Role of Teachers

The birth day of Dr. Radhakrishnan, second President of India is celebrated as Teachers’ day. A teacher is a sculptor who shapes his students into a beautiful icon. Every knowledgeable person cannot make a good teacher. Knowing is one thing and teaching is the other. A teacher trains the mind and a railway guard minds the train, goes the saying. A student starting from First Standard will be in a formative stage. That is the stage when a student can be moulded properly. If students do not get proper attention from the teachers, next only to parents, they swerve from right path. It is very difficult to resurrect the students who swerve from right path. There is a saying “a plant that cannot be bent cannot be bent when it grows into a tree”. Phylip Wylie, an American writer of works ranging from pulp science fiction, mysteries, social diatribes and satire to ecology and the threat of nuclear holocaust, says “One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen”. “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”, says Thomas Jefferson, an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Really honesty and sincerity are the first chapter that a student has to begin with.
The onus of making a student honest and sincere in his life rests with a good teacher. To make it possible, a teacher should be sincere and honest. Once a man approaches a teacher who visited his village with a request to counsel his son to give up the habit of eating jaggery. The teacher takes 8 days time and asks the man to come with his son after 8 days. The teacher himself was addicted to the habit of eating jaggery. He took the time to give up the habit of eating jaggery by himself in the said 8 days. Later he advised the son of the man to give up the habit of eating jaggery.
Authority to advise others comes from the truthful life one leads. A teacher has to educate the heart. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education, says Aristotle. One should pay heed to the advice of good teachers. Failing which it would be the beginning of the end of approach to correct path. An African proverb says “Ears that do not listen to advice accompany the head when it is chopped off”. A good student with his good questions can make a good teacher to his teacher. If the teacher knows the answer, he will answer. If not, he will take time to go in search of answer before answering the student. Robert John Meehan says, “Your life as a teacher begins the day you realise that you are always a learner”. It is literally true. A teacher need not be the only person who teaches in the class room. A good officer giving guidelines to his subordinates can also make a good teacher. First teacher in the life of any person is mother. And I am proud to be father of a teacher.
K.V. Seetharamalah

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