Teachers’ Day in India is observed on September 5 every year to celebrate the life, achievements, and philosophy of second President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan since 1962, who was born on this date in the year 1888. Every student has a fond memory of Teachers’ Day celebration at their school, where students deliver speeches for their teachers, thank them, bring greeting cards and gifts for their teachers and participate in other activites organised on the occasion. (Also read: Teachers’ Day 2023: 7 unique ways to make your teachers feel special on this day)
A teacher can indeed impact a student’s life in a number of ways. While childhood is considered a golden time, children often struggle to cope with the world around them and the right guidance can shape them into better adults and citizens. They uncover a child’s potential and encourage them to do better and hone their skills. It is at school that a child learns to regulate emotions, learn empathy and team playing skills. Without the support of our teachers, children may find it difficult to navigate this vulnerable stage of life.
“Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the lives of their students. Beyond imparting knowledge, they can significantly influence the mental health and overall well-being of their students,” says Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali.
The following are the ways in which teachers positively affect students’ mental health:
1. Supportive environment
Teachers have the power to create a safe and supportive classroom environment where students feel valued, respected, and accepted. When students sense that their teachers care about their emotional well-being, it fosters a sense of belonging and emotional security, contributing to improved mental health.
2. Building self-esteem
Effective teachers recognize the strengths and talents of each student. Through constructive feedback and encouragement, they help students develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-worth. This, in turn, boosts students’ confidence and resilience, reducing the risk of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
3. Emotional regulation
Teachers can teach students essential skills for emotional regulation. By modeling self-control, empathy, and stress management, they provide valuable life skills that students can apply in and outside of the classroom. These skills empower students to navigate challenges and setbacks more effectively.
4. Positive role models
Teachers often serve as role models for their students. When educators demonstrate empathy, kindness, and patience, they inspire students to adopt these qualities in their own lives. These positive role models can help shape students’ attitudes and behaviors, promoting healthier mental and emotional development.
5. Academic success and confidence
Teachers who provide effective instruction and support can help students succeed academically. Achieving success in the classroom can boost students’ self-confidence and reduce academic-related stress and anxiety. Moreover, teachers who adapt their teaching methods to individual learning styles can help struggling students build self-efficacy and a more positive outlook on their abilities.
Dr. Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals shares how a teacher can positively impact a child’s life and mental health.
6. Feeling of trust and belonging
Teachers who build strong, supportive relationships with their students create a sense of trust and belonging, which can enhance students’ emotional well-being.
7. Encouragement and recognition
Positive reinforcement and recognition of students’ achievements boost their self-esteem and overall mental well-being.
8. Safe learning environment
Creating a safe and inclusive classroom environment fosters a sense of security, reducing anxiety and promoting mental health.
9. Social skills development
Teachers can teach valuable social and emotional skills, such as empathy and communication, which contribute to healthier relationships and improved mental health.
10. Identifying needs
Educators can identify students who may be struggling and connect them with appropriate resources or support, potentially preventing mental health issues from worsening. A well-organized and consistent classroom environment can reduce stress and anxiety by providing structure and predictability for students.
11. Encouraging healthy habits
Teachers can promote healthy habits like exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep, which have a positive impact on mental well-being. Passionate and engaging teaching can ignite students’ curiosity and enthusiasm, contributing to their overall happiness and motivation.
12. Fostering resilience
By teaching problem-solving and coping skills, teachers can help students become more resilient in the face of challenges, ultimately improving their mental health.