Fifth of September is celebrated as Teachers Day in India. India has a tradition of giving a special status to teachers. The word “GURU” is itself so exalted; the place of a teacher is something even ahead of GOD. The teacher is only next only to mother and father. We have a long standing tradition of revering our teachers. “Guru Devo Bhava” has been the basis of our system of learning and our society has always looked up to our teachers to guide in both words and deeds. Their invaluable service in educating younger generation, moulding their character and nurturing good values have contributed to the cause of nation building. Throughout the ages, in our history, a teacher has been regarded as a role model who shows students the way to become good human beings and infuses a goal and a mission for life in them. It is the teacher who moulds the lives of students and gives the light of knowledge and ignites young minds. A good teacher can only give and give. Teachers are considered as sculptors, as they can shape the society from being a good one to a great one. The question arises here that whether still such traditions exists in our country. Times were, when the teaching profession was held in very high esteem. It was a matter of pride and honor to be a teacher. Things have changed radically.

It’s now time for the teaching fraternity to ponder upon the loopholes that have been developed in the system of teaching and learning. From my personal experience as a teacher I have learned that teaching is about relationship as well as pedagogy, and more to do with inter personal communication. To a far extend a teacher can only make a remarkable change in maintaining the positive meaning of the phrase “Guru Devo Bhava”. A teacher has to establish positive vibes with his students and should feel the delightful chemistry being generated with the relationship. A teacher can make his classroom rocking with immense flow of knowledge by eliminating all the resistances coming in midst of the teacher, teaching situation and student.

Teachers are expected to provide considerable freedom to the children to develop their fullest capacity as well as inspire students to imbibe socially relevant values and attitudes and affection. Promotion of critical thinking and concern for others in the budding minds has assumed the highest importance in the present day context of competition and globalization. The importance of the role of teachers in this regard needs reiteration. Teachers must provide opportunities to students to observe, question, enquire, debate and arrive at conclusion to create new ideas. A teacher, beside the duty of an educator and scholar to provide learning settings to enhance cognitive development and intellectual achievement, it becomes apparent that non-intellectual factors also deserve teacher’s attention. Creating an emotional and caring climate is conductive to high quality learning and also very challenging for the teachers. Each individual teacher creates a learning climate either through formal or informal interaction with students. The quality of relationship set up between teachers and students, or within an institution is referred to as its climate, the way the students feel about it. Teachers either inside the classroom or outside the classroom, exert a great deal of influence on establishing a good quality teacher-student relationship. Teachers who take the time to develop positive relationships with their students will see improvement in their students both academically, behaviorally and emotionally.

It is easy to make simple things difficult but difficult to make complicated things easy. It requires good teaching style, effective communication skills and appropriate soft skills to make difficult things easy and enjoyable to learn. The process of learning must be enjoyable. It must not be dry, boring and painful. It is important for a teacher to remember two pedagogical processes.

(i) A teacher should be capable of making movement of the molecules in the mind of his students and light the spirit of renewal in their hearts. Getting knowledge that is inside the student to move out, facilitating inward discovery and help students to unlock the treasure ie to make them creative.

(ii) The next part is imparting knowledge from outside into the student. Conductive environment and making students interested, eager to learn, teachers proficiency in teaching skills and knowledge in the subject will help the teacher to achieve this target easily.

Apart from these , some teachers teach for mere getting salary. For them teaching is like any other job, a profession rather than a passion. For them teaching is only a means of earning livelihood. Some teachers are obsessed with recognition and are always ready to follow any shortcut route to achieve their target. They crave for awards recognitions, titles, colleague recognition, and honors. The highest categories of teachers are those who win respect-respect of their students, parents, colleagues and respect of the society. They are passionate about teaching and are loved by their students.

The time has come for all the teachers to introspect and see within themselves, where they belong. Each teacher should ask this question to their inner self that, “Am I a good teacher? Have I won the respect of my students?”A good teacher is a friend…A teacher need to be kind, trusting and friendly towards his students.Let’s hope for a future where our teachers become GURUS by teaching students passionately and rule in the class, not as a dictator, but rather ruling the hearts of the children. It is the language of hearts that is best understood by students leaving a lasting impression on their minds. 

Bency Joy
PhD Scholar in Psychology