Role of teachers and values
The role of teachers in our education system is important and often the various problems in schools are aggravated by teachers who are not professional, dedicated and committed.
What are some of the qualities of a really professional teacher? A professional teacher needs to be confident without being arrogant. In interaction with students, teachers need professional standards of behaviour, that is, being polite, firm and fair at all times. In orchestrating the class the teacher must give all students their chance to contribute and should be flexible enough to modify lessons if they are obviously not going to plan. Indeed a fall-back position is part of good planning. Professionalism includes the desire for self-improvement, being proactive and having regular self-audits. Teachers must observe punctuality and appropriate tidiness and dress;it is not possible to demand such behaviour from students if the teacher does not set the standards.
Sai Baba says, “The profession of a teacher is the most responsible one in every country. Of all professions, his is the noblest, the most difficult, the most important. He has to cultivate within himself humility, compassion and the spirit of loving service, much more than those belonging to other professions, for he is an ideal and example to his pupils”.
NOBLEST OF PROFESSIONS
Teaching is the noblest of professions. It is also the holiest spiritual discipline for self-realization. For, it involves the cultivation of selfless love and the showering and sharing of that love. The teacher moulds the rising generation into self-confident and self-reliant persons. He is the architect of happy homes, prosperous communities and peaceful nations. He has not only to equip himself with knowledge and skills to inform and instruct, but also the vision and insight, to inspire and transform. Children absorb from teachers and elders their habits and manners, behaviour and beliefs. Therefore, the teacher has to be a constant example of the ideals he has to implant in their hearts. He must excel in humility, simplicity, morality and integrity, so that education results in excellence. Such a teacher can be a beacon of truth, love and reverence. The children who grow under his wise care will shine as Lamps of Love in their homes and country.
Good teachers + good students = Good Nation
Sai Baba emphasises that teachers should observe, with minute care, matters relating to attendance of the students in the class, their response to questions and carefully watch whether they evince interest. In case the students show disinterest, teachers must enquire into the cause for such disinterest. They must find out whether the students’ disinterest is due to their uninspiring teaching or due to any other unknown factors. Teachers should not allow themselves to be swayed away by their self-interest. They should be ever alert to watch their behaviour and conduct. Of what avail is teaching if it does not enthuse, encourage and inspire students? Teachers should also realise that achieving excellence in academics alone is not an indication of their effective teaching. They have to ensure that they score the highest in the special subject called discipline. The degree carries no merit if the students have not scored well in discipline. The index of discipline is the presence of qualities of humility, obedience, respect, tolerance and other human values.
There is no doubt that the solution to most of our problems in our schools today is the concerted effort by all stakeholders especially our teachers, to practise positive values and more so, through the hidden curriculum, impart these to our students.