UPAY Writing Contest – Winning Entry

Theme: What makes a Good Teacher?

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-10 at 14.46.46Winner: Ankit Anand

The cornerstone of human civilisation has been acquiring and propagation of knowledge since ancient times. The spirit of innovation and creativity separates human from other beings. The famous philosopher Rene Descartes, while saying- “I think, therefore I am”, has credited the existence of human beings on their thinking ability. He was talking about the individual human. Besides individual excellence, the essence of human society definitely is based on propagation of knowledge to the coming generations. This essential function is performed through the Teachers.

 

The role of teaching is divided among the components and institutions of society. The parents, and especially mother is the best teacher during early childhood phase. The role of society and institutions like schools, colleges, universities etc. comes next. Nearly everyone has to play the role of teacher in one way or another. Like the survival of a Cub depends upon the hunting taught by her mother, the survival of a kid depends on the lessons he has learned from the society.

 

Being a matter of survival, the question- “what makes a good teacher” is of vital significance. Traditionally a good teacher has been portrayed as one having vast knowledge, a strict disciplinarian, and maybe having the halo of enlightenment behind his head. The field of study was rigidly fixed by him. Cometh the Renaissance, a good teacher became a guiding light with high degree of individual liberty granted to students. This led to development of new ideas and tools on which our modern civilisation is based upon. This paradigm has continued in various shapes, though the traditional way of teaching still dominates the traditional societies.

 

The qualities of a good teacher would essentially include – dedication towards the goal, indomitable will to make a student better, good observational skills etc. He should also have patience and perseverance. A good teacher should have all the qualities of a good student. He should be inquisitive, a constant learner and should inquire logic surrounding the processes and beliefs. He should be able to inculcate way of rational and scientific thinking in his students.  And finally he should be honest with himself and his students.

 

The list of qualities is innumerable and ideally, such an ideal teacher should not exist. This is the very reason of strong dissatisfaction among parents about their demand of a good teacher, even after paying hefty fees. There is a need to be practical and that’s why the concept of a good teacher needs a drastic change.

 

A look into the lives of great personalities and analysis of qualities of their teacher can give us a clear view. Though, there are innumerable good stories about teacher imparting good qualities too, let us focus on few negative examples to get the point. Gandhi’s teacher in class five wanted him to copy from one of his classmates during inspection. Thomas Edison’s teacher had given up on him during his childhood. The teacher of Buddha would sincerely not have advised him to go to jungle and achieve enlightenment. We can see that each of these had made their own path. Where did they learn to follow those path? That’s the role and lessons from society. As such, the society becomes a good teacher.

 

Teaching the kids to respect the values that make our society and simultaneously asking them to rebel against the values that are irrational and unscientific should be the role of a teacher. This becomes the duty of each individual. Nowadays, a student can learn a lot from internet courses. So, the role of teacher is to become a guiding light and help him differentiate between what is good and what is bad.

 

The dynamic and subjective nature of good and bad makes teaching a mammoth task. The work should be divided among each and every person of a society. The role of youth becomes very important as he is the most contemporary of the student. This is where the role of NGOs become important to attract the youth and other diverse personalities to impart different perspectives to the kids.

 

Thus, we can say that one who honestly tries to impart knowledge and values in others is a good teacher. He should know his limitations and be honest and faithful to his pupil about his limitations. Also, the diversity among teachers will bring diversity among the experiences and will be useful for ethical-moral education. This makes the role of NGOs important for socio-economic-moral development of individual, society and nation. They should work in coordination with the traditional schooling system to bring the best out of the coming generation to make the human civilisation achieve its potential in a sustainable manner.

 

Published by UPAY - उपाय

UPAY ...An initiative to educate Under Privileged Children from Slums & Footpaths by a group of young Engineers, Doctors , Students and senior citizens

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