Teachers play a very important role in a student’s life. As a teacher, one must bring out the best in students and inspire them to strive for greatness. Students are considered as the future of the nation and humankind, and a teacher is believed to be a credible guide for their advancement. Not only do they guide students in academics or extracurricular activities, but teachers are also responsible for shaping a child’s future, making him/her a better human being. A teacher imparts knowledge, good values, tradition, modern-day challenges and ways to resolve them within students. A good teacher is an asset to the students.
It used to be simple before. A teacher was seen as a lecturer or someone who delivered knowledge and conducted tests. A teacher was perceived as someone who had answers to every question possible, a gatekeeper of all the resources and information too. A decade ago, teachers were responsible for delivering information. But that was all before the introduction of the internet or digital media. Information is now easy to access. The ocean of data is before us with just a few keystrokes away.
A teacher’s presence in a student’s life can boost their morale and guide them to be more valuable in life. Now to perform this task perfectly, a teacher must possess certain qualities like he/ she should be impartial and must treat all the students equally. Must be an embodiment of patience. Since the pace and speed of learning is different from one student to other, it is very important to understand students, their skills, talent, memory and treat them individually to guide them towards the best and a teacher must have problem-solving skills to help students overcome their challenges.
Education has changed a lot in recent times. It’s more interactive now with the intrusion of digital media. The new-age of technology like artificial intelligence, augmented reality are opening a new dimension in education. But there is a large role that the teacher has to play here. They are no more seen as the only keeper of information. Information is already shared and students have chewed them, digested them.
Teachers can gear up to help students to understand knowledge and concepts outside the textbook. More the teachers interact with the students with viable, real-life examples, incidents, etc. students will have a better understanding and more awareness of the subject. With real-life examples, they can apply their lessons to many subjects. The teacher has to be a consistent guide to help the student in graduating from one lesson to another.
Have you ever heard about “Problem of plenty”? Today’s students face that while choosing a career. There are so many options available and for an inexperienced student that it becomes really difficult to steer their career in the right direction. A teacher is a big help here. They have undergone similar experiences and they certainly know what will work best and what not. Students need to be guided to pick the best career that suits their talent, skill and give them the best platform to expose themselves without any inhibition. Due to the lack of career counselling, we are finding a lot of poor performances across the education sector in India. It’s not due to scarcity of skill or talent. The reason is deep-rooted and it goes straight to the lack of vision, experience, and smartness in choosing the right career.
The teacher can certainly save them from making the wrong decision. Choosing the right career is just the first step. A teacher has to play the role even beyond that. Students across the world face multiple challenges while choosing a career for themselves. A teacher has to stand by their students to help them overcome these challenges. Here, the primary job is to be empathetic with the students. Show care and nurture students, pay extra attention, be their best pals, show confidence to build the best relationship and extract the best out of them.
A teacher must enhance civilization while giving people the right tools to make informed decisions. They are here to bestow the power of “problem-solving skills” to the students. They are here to build up a bunch of “creative”, “Independent”, “Informed”, “Incisive” and “Innovative” individuals who can contribute to the society and build a better place for the next generation. This is a huge responsibility and a teacher has to guide the students and raise them as the leader.
Leadership is the most important trait for modern-day human beings. Leaders make connections and make everyone a part of their mission, a virtue and a quality that demands a special appreciation. Leadership involves initiative, and in the connected world, nothing happens till we step up and begin, until we start driving without a clear map. If there is confusion and chaos, the leader helps us to guide through towards the goal. Teachers have to play this decisive role to leave a deep impact on the lives of students and to make them the next leader. There is a lot more to a teacher than just a human being standing in a classroom to lecture students on how to find the square root of a number or sharpen an axe. What the world needs is someone to persuade the coming generation in a positive way to push or encourage students or create a space where they want to learn better for themselves. That’s the new role of a teacher.
Students aren't consumers of facts. They are active creators of knowledge. Schools aren't just brick-and-mortar structures -- they're centers of lifelong learning. And, most important, teaching is recognized as one of the most challenging and respected career choices, absolutely vital to the social, cultural, and economic health of our nation. Today, the seeds of such a dramatic transformation in education are being planted. Prompted by massive revolutions in knowledge, information technology, and public demand for better learning, schools nationwide are slowly but surely restructuring themselves.
(The author is a regular columnist at Rising Kashmir and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)