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Students and their teachers
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Students and their teachers

‘ The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires ’… William Arthur Ward

Post by on Wednesday, December 22, 2021

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Teachers have been highly esteemed for centuries and for a good reason. Teachers are responsible for taming and nurturing young children and making out of them great men and women. From times immemorial Patshalas and Gurukuls have existed where students and teachers have lived as family. There have been times when teachers were respected more than anyone else.  A teacher student relation used to be full of respect, love and understanding. It was sacred, pure and full of compassion.

Today we are in the Age of Education where acquiring knowledge is easy. Today, there are lakhs of schools and colleges. The means to teach have become very sophisticated. But still there is something lacking, something that makes teachers, teachers and students, students. Today children know it all! They are smart, well informed and evolved in every sense. This thus has given them a false sense of superiority. They refuse to acknowledge teachers, or for that matter anybody, better than themselves. They slight teachers as people who preach too much! It is not that they are not amiable; they merely have lost reverence for elders. They no longer see teachers as their only source of knowledge and thereby their only means of improvement.

Television and the changed society has infused in the young lot a different notion of everything. If rudeness is presented as cool, why would children be polite? If being fashionable is presented as the way to be, how could children endure being simple.  When it is presented that boys without six pack abs or girls without zero figures or immaculate skin are not worth an existence, how can the vulnerable youngsters be stopped from going into depression. When attires are paid more attention to than characters on TV, why would the teenagers not spend more than what their parents could afford on vanities? How can youngsters be expected to turn out into saints when the people they idolize are not.  Also when uncertainty prevails youth are unsure of themselves, they find themselves in the middle of nowhere. 

But it will not be fair to blame the students only. Teachers also have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. It is their duty to give the students whatever is best for them. Our grandfathers and fathers still talk of their old teachers with warm regard. The teachers of the past were dedicated to the extent that they would go to any lengths to impart education. To them their students were more to them than their own children.

Are the teachers of today really discharging their responsibilities to the best of their abilities? Are they really capable of loving their students despite their faults and willing to correct them at all costs? Are the teachers of today high enough not to hold any grudges or prejudices against their pupils. Are they impartial and non judgmental? Unfortunately the answer would not come in affirmative for most of the above questions.


There are people today who claim to be teachers and yet do not care for their students as they must. There are teachers who are not careful enough when dealing with their pupils and thus knowingly or unknowingly impart wounds that can hardly be healed. A teacher can both titivate and ruin lives. They have more to do than just teach children to read and write. As rightly said by Horace Mann, ‘A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.  

Today teachers are doing nothing to re-establish the bond between students and teachers. This is because most teachers become teachers not because of choice but because of the circumstances. A person who never wanted to teach can never do justice to his profession. If he is unhappy, he cannot become a source of joy. It must be made clear that this does not hold true for all, there are hundreds of teachers who are fulfilling their duties most wonderfully, who have indeed ignited the light of knowledge in many hearts and continue to do so in a magnificent way. 

The need of the hour is to teach students proper values and to make them capable of judging between right and wrong and to filter the stuff shown on TV.  Religious knowledge makes children more down to earth and respectful. The teachers in turn need to consider that the young folk are vulnerable and learn to forgive and not hold grudges. It is important to understand that being a teacher is the most difficult job perhaps next only to being a mother. A person should only be a teacher when he wants to be one and not when there is no other occupation left.


(The Author is Educationist and Columnist)

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