Tips to Teachers: The Importance of Maintaining Integrity
Next only to parents, children spend most of their time at their impressionable age with their teachers at school. Several children look up at good teachers as mentors too when they have any moral dilemma in their lives. Naturally, it is imperative that teachers maintain good integrity in their lives, if they wish to command respect amidst their students and remain qualified to offer counseling when the students approach them with any trouble other than academics.
The teaching profession is one where a teacher cannot afford to say, “My private way of life is nothing to do with my profession”. Good teachers know very well that if they fall in their standards in morality and integrity, they lose their respectability and stature amidst their students.
A good teacher is one who would always love to see a grown up old student running up to him/ her and say, “Sir/ Madam, do you remember me? I studied under you in so and so school during so and so years; Oh! I am so thankful to you for all the wonderful teaching and the moral guidance you gave me to keep me in good stead right through my life”.
A good teacher knows, by keenly observing the students and by experience, a few things that they to possess to maintain integrity and gain respect and acceptance from the students.
A good teacher knows that he/ she should display impartiality towards students; a good male teacher does not show any extra-ordinary lenience towards girl students or behave in any way that could be gauged as indecently partial. A good teacher does not discriminate students on account of religion, skin color, social status, clan and so on.
A good teacher will not play favoritism; giving better marks to a pet student and reducing the marks for another adamant student for the same performance in the examinations will not be practised by such a teacher.
A good teacher knows that he/ she shall not show vindictiveness to a student who misbehaved for a while in the class. Such a teacher will not intentionally reduce marks in the internal assessment of the student just to show “who has the powers”. A good teacher will not take any disciplinary issue related to an erring student to an extreme, as if meting out a punishment as per his/her dictum is the only way of ensuring his/her one-upmanship.
Decent behavior with opposite sex
Students watch the teachers’ behavior all the time. A teacher behaving indecently with teachers of the opposite sex by way of talk, ogling and gestures will not be taken with a pinch of salt by the students and good teachers know very well how this is very important.
Integrity in money matters
A good teacher, who collects money from students (say for organizing an excursion, or for a charity program etc) involves student representatives to monitor the money collection and expenditure; He/she keeps proper accounts and displays openness and honesty in the dealings.
Free from school politics
When there is a school administration, there will be a managerial ladder and there will always be scope for bickering and politics. Any teacher who is seen actively engaged in back-biting, rumor-mongering, and group activism and who does not mind treating his/ her teaching duty as a secondary chore, will not find respect amidst students.
Maintaining integrity in life is something to do with one’s ethics and morality. Teaching profession in any day in any country is treated as a respectable profession though it may not be a highly paying one in many countries. And good teacher knows pretty well that they belong to such a noble profession that their integrity is like a coat of armor that protects them and gives them respect amidst students as well as in society.