the sculptors of the human mind (1)
Throughout the ages, teachers have been known to play dynamic roles in the lives of great men and women. The power of an excellent teacher is unparallel. An attempt to describe it in a single article would indeed be nearly impossible. All the same, having been a teacher myself for over three decades, I’ll venture to make a feeble attempt.Who can be described as an excellent teacher? Although basically a teacher is someone who teaches or imparts knowledge, an excellent teacher is one who goes beyond the realms of a knowledge-provider; in fact, an excellent teacher goes above and beyond the call of duty. Teachers, who can best be described as “the sculptors of the human mind” also, have the honor and privilege to work with human souls.
Here are some pointers to describe an excellent teacher:
An excellent teacher is one who is deeply committed to her profession. She is well aware of her tremendous influence on her pupils and spares no efforts to develop not only the intellect, but also the character and life skills of her pupils. Her reward lies in the knowledge that her work is impressionable having a far-fetching reach that go beyond the realms of simply “imparting knowledge.” The teacher’s commitment to the students in particular is tireless; however, it cannot be identified as it remains deeply etched on young minds and its effect is all-pervasive.
An excellent teacher being acutely conscious of her power over her students, is eager to set a good example to her students. She makes careful preparation before taking the class. She is always caring and respectful to all under her wings and makes sure that she is ever ready to tap the hidden potential of each child in a fair and conscientious manner. She makes a determined effort to not only set good examples verbally, but more importantly graphically- by practicing before preaching.
An excellent teacher makes it a point to create a lesson which holds a child’s interest. She makes her lessons meaningful with the use of variety of methods and teaching aids. She finds creative ways to nourish the mind, foster individuality and develop each of her pupil’s personality- instead of solely concentrating on mental exercise and agility. This brand of education which allows flexibility and banishes boredom makes the lesson a fun-time, effective learning experience for the child.
An excellent teacher is dedicated to her profession; she works with passion and zeal; yields fantastic results; is proud to sow love for learning and leaves an indelible mark on her pupils. She endeavors to keep up with the changing times and adapts easily to her students needs. She is the epitome of efficiency and strives to maintain a balance in her approach to teaching. School-life being the child’s first exposure in the society, an excellent teacher remains sensitive to every child’s emotional needs and patterns of growth.
An excellent teacher provides plenty of opportunities to each of her pupils and helps them to make good use of their talents and develop skills. She motivates, inspires and appreciates her pupil’s efforts and initiatives and fosters a sense of responsibility in the growing child. She encourages her students to participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports, debates, and dramatics and in inter-school competitions-these serve as excellent training grounds for developing leadership skills in the students.
An excellent teacher expects no rewards; her reward purely lies in the task well done. She is eager to see children develop into mature, intelligent adults and good citizens; herein lays her reward. She knows that encouraging students to use their rightful privileges develops character as efficiently as teaching them to fulfill their obligations.An excellent teacher urges students to strive for patriotism and incorporates the lessons of brotherhood-devoid of communal or social barriers. She ensures that these ideals are put into practice right there in the classroom, playground and the school while simultaneously expanding children’s horizons and inspiring in them deeds of sacrifice and service.No wonder teaching has long been considered to be one of the noblest of all professions. After all, isn’t it true that the children of today will be the citizens of tomorrow?
How to describe an excellent teacher (2)
Remember when you were a kid and one of the first things you ever said about your future was something like, “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher!” Do you feel the same way today? Most people of today’s generation now wince at the thought of even getting a degree in teaching. Why? It’s because teachers today get the most blatant form of disrespect from students. Students are known to talk when unnecessary, argue, slander, and rebel against their educators and, in the most troubled kids, even threaten their teachers. I’m quite positive that even the best of teachers can shake most of these insults off, but the worst thing a student could ever say about a teacher is that they are the worst or in some cases, the stupidest person that that student has ever met. In the most devoted of teachers, a tic-tac sized comment like this has the impact of the detonation of an Atomic Bomb.
So how does one describe an excellent teacher? Well, obviously, an excellent teacher is one who doesn’t take the littlest of comments (accusations of racism, for example) to heart. But a person’s definition of an excellent teacher also depends on the person being asked to describe an excellent teacher. For example, one crucial opinion would be that of the average academic slacker. As we all know, this is a student who shows up at school late, falls asleep during class, typically has a C to D average in school, and doesn’t have an idea of how to live his or her life.
How would they define an excellent teacher? The slacker would probably say that the teacher shouldn’t use the same, plain-Jane teaching techniques that the typical teacher would use; teachers should try to teach from a student’s point of view. Teachers could, perhaps, give examples of a topic from movies. For example, if a teacher gives a lesson on Ancient Greek warfare, they could bring up the movie “300”. Not only will teaching this way improve attention in the classroom, but it will also improve the students’ comprehension of the subject by comparing it to something they’ve probably seen.
