I am asked constantly by parents, “how will your classes benefit my child?” Simple question. Fair question. NO simple answer.
As an Educator, I’ve learned this. There are NO guarantees in learning.
First, a student-teacher relationship is like that of a person’s with his or her therapist. It may be the world’s most intelligent student and the most sincere teacher; unless a genuine rapport is struck, there will be negligible learning.
Second, it isn’t always necessary that ‘benefits’ of an education, or of an interaction, are Tangible or Immediate. Things that some of my teachers told me at school, I am only now realizing some two decades hence, are relevant.
Third, teachers today are functioning in an environment where students’ attention spans have greatly diminished. Add to this, the fact that the class HAS to be entertaining. Not just any plain old entertainment; we are competing with the entertainment-value that a youtube video provides! So unless a teacher can connect with a student in a manner that vibes with the student, there is limited possibility of learning.
In my modest five years of teaching, in groups and individually, I’ve had some great triumphs, where students have endeared themselves to me for life, and I’d like to think there is a perceptible change that has come about in them. Having said that, I have no qualms admitting that there are several students whom I have failed to engage. Students who, it would seem, have not benefited from our interaction at all.
In the teaching-game, like in life, you win some, and you loose some. But your wins keep you going steadfastly on your mission!