What is the meaning of a good teacher? Of course rich credentials, knowledge, critical thinking, intelligence are important. However, a great teacher is also empathetic, compassionate and positive. One joins the profession of teaching fully knowing that it is not a way to become rich. But a true teacher’s dedication and motivation is hard to crack and beyond any monetary gains. Our teachers have a tremendous effect on our thinking and beliefs. Their role in shaping the future of the society is both significant and valuable.
Teaching is never an easy job. The good teachers, however, work diligently to create a challenging, nurturing environment for their students. Good teaching seems to have less to do with our knowledge and skills than with our attitude toward our students, our subject, and our work. A good teacher has to be a role model and an inspiration for his students. They must treat students as their own kids. As a teacher we can’t teach without care and love. It is true that we can only pass on information, but that isn’t the real essence of teaching. Teachers can significantly change the mind of their students when they first touch their students’ hearts. This will also result in building student’s confidence and their willingness to learn.
A teacher must have passion for teaching. They should develop a good personality. A great teacher respects students. He must be warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. He should possess good listening skills and take time out of his-busy schedules for any student who needs him. He must always set high expectations for all his students. A teacher should maintain utmost professionalism in all areas—from personal appearance to organizational skills and preparedness for each day. Time management is one area where our good teachers are also not up to mark. Time is an asset and teachers have to give right lessons first applying in their own life. A good teacher must have deep knowledge, be resourceful, trustworthy, must be a good communicator, develop sense of humor, be informative, updated. A good teacher must understand each student’s motivation, be technologically capable, accountable, adaptable, dynamic and enthusiastic, patient, caring, creative, dedicated, determined, engaging, fearless, forgiving, generous, joyful. A great teacher must understand that being a great teacher is a constant struggle to always improve. It’s a fact that teaching is a gift that seems to come quite naturally for some teachers; others have to put all efforts to achieve a great teacher status. But the returns of being a great teacher are always amazing both for the teachers and the students.
Teachers are the real leaders. It requires hard work and persistence to be a leader and a teacher. It is a lifelong effort to adapt to transitions and in the process to improve. Good teachers mostly believe in simple living. Their inclinations for continuous knowledge gain and spread, innovations, student friendliness and developments make them great and worthy.
Teachers in China have the greatest respect from people in their country, according to latest research examining attitudes to teachers around the world. But the tragedy in many countries is that teaching is turning hard, often thankless and a stressful job. We can find many of new teachers quit teaching within the few years of their first appointment. There are countries where teachers receive harsh treatments and even struggle for their basic means to survive. The sooner the better, such countries must realize that teaching is the one profession that makes all other professions possible.
(The author is Assistant Professor, ITM University Gwalior and can be reached at: [email protected])