One might encounter the definitions of an Ideal teacher while reading the books by the great academics or the educationists and the limits they have put forth for an ‘Ideal teacher’, but one wonders; do they really exist in true sense? Ideal teachers may be a few; rather I would make my argument with fewer than few; since in application it is next to impossible to find a teacher that shall be perfect in scale set by the educationists for becoming an ideal one. Conversely, I do admit; ideal teacher is a myth is totally unacceptable; since I too have met not more but a few teachers during my studies that I might call an ideal. Although, it might be intriguing and striking, why the writer of this write-up is convinced in using a modal auxiliary ‘might’, when it stands less positive than positive. Well, the purpose behind using ‘might’ is clear like crystal; as the author is yet to find a teacher who shall be called perfectly ‘ideal’, or shall fall upon all the standards put forth by the think tanks for becoming uniquely ideal.
There is a saying in English ‘A leopard cannot change its spots’, which means, it is impossible to change the upbringing of a person; since rearing pays a pivotal part in the behaviour of a person; as said by psychology and psychologists. So, nurturing leaves a great impact on the personality of a person and it also has been found after many case studies in craniology that background of person leaving long lasting influence on him. Besides this, it has also been accepted universally that during the formative years of a child which john Locke calls Tabula rasa, a child perceives everything as truth and real. This reality hence, remains with him like an honest darling that never leaves him alone. While making the above lines into consideration, one can easily deduce, an upbringing has an impact on the life a human being. Now it becomes easy for us to accept that a man is an outcome of behaviour – that behaviour; which he has inculcated from his particular background or family.
A decade ago, I was reading an article of Prof Mohideen Hajin; although I do not exactly remember the title of the article but, do recall the content exactly, in which Prof. Hajin, was of the opinion that all the teachers are not angelic in nature. Hajin had discussed and debated extensively on the behavioural philosophy and background of a person, which according to him varies from person to person and family to family. Every family follows certain convictions, the traces of which can be easily found in its members; no matter, how far he/she goes or travels, the traces of the upbringing always remain. Even Islam says that it can be possible a mountain has moved from its mark but never is it possible a person shall change its breed.
Hajini, while defending his argument in that particular essay expresses, a student and parent cannot expect the same and similar conduct from all the teachers; given a profession and academic excellence has nothing to do with behaviour. A person may have achieved a great rank and position in respect towards his designation, but is possible that he can be mean in mannerism. So, making academic excellence or the elite profiles as the only parameters to judge a person shall be a sheer logical fallacy; hence will act as mire.
The aforementioned paragraphs might be startling; moreover, readers might be boggling to link the idea that I'm trying to make while blending the two ideas of ideal teacher with behaviour psychology together. But, let me tell my beautiful and charming readers the association of either idea was very much important; as my experiential learning has drawn a conclusion that getting away from behaviour is deadly impossible, that’s why even after so many professional and trained courses a teacher does not deliver what he is supposed to and takes his job not a prophetic profession but an unexciting one.
Here, I would like to mention few incidents related to teachers--- A young energetic student once in praise of a teacher told me an advice advised by his teacher, he while elevating him next to divinity said, the said teacher had counselled the whole class and while counselling advised that they should never leave a seat for any person; not matter, the standing person be an old worn-out woman, furthermore, since then the said student had not left his seat for anyone. It captivated me to ask what the age of that teacher was when he advised you. He in his reply assumed 30 or below. I felt to it useless to make him understand with Islamic knowledge or moral science, so I asked him a question, “if your mother would be standing in the bus and I shall be sitting on a seat; what shall you expect?” The young boy didn’t reply the question but I’m sure he had understood what I was pinpointing.
After passing my grade 8th I was enrolled in the nearby Higher Secondary, where a lecturer of jolly nature students would say, although, I didn’t find him jolly, humorous or with great presence of mind but, did find, he had a good slang register which he would use before his students irrespective of gender and the irony is he was the students favourite given he would come to their level of teens. However, I knew that the lecturer is fit for the slums that must be civilized and educated like the lecturer. I would like to conclude my article with a teacher whom I hold with a great reverence and admiration, who is not only humble but also a great instructor that is difficult to find in this era, but despite all these qualities I stammer to call him an ‘ideal teacher’ given his smoking habit which he enjoys before his students without caring what the teacher of teachers Prophet Mohammad (SAW) has said, “teachers/parents are always imitated by their disciples/ students.”
In short, an idea teacher is confined to books and pages only, since man by nature is erroneous and shall commit mistakes. He is not any angel that has a fixed divine knowledge, a man shall have to learn from cradle to grave, but making a teaching to the level of ‘ideal' and considering the profession the paragon of perfection is unacceptable and indigestible; as to err is human and to forgive divine.
(The author is RK Columnist and writes Sunday's Special. He can be reached on: email@example.com)