But what if the problem doesn’t fall under the way they teach? Maybe the teacher is too quiet or, even worse… monotone. Then, the slacker would suggest the teacher be a little more energetic in their teaching; a great example of energy would be the energy that Ty Pennington uses on his show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” or the speech styling of Offer “Vince” Shlomi, the spokesperson for ShamWow! and the Slap Chop.
We’ve visited the opinion of a slacker, but how about academic champion? A self-proclaimed academic such as myself, would say the same thing that the slacker would, but an academic would prefer more challenging work; an excellent teacher challenges the mental capacity of their students’ minds by giving them work that enhances their analytical skills and comprehension. An excellent teacher would give their students work that could compare to that of Advanced Placement, but that is not half as steroidal. For example, it would be an essay with a bit more of a broad explanation of what needs to be explained; something that even the most average of students can understand but it still needs to challenge their knowledge and skills.
Most teachers today, or the teachers that I have had in my past years as a student, wouldn’t typically be called ‘excellent’. However, if they will just listen to their students and take their suggestions, excluding suggestions like “no work” or just talking about stuff that isn’t on the curriculum, then schools everywhere will have the most excellent teachers because an excellent teacher is one who is willing to listen to their students.
Excellent teacher traits: Commitment (3)
The definition of commitment is “the act of pledge, promise, commission, confinement, or an order to complete a task.” Teachers in the 21st century are committed to education. If there is another profession that underpays the college educated, is unappreciative for the services individuals provide to the community, and viewed as ones who have the easiest jobs in the world by having “summers off”, then please let the thousands of teachers who proudly study and announce their position as “teacher” know the position. Even police officers, firefighters, and social workers are constantly under public scrutiny. Poor student achievement is the subject of school, and the predicates are multiple-choice tests, student engagement, and premade curriculum kits with suggested activities. The preceding are results of commitment to education. When the question of commitment and teachers is posed, three ideas come to mind.
Commitment to All Children
Commitment to an educator is a pledge and promise to help all school-aged children. There are economical, educational, and social needs that youngsters are not receiving at home. Parents, administrators, and even students openly disrespect schoolteachers today. While some parents have an interest in their child’s education, a number could care less until the student experiences academic or behavioral concerns. Right or wrong, parents curse at the teacher, question their authority, and in return, involve the administrator on the student’s behalf. There are few stories where teachers could respond to physical and verbal threats. There are fewer victories for teachers who lose employment due to standardized test scores. The fact students learned material pertinent to lifelong success does not equate to the present.
Commitment to the Position
Teaching today’s students is a responsibility, one that involves every stakeholder in the child’s life—from classroom teacher, the school, community, and to parent. That idea is what commitment means to a teacher. Teachers spend several hours planning after school and on weekends. There is a devotion to ensure all students, regardless of educational abilities, can learn. Because “standards” is now the new mantra in public schools to safeguard state and federal funding, more dedication, more relationships, more school-related commitments are required. Several hours before and after school are spent tutoring students for the end of course standardized test. Teachers have responsibilities that exceed more than instruction. There are days spent controlling behavioral concerns instead of instructional goals. In fact, the instructional goals are lengthy, with two to three activity changes during a class period. Content area teachers teach all students, even those who read several grades below their peers. In short, the roles of teacher expand to referee, resource, counselor, chef, laundress, and instructional magician. These goals cannot be easily accomplished during an 8-hour period.
Commitment to Engagement
Some teachers are not from a long line of educators, or even studied education as their first choice in college. It comes later in life after one career stint. Those individuals really make a difference in the classroom. The messages from the elders are more than academic fact from the 22-year-old recent college graduate. Some worked for years at one employer to gain enough credentials to teach. The older teachers bring experience and wisdom into the classroom. It is more than the textbook definition of cultural geography that a 31-year-old first year teacher takes into the class of 25 students. There are personal examples of tourists who speak only Spanish, why milk costs more at a downtown store versus a suburbia grocery chain, and what it is like to work for $8.00 an hour in the food service industry. The personal stories demonstrate to students the commitment people make in order to grow throughout life. Again, this commitment for teaching derails planned goals and activities for adult life. For a growing number of professionals, becoming a teacher cannot be avoided. It is a calling, a commitment and an obligation to the students.
In closing, this is a brief overview of the number of committed teachers inside our nation’s public schools. There are several who leave before sunset and arrive an hour before instruction. A number of the brothers and sisters in the field put in long hours for new and engaging activities. The devotion to create new relationsips with students shows how committed they are to education. To all my colleagues who hold onto the past, may a suggestion of “Please leave the field?” be proclaimed? If you are just waiting to retire, then retire!