ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Teachers and Teaching

Updated on March 15, 2015
Source

At a time when there is talk of teachers becoming obsolete and technology taking over the function, it may be relevant to record a very different perspective about teaching and teachers.

There is a lot written on this subject - a teacher should be fair, have a good sense of humor, be a friend philosopher and guide etcetera - but leaving aside these and other homilies and generalities, I will base this on what I observed about those teachers who inspired and showed me the way to think and make sense of life and the world around.

Please note that I am not referring to those who helped me get good grades neither am I talking of those who were immediately popular, I am restricting this to those teachers who impacted my learning process and left a lasting impact. It is not a definitive list or meant to be prescriptive in any way but only my simple learnings from life. I think it is necessary because teaching in its purest form is magical and powerful in influencing the learning process.

Information / knowledge and teaching

My best teachers – the ones whom I will never forget – were not overburdened by the knowledge and information that they carried, but seemed remarkably comfortable with their learning and helped others with consummate ease to make sense and see the magical quality of their understanding. They were of course, up to date with the latest in their subject but all that knowledge never stuck out like a vulgar protuberance on a parched landscape. The sheer excitement and passion with which they explored the vast landscape of their knowledge drew everybody in and made them love the subject. This was true across disciplines and so whether it was photosynthesis or macroeconomics, differential calculus or linguistics, the hallmark of great teachers remained unmistakably consistent.

Simplification

The teachers who helped me learn believed that their learning was very simple and definitely graspable. Having set me at ease they would unleash powerful analogies and recount stories and do everything else to strip the subject of its complexities and render simple perspectives that dazzled and inspired everybody to go further down the road of exploring and learning. The worst teachers generally tried to impress everybody by showing how very complex and difficult their learning was and how one would have to work very hard and struggle to understand the esoteric knowledge.

Lifelong learners

It seems pretty obvious that learners understand learning and therefore those who love learning should make very good teachers. I found this to very true and the best teachers who taught me were in a never ending lifelong process of continuous updating and learning, not just their subject of specialization but all other areas of life as well.

As long as one is bitten by the learning bug, it becomes possible and convincing to initiate and help others along on the path of learning.

Bad teachers have stopped learning long ago.

Giving fish / teaching to fish

Good teachers do not dispense information / knowledge into the brains of unwilling students, they inspire and prod and create conditions for their students to enter the waters of knowledge and help them stay afloat. That’s what starts a lifelong interest and commitment to repeatedly explore, experience and get addicted to the joy of learning.

Relating to life

The most abstruse and perplexing subjects will come to life only when it is related to life and the world around us and great teachers help us see the connection. Bad teachers tune us off from the subject by failing to establish those connections and leave us cursing the subject throughout our life as “ boring “ or one that “I don’t have an aptitude for.”

Selfless

The very best teachers besides being very good teachers remain committed to the primacy of the learner and the learning process and is therefore selfless in a way with not much regard for the arc light or cheap popularity. This is probably the most difficult part to be a great teacher but such teachers can never be substituted by any technology. It’s very difficult to define but can be best summed up in the words of Amos Bronson Alcott, the American teacher, writer and philosopher : “The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple.”

We’ve all had great teachers so let’s hope we have even better teachers in the years to come and while technology grows and enriches our leaves, future generations will continue to have the benefit of some wonderful teachers helping them embark and go along on the journey of learning,

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Vinodkpillai profile imageAUTHOR

    Vinodkpillai 

    7 years ago from Hyderabad, India

    thanks cockrelle! You said it - we will all be better off if more people were concerned.

  • cockrelle profile image

    cockrelle 

    7 years ago from Chillicothe, Ohio

    Great hub! very inspirering. I wish more people were concerned with our education system

  • Vinodkpillai profile imageAUTHOR

    Vinodkpillai 

    7 years ago from Hyderabad, India

    Thank you so much! It's very encouraging for me to know that this hub could inspire a teacher - and the author of "English Teaching Tools and Lessons".

  • orioleorange profile image

    orioleorange 

    7 years ago

    Wow, this is great. Thank you for inspiring me, a teacher.

  • Vinodkpillai profile imageAUTHOR

    Vinodkpillai 

    7 years ago from Hyderabad, India

    thank you prairieprincess for your comment - coming as it does from a teacher means a lot for me.

  • prairieprincess profile image

    Sharilee Swaity 

    7 years ago from Canada

    This is beautiful ... and I agree. You describe learning as a seamless, flowing thing, which I believe it should be. Thank you for this tribute to teachers. Take care.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)