When we quickly glance through the history of mankind, we learn that ‘Gurukula system of Education’ practiced in ancient India, has been one of the most holistic development model involving three essential elements viz., student, parent and teacher. There was an element of ‘equity’ between the rich and poor, ‘equality’ to the intelligent and average learner, but the opportunity for achieving ‘excellence’ was provided to all disciples / learners (‘Shishya’). Simply stated, the son of a king (=current day wealthy parents) and son of an average citizen (=current day common middle class family) would go through the same process of “learning”.
But, as the human civilization progressed, we seem to have lost the link of this “holistic mentoring”, which used to give us a humble human being, trained professional and ethical practitioner to the society not just an educated disciple. It may not be inappropriate if we say that in the name of modernization, we have unfortunately lost the system-based parenting and value- based teaching.
An effort has been made in this article to capture the essence of perspectives and dimensions of new age parenting and teaching.
Tripartite relationship: Students – Parents – Teachers
Any society requires a pool of human resource, which is primarily provided by a model of tripartite relationship between the students (learners), parents and teachers – which we refer to as the formal system of education. Every one of them has specific role, designated responsibility and a definite purpose, so as to produce a responsible citizen (Refer Diagram 1) by working in close coordination and mutually beneficial manner.
However, we can observe that the students are advised to chase the marks, obviously by parents (as they could not get the opportunities or fulfil their ambitions) and teachers also push them for this sole goal of securing highest percentage of marks in schools, college or university. The only aim is to get a high-paying job, but the at the cost of happiness and fulfilment of life.
Who is responsible for this phenomenon? We can say it is the ‘system of current day education’, which is competitive and demanding.
Hence, the relationship between the students-parents-teachers has become materialistic, but not holistic. Therefore, there is a need for mentoring the parents and teachers, much before we do it for students!
Current scenario of Triangular relationship When we move further ahead to today’s scenario, we can see that the relationship has become a two-way functional relationship Table 2(Diag 1) indicates the difference between the expected and current roles of individual stakeholders, with the changing times.
However, most of the times we can see
The disconnect between the three-way interaction, which should have happened ‘with society’ but not happening in reality.
Role of an Effective ‘Mentor’
Given the context of the above discussion, it is imperative that both parents and teachers should take the role of a ‘Mentor’ with multiple roles and responsibilities (refer Diagram 3).
Mentoring is a relationship between two people – the “mentor” and the “mentee.” As a mentor, you pass on valuable skills, knowledge and insights to your mentee to help them develop their career.
Mentoring can help the mentee feel more confident and self-supporting. Mentees can also develop a clearer sense of what they want in their careers and their personal lives. They will develop greater self-awareness and see the world, and themselves, as others do.
|Pair of relationship (both ways)||
|a) Student and Parent||– Parents should be nurturing, while student shall be open to get moulded
– Learners to decide their goals in life
|– Parents have become financiers and caretakers, while students live in their own worlds
– Most often, children’s goals are that of
parents unfulfilled aspirations “
|b) Student and Teacher||– Student should be a knowl- edge-seeker and teacher should be an enabler and facilitator
– Focus to be on overall development of personality of learner “
|– Student has become machine of scor- ing marks, while teacher has turned out to be a catalyst for it
– Focus has been shifted externally to social demands and high-paying jobs, at the cost of values “
|c) Teacher and Parent||– There has to be a coordinated relationship between parents and teachers
– The interactions have to be at all times OR at frequent intervals”
|– It has become a segmented relationship between parents and teachers
– The interaction between parents and teachers is limited to PTA (Parent Teacher Academic) meetings, but not personality development dimensions”
Table 1: Expected and current roles of students, parents and teachers
In other words, for the new age in which we live today, parents and teachers are expected to identify, assess, evaluate and support the development of the ‘right talent’ present in the ward / student.
More importantly, in addition to a talent the identification of ‘winning attitude’ and inculcating of ‘values’ for achieving success in life is equally essential.
Mentoring is a special and personalized relationship between the ‘mentor’ and a ‘mentee’, which is based on mutual trust, respect and continuous learning philosophy in both ways.
The details of an effective Mentor are summarised below:
- In a broad sense, a mentor is someone who takes a special interest in helping another, develop into a successful professional.
- In science and engineering, a good mentor seeks to help a student optimize an educational experience, to assist the student’s socialization into a disciplinary culture and to aid the student in finding suitable employment.
- A fundamental difference between a mentor and an advisor is that mentoring is more than advising; mentoring is a personal as well as a professional relationship. An advisor might or might not be a mentor, depending on the quality of the relationship.
