Some Inefficacy is Efficient
The Efficient Teacher
By Rafi M. Ali, M.D.
Director of DarusSalam Seminary’s Tadrīs Integrated High School Program
As teaching is not simply a mundane transfer of facts, a teacher must strive to create an amiable rapport with students so that the process of education is facilitated. Sustained student attention is difficult to achieve otherwise. To establish this working relationship, an instructor must dedicate a considerable amount of time and energy in the classroom to benign small talk. A student that is able to sense the humanity of the teacher is more likely to pay attention.
To suggest small talk is not to suggest contrived disingenuous soliloquies, but rather to endorse the importance of engaging the student in a genuine conversation so that we may understand them. It is also not to suggest a degeneration of the classroom into a reprehensible comedic show, a model often forced upon the teacher in our times, or worse, jettisoning of decorum and nobility that is the hallmark of the best teachers. Instead, I am suggesting that it is important to engage the student in a conversation. Sharing stories creates bonds. It is, in a sense, an exercise in a teacher’s paternal instinct.