July 8: I have taught in different schools for many years. This article came from my classroom experiences.
What Are We Teaching About Being Human?
We are not all called to be teachers; it is an extraordinary calling. Krishan was the most fantastic teacher of all, and he bestowed upon some of us the gift of this vocation. There is a human dimension to this vocation, which is critical to achieving success.
Teaching is about the holistic development of the child, not just the impartation of knowledge and skills. It takes certain exceptional qualities to nurture children into responsible, positive, and productive world citizens. Therefore, as teachers, if we do not possess attributes such as compassion, understanding, and love, we do injustice to the children whom we are required to mould, and we fail in our responsibility towards them. A successful teacher is thus one who demonstrates certain very “human” qualities in the execution of their duties.
Let me share what I consider to be some essential qualities that a good teacher should possess:
1. A Nurturing Attitude
Just as plants are given water, good soil, and nutrients to help them grow, children need a nurturing environment where they can thrive and flourish to their full potential. A good teacher is sensitive to diverse factors such as neglect, abuse, culture, language, race, hunger, poverty, and prejudice, which affect children at home and in the community and their behaviour and overall performance at school. He will take measures to buffer children against these negative factors and assist them in achieving.
2. Sound Morals and Values
Children right up to their teens are very observant and thus are easily influenced by their environment and the persons with whom they interact. Furthermore, children spend a more significant part of the day in the care of their teachers. Hence, teachers help in a great way to mould their minds and shape their destinies. Let us put it this way. If a student likes you, he might aspire to be like you. Conversely, if a student does not like you, he does not wish to be like you; consequently, he will not learn much from you.
3. Thirst for Knowledge
As someone whose job is to impart knowledge, a good teacher should continuously sharpen his skills and update his knowledge as per the need of the scenario. He should make learning an ongoing exercise. He should strive to be well informed and in tune with current trends, particularly in his area of expertise. Moreover, a teacher has responsibility for his own personal and professional development, which will indirectly impact the development of his students.
4. Creativity and Resourcefulness
Creativity and resourcefulness may be inherent qualities in a good teacher, and if the teachers don’t possess these skills, they can be acquired. The teacher has to exercise creativity in finding ways to engage students, connect with students who are less than outgoing or draw out those who have serious personal issues. They are happy when given duties, chores, roles, or even punishments, which give them a sense of responsibility and importance and through which they can use up their energy in positive rather than destructive ways.
Any good work is expected to be committed to his organization and the clients whom he serves. The teacher must be committed to his students not only to their academic development but also to their personal development and their safety and wellbeing.
6. Satisfaction and Pride: Some of the greatest occasions for a teacher when he has joy are:
When he encounters a positive and responsible adult who was at one time his difficult, rebellious student when he is treated with excellent service and given special privileges at hospitals, hotels, stores, and other places where his past students are employed, indeed, a teacher’s reward goes far beyond his monthly salary!
Children often seek affection from their teachers, the love and understanding which they lack at home. Throughout their lifetime, they never forget those who were incompetent, insensitive, or uncaring and those who were cruel leave indelible marks on them. I can still recall the memories of my chemistry teacher. I am a postgraduate in Chemistry. I used to hate chemistry in my middle school days. Since Mr. Rajiv Rastogi (Chemistry faculty) had taken chemistry, I started to take an interest in the subject because he taught the subject in a more accessible manner.
8. Leave your Burdens:
Likewise, human as we are, as teachers, we must cultivate the ability to leave our burdens at home.
In the end, you have been a teacher if you can genuinely say that you have impacted lives in a positive way.
[ Mrs. Paiker Seemav, Principal, Modern International School, Indore (M.P)] Website: http://moderninternationalschool.in/
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