Thursday, July 2, 2009

How To Become A Good Teacher?

Education – A wonderful entity that has been quietly sitting behind every man and becoming the cause for his victory or failure. For a man, his actions and their consequences reflect his interest, knowledge and attitude towards that particular work. An artist’s oeuvre not only portrays beauty but also his perspiration, love towards his work, and attitude towards the theme he chose. In the similar way, a man’s education and the way he was brought up would influence the outcome of his actions and behavior. Let me narrow down to a more specific term, “the way to bring up a man during his education” rather than the most general term, “education”.

If I isolate this term for research I would end up with several intangible representations like, through love, behavior, attitude, rationality and so on to concentrate. But, the root lies in a single word, and that is the influencing factor of all the above mentioned terms. It is none but pedagogy.A teacher, at the primary stage of a man’s life, when he was a child, is next to his parents, a hero, a role model, the one whose actions would be stamped in his mind. A teacher has the power to make him a great philosopher or even a terrorist. Every utterance of a teacher, though small, may bring about an incredible change in a child’s mind. In particular, the scholastic days plays a major role. I wish to emphasize the importance of the paradigm a teacher chooses for teaching his students.

The goal of teaching, as said by Einstein, is to train the mind to think. A teacher must not immure his teachings within the walls of the class room. His discussions should not be confined to book content He must be able to soothe the boredom resulting from teaching without interludes, by his badinage and interesting anecdotes. Pupils have affinity to interesting stories, no matter what level they are in, maybe a school student, a college student or a professional. Everybody likes to hear stories.Initial class of any subject must start with a beautiful, fresh story related to the subject that would be taught next. A teacher needs to realize that there is no substitute for a humorous approach with a smiling face always. Smile would, not only grab everyone’s attention but also mesmerizes one to follow his path. It would be difficult to enjoy the pleasure of grabbing the students’ attention. Remember, the secret lies only in the ability to interconnect the subject under study, with day-to-day life. Supposing, the teacher teaches physics, it is not a sin to disclose the anecdotes about the great philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, who always emphasizes the essence of commonsense, which may expose his pupil to a new world called philosophy and to know the importance of commonsense or logical thinking towards any real-world entity (For his physics too!). This would rather be a better path to bring up, than to set limits for a student’s learning process, in the name of curriculum.

A teacher should play the role of a teacher, a parent, a friend, a guide, a scientist, a philosopher, a judge, and many other. No other profession has had such kind of responsibilities encapsulated in a single profession. His talk should not be desultory. His teaching must tend to confabulation, rather than a mere lecture. He must let the students to talk by asking as many simple queries as possible to stimulate the real talents in them. If a student’s response appears to be inappropriate, he must accept that with a smile and correct, and not objurgate it. Applause should surround the student for any cogent response. A teacher should never be irascible and never utter a pejorative word at any instant. I have always been attracted by philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Confucius. I wish to mention Aristotle’s words in one of his greatest works, ‘The Nichomachean Ethics’. He says, “The man who is to be good must be well trained and habituated.” He talks about virtuousness and the only way to attain it is through education and what I say is good education could be obtained only from the pedagogy of a good teacher.
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