Friday, December 18, 2009

Towards the demeanor of a good teacher

Can i be a Successful teacher?
Perhaps this is the weariest thought that leaves most of the young teachers helpless. It is a well known fact that most of the students enter into the field of teaching, not because of their aptitude or attitude, but because of some external influence as it is one of the shortest ways to become a professional. But even then, an effective training and some teaching tips may help them to become an average teacher. Now, if one wants to become a successful teacher, what he wants firstly, is a positive attitude towards this profession. It is due to the lack of this attitude that most of the young teachers are less confident about their potentials. If one thinks himself weak, he will surely be weak and if he thinks himself strong, he will be strong. All of us know that education is the drawing out of the best in the individuals. But even after understanding this, we are unable to draw out our immense capacities that may help us to become successful teachers. We frequently forget that education is the manifestation of perfection already in men and thus becomes “educated ignorant!”
Success is not an accident. It is the result of one’s attitude and his attitude is a choice. Now all of you have made a choice- teaching. So next step is to build a positive attitude towards it.(now, if you have one, you can build up more!). The foundation of your success, regardless of your chosen field is attitude.
Now, how can you develop a positive attitude? For the development of that quality one should be disciplined and committed. One can be disciplined and committed by conditioning. It is our responsibility to condition ourselves to become a better teacher. Always do sufficient homework before going to class. Make it habit to provide something new and afresh to the students, other than the teaching content. For this one should have a good reading habit. In this way one can take out all his excellence in all the teaching situations. Remember, good habits are difficult to come by, but easy to live with and bad habits come easy but hard to live with. Good habits, when repeated will result in consistency and consistency takes discipline. Discipline takes self-control and avoids distractions. Thus one remains a focused person so that he will be highly conscious of his professional growth and expansion of his career features. And yes, any expansion is life and contraction is death. Remember, no one has ever achieved anything without discipline.
Commitment and confidence always go hand in hand. The moment we forget our commitment to a particular cause, we lose faith in ourselves and try to justify our weakness. The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
Another element one need is motivation. It is a drive that encourages action or feeling. If a person is enough motivated for his profession he will be ready to take up any hardship for the success his teaching. Without success there is little pride in our life, no enjoyment or excitement at work or at home. Then how can one stay motivated? One important tool that can be suggested is auto suggestion. Auto suggestions are positive statements made in our mind repeatedly before a particular task. For example before starting your class just say “I feel more confident today and can make this class a great success”. You repeat this at least 10 times before going to the class and feel the difference.
Motivation is like fire- it dies if you don’t add fuel to it. One’s fuel is his thoughts and belief. More than external motivation it is internal motivation that keeps one moving. External motivation is caused by external factors such as fear, incentives etc. This motivation vanishes, when these things go absent. On the other hand, internal motivation such as pride, sense of achievement, responsibility and belief, comes from within. It is one’s responsibility as a teacher to mould the character of his or her student and to support them on their weak points and of course, it shall be one of your internal motivations.
Apart from these things, there are some key points to bear in mind if one has to sparkle in his career as a teacher.
• Being a successful teacher means, practicing mutual respect, with your colleagues and also with students.
• Each soul is potentially divine. Really listen to them and answer to their questions clearly and respectfully. Realize that they are the dreams and expectations of their families.
• Expect to get the best from one’s students. Their minds are like bank. One can draw what they are fed with. So, in order to draw the best from them one has to give the best.
• A good teacher’s behaviors should not contradict their words. If there is no relationship between what one preach and practice, the students will feel sorry for their teacher.
• Have a sense of humor. Researches have consistently shown that good teachers have a sense of humor and they are able to use humor as part of their teaching methods to live up the class room.
• Have common sense. Good teachers are practical. They can size up a situation quickly and make an appropriate decision.
• Keep cool. There will be situations where you are tempted to yell or scream. But good teachers are able to resist this urge.
• Be an ordered person. If one is a disordered person in his private life, teaching will be probably uncomfortable for him.
• Have a command of the content. Teachers should have an in-depth command over the content they teach. They should be able to convey it to the students in a meaningful manner.
• Be a good manager of time. Time is the most precious resource a teacher has. Good teachers have learned to use this resource wisely. Life is short and we make it shorter by careless wastage of time.
• Good teachers can lead or follow as the situation demands. Good teachers are comfortable in being leader or follower.

Teaching is considered as the noblest profession. Why? All of us know that service to humanity is the noblest thing in this world. There is no other profession than teaching that help one to do this worship. Swami Vivekanada has once said, “Only those really lives who live for others. Others are more dead than alive”. So it is better to wear-out than to rust-out. So be proud of your profession and get ready to make your children lions with muscles of iron and nerves of steel. Purity, perseverance and patience sandwiched with love are the key to success. As Rabindranath Tagore quoted “Out of love this world is born, by love it is sustained, towards love it moves and into love it enter”. Thus purity in the thoughts, perseverance in the efforts and patience in the actions with a loving, caring heart will lead a teacher to successful professional life.

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