Akshara Teacher and Students

A secret – Only for aspiring successful Teachers!

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The fourth hour of the day is a language class for Naruto and his friends. The teacher scheduled a poem titled ‘The Lady of Shalott’ which tells the story of a young medieval woman mysteriously imprisoned on an island near Camelot. After a while, his friends considered leaving the class, but since that was impossible, they chose to pretend that their teacher was ill and needed some time off. They informed him that he appeared pale and that they assumed he was ill as soon as they entered the classroom. The moment the teacher heard it from every child, he began to feel sick. He returned home and asked his wife to make him supper and make his bed. He refused to admit that he wasn’t unwell, which startled his wife and made her complain.  His wife, who didn’t want to discuss it further, gave in. What the teacher experienced here can be best described as the Placebo effect. This effect is first used in the field of medicine when a patient is cured of an ailment with the consumption of an assumed medicine without any curable drug in it. It is interesting to see how a human’s belief has a cure without medicine. The opposite of this experience is also perceivable as can be seen in Naruto’s story. So, how does it help me as a teacher?

The Help: Teacher’s Guide

It’s no rocket science, just fake praise for your learners! This acts as a placebo for the student’s learning and development. The student would start to believe that he is as good as anyone and can accomplish tremendous tasks. As a teacher, make every effort to freely compliment your students rather than calling attention to their errors. This could motivate children to participate more actively in class, which is critical for their academic progression. It is a fact that praise is retained longer in human memory and we mostly remember the teachers who praised rather than the ones who criticized us. Enabling students to feel that they are improving can have a placebo effect which can have a real impact on the student’s learning in the long term.

Hence the mantra is to make the child believe that he is capable through your words. Then the placebo effect says, “Thanks! You made my day!” because the placebo effect is triggered by the person’s belief in the benefit, not in the original condition. Hence, keep this a secret from your learners because to benefit from the placebo one shouldn’t know about Placebo!

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