Role of the teacher – Source and centre of values
Trees teach the lesson of sacrifice in the sense that they not only bear fruits while they are alive,but also give away their body to be used as firewood once the life goes out of them. Amongst teachers, a tree is the greatest. (Telugu [language of the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana] poem)
Every house is a centre of human values. It is from the house that the human values originate, blossom and foster the sacred culture. The person presiding over the house is known as householder, which from ancient times was a position of respect and responsibility.
When a student takes to a wrong path, he ruins himself, whereas if a teacher takes to wrong ways, he will be ruining the lives of hundreds of students. Hence a teacher, on whom lies the responsibility of moulding the careers of students, must cultivate virtues and lead an ideal life.
Today, there is certainly no dearth of teachers, endowed with the spirit of sacrifice and leading ideal lives.
But there are some teachers who have become slaves to vices like drinking and smoking. Naturally, the students emulate their teachers and ruin their lives. If the country is to progress, teachers should mould the students as ideal citizens. The whole world will prosper when students tread along the right path. Hence it is essential on the part of a teacher, whom the students are bound to emulate, to cultivate virtues.
VIRTUES AND A PURE HEART
A teacher can be compared to a water tank and students to taps connected to it. As is the water in the tank, so is the water that comes from the taps. Therefore, the teacher must have a pure heart and virtues like adherence to truth, good conduct, duty, devotion and discipline, so that he can impart the same to the students. He or she alone is a teacher in the true sense, who imparts these virtues to the students. He or she alone is a student in the true sense, who cultivates these sacred qualities.
If the teachers are ideal, the system of education too would be ideal. If the teacher does not possess moral, ethical and spiritual values, the entire system of education will go astray.