which is the chief objective of the wonderful teaching profession.
Also, there are some students who face emotionally distressing challenges as a result of having to battle with special disabilities, poor finances, discord in family relations due to marital breakdown or death of parents and even emotional relationships with partners in the case of tertiary students. All these real scenarios require the display of empathy on the part of teachers to put themselves in the shoes of their students and this will help them understand them better and know how to attend to their distinct needs without compromising on the educational goals set before each of them. On the other hand, sympathy would move them to extend a helping hand in averting or mitigating the pain suffered by their students either financially or emotionally.
Practically, some offer feasible advice and suggestions on how to deal with a special health or emotional problems confronting the student and consistently monitors their progress till the same problem is allayed. Some teachers offer to pay the bills of students while others take the strenuous, but worthwhile task of soliciting for funds to support needy students. Other teachers offer a sound atmosphere for these students by sheltering them as their own!
Indeed, such teachers who take these bold actions and demonstrate the great virtues of empathy and sympathy fully live in consonance to their call. Their short and long term blessings are certainly enormous. While they experience long fulfilled lives witnessing their products being successful in life, their products, in turn, will forever recall their great sacrifices and relay it to untold generations. Yes! It really pays to be an empathetic and sympathetic teacher.