I didn’t realize the effects of a teacher on personalities till I stepped into this profession. Probably I didn’t have any such teacher around me whom I admired ardently or who could touch my heart but I do remember a few who emitted an unseen light, which could brighten the path of an average student.
When I stumbled upon the profession of a teacher, which I didn’t plan to follow, I was very keen to teach high school students. I thought it was easier!
I was told I needed a professional training.
Despite a teacher’s training degree in my hand, I hardly knew what makes a good teacher. I learnt it from my students, from my daily interaction with them and listening to their opinion and complaints.
Slowly it dawned upon me how much a teacher can give. I was amazed at the expectations of my students and I had to work very hard to come up to their beliefs.
I noted that a teacher is trusted more than a parent probably because a teacher really listens, is non-judgmental and supports the pupils who choose to confide in him/her.
Now I started grasping the real meaning of “Nation Builders.”
Now I knew that Good teachers are not born.
“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” – Alexander the Great.
I was humbled by this profession, which I didn’t want to join because people looked down upon it, it was so lowly paid and only those “who couldn’t find a better job became a teacher,” was the perception!
I found it immensely satisfying. The dividends it paid could not be counted, could not be seen because they could only be felt.
They stand before me now in the form of most successful human beings who value the contribution of teachers. Their one word of gratitude is the biggest bank balance for me.
My pupils showed me what is patience and benevolence; they revealed the value of hard work; they taught me how emotions are knitted into the fabric of values to make them more effective.
Once I had been molded by my students, it was my turn and this is what I learnt:
Children are like clay in our hands. Like a sculptor we can chisel and carve their personalities with our behavior.
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ― Henry Adams.
Teachers inspire the desire for learning:
True learning is the one, which is self-accentuated. A good teacher understands this basic principle and lays bare all the possibilities before the students. Curriculum may be binding, it may limit the potential but a real teacher focuses on igniting the minds to go beyond those limitations. Carl Jung has rightly observed, “The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.“
Make them discerning individuals:
Students look up to their teachers for guidance and path-breaking initiatives. When they meet an inspired teacher, they start believing in their own dreams. It is only with the much-needed encouragement that their aspirations get a boost. Classroom discussions play an important role in giving confidence to new thoughts and developing their own perceptions.
Make them absorb the values of discipline:
A disciplined teacher can convey the need and significance of discipline to become self-disciplined. Children may take pleasure in breaking the rules, they may scoff at the reprimand and punitive actions but what they see in their teacher eventually gets absorbed. An upright teacher doesn’t have to organize discussions on this topic.
Inspire positive thoughts:
Little disappointments seem gigantic to children, especially teenagers. Teachers can convert those moments of disenchantment into stepping-stones by talking them out of negativity. A good teacher can also become a counselor, as she/he understands students better than parents. Teenagers feel more comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers or friends.
Values are learned effortlessly:
Good and conscientious teachers can touch the students with their kindness and patience. Little children learn more through observation and image. When their role model exemplifies the ethics enshrined in the rulebook, it is easier for them to imbibe them naturally. I have often heard my outspoken students complain about double standards, which confused them.
“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.” – Sidney Hook
They make an eternal impact on students:
I was surprised at the influence of my own child’s teacher on her when she refused to share the little secret of her school function with me saying, “it is a surprise for the parents and will be revealed only on the day the function will be presented!”
My own heart swells with delight when I meet my old students and can see a spark of brightness in their eyes while they talk about those ‘golden’ days.
Whether it is sharpening their speaking talent, acquainting them with their potential, or honing their social skills, a teacher can truly mold the personalities of students.
Did you meet any such teacher who made a difference in your life? I would love to hear about her/him.
Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.
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