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Teacher Interview with Kadhir Rajagopal

What advice would you give to a first-year teacher?

If it’s your first day as a teacher you want to get to know all the students. What I do is I give a questionnaire. I talk to the students the first couple days. We do get to know each other games. We do games to get to know each other. We do bingo. Basically I want to get to know, I want to get to know the students. So I would tell the teacher ‘get to know the students’. Get to know who they are, what are their interests, what are their strengths, in what kinds of ways do they like to be taught, do they like lecture, do they like to be taught through games? What get’s them mad, what turns them off, what makes them interested in school? You want to do that for two reasons. You want to do that because you want to know how students learn. Number two, if you talk to the students and make a relationship with them, it convinces the students that you’re on their side. You want to make sure that there’s a boundary, that they know you’re still a teacher, you make the rules but that you’re still going to relate with them, but you’re not their friend. That distinction is hard to, is hard to just tell a teacher that. The teacher has to learn that by experience. After you find out about how students want to learn just, just teach and then reflect every day. What could I have done better? What could I have done better, what worked, what didn’t work, are my students learning? And I would just reflect, reflect and grow that way.

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