Ideal Teacher: The Right Mix of Chalk and Challenges

Mohammad Hussain Khan

HAPPY Teachers day!

No matter how old we grow, the lessons taught by our teachers can never be forgotten. Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers. Let us remember, one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world. Dear readers, teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions. That is why no better tributes have been paid to any man on earth than to the teacher. East or west, everywhere he has been respected. He has been called the architect of nation, the harbinger of the progress of the culture, the maker of man and the maker of history. Like a gardener caressing the plants, he caresses the young human beings and looks after their physical, mental and social growth and development. God created man in his own image, the teacher fashions the child in his image. A teacher effects eternity. He can never tell where his influence stops.

Famous educators plan new system of pedagogy, but it is the teachers who direct and guide the young. They live in obscurity and contend with hardship. For them no trumpets flare, no chariots wait and no golden decorations are decreed. They keep the watch along the border of darkness and make the attack on the treacle’s of ignorance and folly. Patient in their daily work, they strive to conquer the evil powers which are the enemies of the youth. They awaken the sleeping spirit. They quicken the indolent, encourage the eager and steady the unstable.

Teachers communicate their own joys in learning and share with boys and girls the best treasures of their mind. They light many candles which in later years will shine back to cheer them. This is their reward. Knowledge may be gained from books, but the love for knowledge is transmitted only by personal conduct.

Certainly heavy responsibilities lie on the shoulders of a teacher. A university degree or diploma does not make him an ideal teacher. Of course it qualifies him for the profession. And to be an ideal teacher there should be proper and the harmonious development of the qualities of head, heart, hand and health.

The ideal teacher makes the students spell bound by his very presence in the class. Young children fall in love at the first sight and develop instantaneous loyalties with the good looking teacher. The charming and dynamic personality really does wonders. He has calm nature, winning looks, serene face and pleasant demeanor. He has sound physical health which brings in him enthusiasm, vigour, vitality and dynamism, so important for the job.

He possess high intellectual caliber. The profession itself demands deep understanding, logical reasoning power, resourcefulness, tact, intuition and memory. To meet the call of profession, he keeps his interest broad and varied. He has deep thirst for knowledge. He has keen power of observation and an inquisitive approach to every new situation. His mental horizon is widened by acquiring more and more experience by studying more and more, and by assimilating new facts in order to impart the same to the young learners. In a way, he is a student, a learner throughout his life coming true to Tagore’s statement, “A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself”.

With fortitude to combat any problem, with forbearance to face any hardship, with restraint to cool anger and frustration, with composure to bring peace of mind, with selfless submission to his profession, with resignation to divine will and with faith in himself and in the Almighty, an ideal teachers is that of a super person. He is all cheerful and optimistic who teaches the students with delight and creates a delightful learning atmosphere in the class. It was for such an ideal teacher that saint Kabir pointed out, “Teacher and God, both are standing before me. Whom would I pay obeisance? I bow to my teacher who guided me to God.”

Such a teacher is motivated by sound philosophy of life. He is a live wire whose mission is to transmit desirable values in the young men through the medium of enlightened instructions and personal influence.

An educational institution is a worship of wisdom, seed bed of character, a citadel of discipline and nursery of nation. Its success depends upon the ideal teacher. We may not expect every teacher to be hall marks of genius but the ideal for a teacher is set.

Some years back I went to a reputed school as a guest lecturer. At the very outset of my class, I asked all the students of the class what they wanted to become in life. Many answered, IAS officer, Doctor, Engineer, Pilot, KAS officer etc and list was long. But not a single student said, teacher or lecturer or professor. It appalled me to hear that none of them opted for teaching in life. Then I remembered the words of J. Barzun he says, “Teaching is not a lost art but a lost tradition”.

Is teaching profession an unimportant one? Of course not. Teachers help students to shake off ignorance, vices and evils of the society. In other words, teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges. Alexander the Great stated the importance of teachers saying, “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.

In the developed world, teachers hold a high position with high social status and earn decently. But the case is a little different in the land of ours. Many do not whole heartedly  want to become teachers and the society still has a long way to give due regard for teachers as teaching is not just for making money but cultivating noble and novel ideas in the pupils. Once Adul Kalam was asked how he would like to be remembered by the world: a scientist or Bharat Ratna recipient or the President of India or the Missile Man?  But APJ Abdul Kalam wished to be remembered as a teacher! He said, “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher”.

I honour all the ideal teachers on “World Teacher Day” who have had a profound impact on the way they teach and whose influence can live in through generations afterwards. Happy Teachers Day. A day kept aside to honour the gifted souls who work every day to make sure that the future is bright for all of us.  On this beautiful occasion, let we take the opportunity to convey our wishes to all our teachers who had given impeccable contribution in shaping us. Let all of us also pray for those teachers who had left for heavenly abode and touched our lives with their powerful and abiding influence on the total make up of our personalities. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May noble souls of all the departed teachers rest in peace.



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