The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate ‘apparently ordinary’
people to unusual effort.
Teachers Day’s is here. We think
of our beginning s. The first thought the is still fresh in mind is the
experience, either good or bad, that we had in our early schooling. We fondly
think of some teachers who inspired us, convinced us of what we should be and
helped us to dream a good future both for ourselves and for the society.
Dan Rather said, “The dream
begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to
the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.”
The real heroes of our youngsters
are not the cine stars but the teachers who made an impact. Often this fact is
not brought out to the fore because there is no more glamour in the teaching
The task of the excellent teacher
is to stimulate ‘apparently ordinary’ people to unusual effort. The tough
problem is not in identifying winners: It is in making winners out of ordinary
Only teachers bring us a meaning
system that challenges our convictions. As a result we are able to have fair
ideals for life. History proves this point.
Most of the wise men we read in
history were teachers too. They not only had the right kind of knowledge to
impart; they had the right kind of teaching style. That is how they are
remembered in history.
There are many such good teachers
even today, full of wisdom and knowledge. Unfortunately we cannot see or
measure the fruits of their real teaching. It shows itself only after many
years of experience. It stays dormant Inside as meaning system till the right
moment comes. Jacques Barzun rightly pointed out, “In teaching you cannot see
the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so.” The fruits of our
education may be seen only after ten or twenty years.
This being so difficult, the
struggle of teachers is to bring out a result that they themselves cannot see
or experience. With a blind aim and hazy direction, they are asked to guide the
students. Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools.
The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task.
Great men believed in the power
of education. Aristotle wrote: “The fate of empires depends on the education of
youth.” Education in the key to any change or revolution and this lies with the
teacher. That is the power of the teacher. Amidst the entire struggle a teacher
undergoes in the classroom, he/she also realizes his/her power-power to change
the student and the society. The real power comes from empowering the students.
The secret to this power lies in
his own being rather than in his doing: What the teacher is, is more important
than what he teaches. This is the key to miracles in education.
The end of education is the
expert discernment in everything. A good education helps us to weed out the bad
from the good and the counterfeit from the genuine. This helps us to opt for
the good and the genuine when we make true life choices.
A good teacher is an instrument
in reaching this goal. William Arthur Ward said. “The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher
inspires.” A good teacher not only has the style of teaching but the right kind
of stuff and passes on the stuff in style to inspire.
Glorious Steve sdb