Who is a teacher? Anyone who helps you acquire knowledge and values. What does a teacher do? A teacher is someone who not only teaches but inspires and encourages you to be your best. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan describes, “true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves.”
When thinking of your favourite teacher, who comes to your mind? The math teacher who helped you solve problems on fractions, the science teacher who helped you remember the periodic table, the English teacher who helped you improve your grammar and language, or your sports teacher who helped you discover a new sport?
Which is the most concerning problem with the teacher? Is it that they teach and do not inspire? What is the duty of a teacher, if not to motivate? Dr. Irfan Hyder writes, “many teachers think their duty is only to teach, it is then that they lose the connection with the students.” Students yearn to feel inspired by what they are learning and to know the relevance of the subject to their future. They want to know that their time spent in the classroom is worthwhile. Instances of wonder and enlightenment, even if brief, can make all the difference in inspiring children to explore and delve deeply. One ‘ah ha’ moment is worth one hundred perfect assessment scores.
According to Michael Scriven, “great teachers of the past have inspired individuals and sometimes whole societies to new and better forms of life.” There are numerous cases where specific teachers have been recognized as giving the inspiration or suggestions that led to successful results. We have celebrated examples such as Socrates, the teacher of Plato; Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander and so on.
What are the various roles of a teacher? As a student, you would want to know how a specific course or a lecture will be of relevance to you in the future life. A teacher who enables to know this is a mentor and a counsellor. The motivation of students comes when they see the teacher assuming a higher moral ground. A teacher’s role is to be the architect of the future of the lives of the students.
What makes a good teacher? Student’s want teachers who are good class managers, they want a teacher who can manage their class and show that he/she is the captain of the ship. Witty banter and a dose of silliness go a long way toward keeping children connected as they make the minutes tick quicker. Teaching is one-fourth planning and three-fourth presenting, holds true only on a certain level. But the role of the teacher is without a doubt to engage each child and spark their interest.
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As a school year commences teachers often share with students the expectations they have. Teachers let the students know exactly what rules, procedures, routines, and the high goals he/she has set, they want their students to be responsible and curious to fulfil their expectations. But what about the reverse? How often do teachers listen to the student’s expectations of them? What do students want or expect from their teachers? It’s not all stuffy paperwork, instructions, and assignment lists. Qualities of a teacher also include the capability to form strong relationships with their students. They want teachers who- are focused on teaching, can admit their mistakes, challenges and notices them, encourages them to speak up and respect is reciprocal, they want a teacher who is respectful. The best teachers are also able to spark connections with students on a personal level.
Did your teacher encourage you to take risks? To overcome self-defeating thoughts or behaviour? Did he/she help you speak up more in class, or have more patience with solving problems? The relationship between student and teacher relies on expectations. When these needs are met, they initiate decades of learning and admiration.
- Choudhury, S. (2006). Educational Philosophy of Dr. Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan. Deep and Deep Publications.
- Hyder, I. (2016). What Students Expect from their Teachers: Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers [Blog]. Retrieved fromhttp://syedirfanhyder.blogspot.com/2016/02/what-students-expect-from-Teachers.html
Scriven, M. (1994). Duties of the teacher. Journal of personnel evaluation in education, 8(2), 151-184.