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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Teacher, Teaching and Education - Teachers' Day 2013

Today is teachers' day in India. On this day in 1888, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was born, who later became the President of India. He also occupied the office of Vice President of India apart from being the chancellor of University of Delhi before taking over as President of India. He was a great educationist, philosopher and statesman. Since 1962, this day is celebrated as Teachers Day in India.

Teachers play very important role in the lives of people. They make or destroy generations. They shape or spoil the future of children. And this is a reason why their role further becomes more important. Some people become teachers on their own choice and for some teaching finds them. Some teach for livelihood and satisfy their daily needs out of the consideration that they get from their job. Just like any other job. Some make rules for themselves and at times they break rules for the cause of education and improving the well being of people. They are really regarded as great souls.

I keep pondering on the role of teachers and every time that I do this I learn new things, come across new perspective, discover new dimension and it takes me further to the very basic question. What really is the purpose of education? If teacher is able to provide a platform to a student to discover himself/herself, I feel to a very great extent a teacher has performed his/her duties. If a teacher has been able to provoke a student to search further, to think, to explore, I feel to a very great extent a teacher has performed his/her duties. If a teacher has been able to encourage a student to read further, explore further, think further, to a very great extent a teacher has been successful.

With these few stray thoughts on Teaching on this day that is celebrated as Teachers' Day in India I entered to my class of M Com 3rd semester and after that to M Com 1st semester. What I did with them today, I would like to share with you all.

I asked them - 'how many of you want to become teachers'. After a small lull, one, two, three, four....in total in both the classes some 15 odd students said they want to pursue teaching as a career. And then I asked them - 'According to you what qualities a teacher should possess'. The qualities that they thought of were like these:

a. Commitment and Dedication towards teaching
b. Open mindedness, accessible and friendly behavior
c. Urge to Learn
d. Good Reading Habit
e. Strong Communication skill and expression ability (with life examples)
f. Kindness, Patience, Motivating, Lively and Good Personality
g. Disciplined, Punctual, Honest, Unbiased

I also agreed on these qualities. One student also mentioned that a teacher must wear good clothes, should be well dressed. I never ever thought that this could also be one of the quality that students expect in a teacher. Yes I get reminded of one of our teachers who was an excellent teacher, taught us accounting while I was doing B Com, way back in 1985-86. Many times we tried to count the number of woolen suits he had and most of the time we failed. He was one of the best dressed person/teacher that I have ever come across in my life as student as well as, as a teacher.

Anyways, after elaborating little more on these qualities I asked them to look within themselves whether they really possess these qualities. If yes they can pursue and enjoy the career in teaching but if most of these qualities they do not possess, I wonder whether they would really make a good teacher. The world has been led by teachers through different rulers in different times. Knowledge power is the order of the day. It has led and would lead in the times to follow. Hence the role of a teacher is further going to be important. I salute all my teachers and students who have contributed and are contributing for improving me and making me learn new things every time I interact with them. 

Thanx a lot for each one of you who have been my teacher in any way. My students made my day...
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