- An effective mentoring relationship is characterized by mutual trust, understating and
- The goal of a mentoring relationship is to advance the educational and personal growth of
- A good mentor is a good
- Everyone benefits from having multiple mentors of diverse talents, ages and personalities.
- A successful mentor is prepared to be with population-diversity issues, including those peculiar to ethnicity, culture, sex and
Top 10 Qualities of a Good Mentor
A good mentor possesses the following qualities:
- Willingness to share skills, knowledge, and
- Demonstrates a positive attitude and acts as a positive role
- Takes a personal interest in the mentoring
- Exhibits enthusiasm in the growth, personally or studies or
- Values ongoing learning and growth in the personal andprofessional aspects
- Provides guidance and constructive feedback.
- Respected by colleagues and others in all spheres of society
- Sets and meets ongoing personal and professional
- Values the opinions and initiatives of others.
- Motivates others by setting a good example.
New Age Parenting
After having understood the qualities of a ‘mentor’ and the beneficial ‘personalized relationship’ with the mentee (refer Diagram 4 on mentoring compass), let us know few fundamental principles of “New Age Parenting”. These are only indicative, not an exhaustive list.
- The role of parents is significantly important in contributing for the development of physical, psychological, emotional, intellectual and social dimensions of the child’s
- You must know that children learn more by ‘imitation’, not by instruction. So, it is important to become better role models of a good behaviour.
- Dear parents remember, your children need your time and love, not just your facilities and
- Let them work towards meeting / achieving their and your needs, not the unlimited
- Never try imposing your partially fulfilled or unfulfilled ambitions onto your children, without ascertaining their interest in
- Teach your children how to manage failures and disappointments, in addition to getting the success; because their training to handle failures equips them to handle career and life in a better
- Help them to understand and appreciate the twin-rules of life (i.e., simplicity and practicality) and power of discipline, not just materialistic possessiveness.
- Avoid 3Cs (Comparison, Criticism and Complaints): Please stop comparing your children with children of your friends / neighbours and colleagues, as they are unique creatures with some special talent
- just spot and nurture it
- Give them money for pocket expenses, but also teach them how to earn-spend- manage the money wisely
- Teach them how to respect elders at home and teachers in schools /colleges.
- Forget their ignorance and forgive their mistakes, while they are still learning. Guide and mentor
- You may give them mobiles, laptops, tabs, iPods etc to your children, but are you monitoring and ensuring “whether they are properly used?”
New Age Teaching
The relationship between a teacher as a ‘mentor’ and the student as a ‘mentee’ is somewhat unique, as the students spend almost 60-70% of their active time of the day with their teachers. Now, let us know few essential principles of “New Age Teaching”, which may be useful, to the fraternity of teachers and education administrators.
- Let them know their depth of roots decides the height of their growth in study, career and life. Let them not forget the roots underground, when the branches spread out above the ground
- Teach the students not just to score marks in Board / College / University examinations, but also how to achieve happiness and success in life, along with others.
- Teach students the difference between the teacher and the life: “The teacher teaches a lesson, then gives the exam; while life makes you give an exam first, then teaches a lesson”.
- Dear teachers remember, today’s students are rich and intelligent in knowledge, but poor in values like honesty, integrity, loyalty, learnability etc
- make them understand the worth of the values in the long race of
- They should always know that ATTITUDE decides altitude paradigm, which is most relevant and significant, which has to be understood and practiced by them at all times.
- It is good to be effective communicators, but it is excellent to be empathetic listeners.
- Let them know that low self-esteem, self-pity, nagging, pessimism do not have place in the competitive dealings of life today
- Help them to practice a good firm handshake, a smile – not a plastic one – and eye-to eye contact will do a lot good than just the words in creating far higher confidence in the mind of the others.
- Teach them to be assertive, not just aggressive.
- Remember the golden rule of their motivation: ‘Praise them in public and criticize them in private’.
- Mentor your mentees to celebrate success and also enjoy the happiness along the way, but not at the end of tunnel.
In short, it can be summarized that the parents and teachers of today’s competitive era have to understand that they should focus on teaching the ‘attitude-values’ than just giving the ‘knowledge-skills’ to the current-day younger generation, consisting of our children and students.
This can be successfully achieved by only becoming effective and enabling ‘mentors’, where the parents and teachers shall also continuously evolve and perpetually learn in the process of creating ‘responsible citizens’ and ‘ethical leaders’, than just high-paid employees.
Success has one simple formula: “Do your best, and people may like it”