Many people contend that they can learn better by themselves than with a teacher. According to them, giving heed to the facts being told by a teacher that can be also be read from a book is sheer waste of time. However, I do not follow this. For me, being taught by a teacher saves me from falling into some obvious pitfalls, like misunderstanding some concepts and sometimes even help me understand some very difficult concepts easily.
Students tend to misinterpret some of the subtle nuances of the concepts. A teacher, through his years experience, knows where the students may go wrong while understanding a concept. Hence, the teachers caution students to remember that very nuance of the concept which they might misconstrue. This has helped me in past. For instance, once in my computer class we were being taught programming when our teacher introduced us with the “for” loop. The very first day he cautioned us to remember the syntactical representation of a for loop contains a semicolon (;) and not a comma (,). An obvious pitfall which many programmers fall for, even after years of experience. My teacher’s advice has always helped me to circumvent this one error which every individual who has studied programming on his own regularly does.
Second, many teachers have also helped me understand some very difficult concepts by representing structures using 3-D models or giving simple examples from daily life. For instance, when during one of my chemistry class it was quite difficult to understand the atomic structure of Carbon atom. Our chemistry teacher knew it would be difficult for students to understand the structure only by reading or viewing the diagram on 2-D plane. Hence, he brought with him a 3-d structure, representing Carbon atom, to help us understand it. I was lucky that the question to explain the Carbon atom’s structure appeared in examination and I scored high in that.
Moreover, sometimes authors also tend to write some lines in text books which requires more attention than what we would give if we are studying on our own. Teachers, who are highly qualified, ensure that we do not miss such subtle nuances of the chapters. For example, in one of my English classes we read Robert Forst’s famous poem “And miles to go before I sleep”. The line at the end of the poem was repeated. When we were asked to read the poem we simply read the line two times. However, our teacher explained that the author deliberately wrote it two times and the repetition of lines mean something deeper.
Hence, personally I need a teacher to assist me in studies.