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Good teachers produce food for thought

Updated on January 22, 2012

''Okay colleagues, let's adjourn this meeting and go back home.''

Imagine that you, a school principal, said this to all the teachers in a seminar. What will the teachers think?

Ironically, they would not be pleased or relieved. They would just respect your decision and go back home. Yes, that is being subservient, and it is similar to hobnobbing with the authority just for the sake of money and trust.

However, that does not mean that they will flop onto their beds and sleep as soon as they went home, without doing anything. They have their goals in mind, of which some include marking students' test scripts, planning for the next lessons, replying emails, settling administrative issues and dealing with personal matters. If they joined the teaching profession just for mercenary purposes, then they would not be carrying their work home. Instead, they will be doing something piquant and purely personal, a leisure possibly, with their television switched on, and surfing the Internet on their mobile phones to fritter their time idly away. They would not even bother about phone calls from parents. They will evade the responsibility of taking care of their students' welfare and interests. That means that they will never offer supplementary or remedial lessons for weaker students; and very preposterously, they castigate students who got poor grades as their performances will affect their promotions. To them, the monthly remuneration they will be getting is what they concern the most. If that attitude prolongs, those callous teachers will never be welcomed. Students will too reciprocate and abstain from greeting and talking with them.

In the teaching profession, or vocation if you prefer, there are two types of teachers: good and bad. A paradigm of a good teacher is one who helps to arrange remedial or supplementary classes without grudge, do his tasks diligently, and is convivial and ethical. For the opposite, bad teachers get embittered easily over small matters, are selfish and egocentric, do not give constructive advices to students, and are very greedy, especially in wanting for more pay when they do not serve as upright teachers.

Within a short period of time, students can gauge whether their teachers are good or bad. Honestly, students like good teachers, and with good teachers, their academic performances improve to a spike. And not only that, students are found to be more confident, articulate, ingenious and world-ready because they benefit from their teachers' counseling and unstinting support. Good teachers can mold students into almost perfect human beings, and that is the catalyst for the change we want to see in the world, in a good way. Good teachers produce good schools, and good schools produce good students. Even for the most “competent,” the most “self-efficacious,” and the most “intelligent,” sorting out the myriad of identity and relationship questions in isolation feels difficult. Some are indeed fortunate to have parental support, but they still need the assistance of other caring adults, such as teachers, who will model positive behavior and act as mentors for them.

Good teachers are like plants which all living things depend on, directly or indirectly, for their food. Moreover, all food chains must start with a producer. And good teachers constitute that producer.


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