WHAT MAKES A TEACHER
The teacher is the person male or female who is engaged in the education and training of children, so that they can foster by grace in the way of salvation, grow like pearls of divine bounty and who will be one day the jewel in the crown of abiding glory.
Sir John Adams says, “Teacher is the maker of man”. The great philosopher H.G. Wells has said, “The teacher is the real maker of history”. According to Manu, also famous as Adipurush, “Teacher is the image of Brahma”. In Hindu Mythology, teacher is regarded as The Brahma, the creator, The God Vishnu and The Maheshwara. He is the entire universe. Salutations to Him.
The teacher is the yardstick that measures the achievements and aspirations of the nation. The worth and potentialities of a country can be evaluated in and through the work of teachers. In fact “The people of a country are the enlarged replica of their teachers”. They are the real nation builder.
The teacher is the pivot of any educational system. On him rests the failure or the success of the system. If the teachers are well educated, intellectually alive and if they take keen interest in their job, then only, success is ensured.
The teacher is a dynamic force of the school. A school without teacher is like a body without the soul, a skeleton without flesh and blood, a shadow without substance. “There is no greater need for the cause of education today than the need for strong manly men and motherly women as teachers for the young.” As social engineers, the teachers can socialize and humanize the young by their man – like qualities.
Teachers are the transmitters of morality. In order to do this, they must be restored to their traditional role as the builders of character and the custodians of culture.
WHO IS A GOOD TEACHER?
A good teacher is one who loves teaching. Henry Von Dyke has said, “Ah! There you have the worst paid and the best rewarded of vocation. Do not enter it unless you love it. For the vast majority of men and women it has no promise of wealth and fame, but they to whom it is dear for its own sake, are among the nobility of mankind. I sing the praise of the unknown teacher, the king of himself and leader of the mankind”. According to Swami Vivekananda, “A true teacher is he who can come down to the level of students, transfer his soul and see through and understand through his mind. Such a teacher can really teach and none else.”
IMPORTANCE OF TEACHERS
Highlighting the importance of teachers to the society Dr. S. Radhakrishnan has said, “The teacher’s place in the society is of vital importance. He acts as the pivot for the transmission of intellectual traditions and technical skills from generation to generation and helps to keep the lamp of civilization burning.” The mother is the first teacher (guru) of the child. She is the primary source of the empowerment of the individual, without which social transformation of civilization will not be possible. The training which the child first receives through his mother constitutes the strongest foundation for his future development.
WHO CAN TEACH WELL
Teaching is not every body’s cup of tea. According to Secondary Education Commission, “Every teacher and educationist of experience knows that even the best curriculum and the most perfect syllabus remains dead unless quickened into life by the right method of teaching and the right kind of teachers”. Similarly Ravindra Nath Tagore says, “A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame. The teacher who has come to the end of his subject, who has no living traffic with his knowledge, but merely repeats his lessons to his students, can only load their minds. He can not quicken them”. In fact, an effective teacher is one who can make use of the research based judgments for structuring and re-structuring of education for his pupils.
TEACHERS NEED TO WORK FOR
Besides performing their routine duties of teaching the teachers need to work for excellence in education coupled with equity and social justice, national integration, international understanding and fostering global peace, reasonable level of competence in at least three languages and making their school as pace setter for promotion of quality in school education.
In school, teachers have to take utmost care of safety and security of their students. For quality teaching, they need to be very systematic in planning, preparation and presentation of their instruction with due care of measurement and evaluation (CCE), giving feedback, diagnosis of learning difficulties and factors related to them, remediation of the learning problems and providing enrichment program for the bright children. Promotion of creative teaching, making teaching as pleasurable activity and taking teaching as a social service are the other responsibilities of teachers.
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES OF TEACHERS
They should be highly knowledgeable; self confident, energetic, fair and just, optimistic, democratic with high character. They should have excellent appearance, good intellect, sense of humor, sympathy and empathy, punctuality, enthusiasm, industriousness and sociability etc. along with love, non-violence, brotherhood, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, team spirit, loyalty, responsibility, gratitude, accountability, tolerance, determination hospitality and coordination as their personality traits.
All the teachers require professional training; without which they will commit serious pedagogical blunders. Training makes them professionally vibrant and helps in the development of desirable temperament and attitude to deal with the young learners in the schools. Prof. Monteque in his book, “Education and Human Relations” asserts that, “No one should ever be permitted to become a teacher of the young unless by temperament, attitude and training, he is fitted to do so”.
Lessinger advocates that every child has a right to be educated in order to become a productive citizen of his country and the parents and citizens have every right to know the progress of education of their children. It is therefore, teachers being the “educational or human engineers” are accountable for the progress of children they teach.
Mass education in India appears to be in a degrading condition. Education imparted by some of the teachers is far from satisfactory. Majority of students lack fundamental knowledge in different areas of education. Many parents can not educate their children in costly public schools. Commitment on the part of teachers has been reduced to a great extent. Therefore, there is a need to make every teacher aware of his accountability to his profession.
The teacher’s accountability should get evaluated at frequent intervals. The supervisors should see how far the teachers feel accountable in respect of teaching, research and innovations, co-curricular activities, use of ICT and computer aided learning, use of other aids and equipments in the classroom, utilization of local resources for the benefits of students. The idea is that the degrading condition of education should be checked.
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF TEACHERS
Our cultural heritage proves that true teachers are those who take their job as honorable. Such teachers work with a sense of self-fulfillment and self realization. Prof. George Harbet Palmer once said, “If Harvard does not pay me to teach, I would gladly pay Harvard for the privilege of teaching”. This should be the professional value of an Indian teacher. An ideal teacher should not work with pecuniary motives, but with a sense of education and for the cause of education.
TEACHER’S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Physical fitness, mental alertness, emotional balance and spiritual enlightenment are important goals of education. “Sound body bears sound mind”, hold true for teachers also. The teachers should have sound physical health with full of energy and vitality. This may make them alert, cheerful, happy, dynamic and enthusiastic. With good health they can maintain emotional stability too. Every teacher should play with school children and take active part in games and sports activities.
We usually call education as a lamp lighting another lamp, life making another life and spirit speaking to another spirit. This can be brought to reality, if our teachers have good mental health. Students develop interest in those subjects, which are taught by pleasing and genial teachers. A neurotic teacher may spread fear, nervousness and worry in the classroom. A fanatic teacher may spread hatred, prejudice and hostile feelings among learners. However, on the other hand, if a teacher has a good mental health, he can create love, interest and enthusiasm for learning.
TEACHERS DESERVE RESPECT
A corollary is that the teachers must enjoy the support of the greater community, a respect that flows logically from recognizing the teacher’s true station.
TIPS FOR TEACHERS
- Relinquish the idea that teachers are the fountains of all knowledge. Rather, they should form a partnership with their students in a shared learning process.
- Practice patterns of behavior that create a climate of encouragement in the class room.
- While the children are yet in infancy, feed them from the breast of heavenly grace, give them every kind of useful knowledge, teach them to dedicate their lives to matters of great concern and inspire them to undertake studies that will benefit mankind.
- Strain every nerve to achieve both, material and spiritual accomplishments.
- Make every effort in order that these children may be rightly trained and educated and that each one of them may attain perfection in the world of humanity.
- Educate the children in their infancy in such a way that they may become increasingly kind and merciful to the animals.
- Teachers must give the massage through action and deed, not alone by word. Word must be conjoined with deed.
- The thoughts of universal peace must be instilled into the minds of all the students, in order that they may become the armies of peace, the real servants of the world.
Jt. Comm. Acad. (Rtd),
Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti