A Teacher is like a Candle…
It is sad that we live in a society that devalues the vocation of teaching. Yet, what arouses hope is that even in this age of ‘profit and loss’ there are young learners who refuse to be demotivated, and seek to become teachers.
By Ishita Kiroula
A teacher is someone who guides her students; she does not ‘teach’ them. To quote Swami Vivekananda: ”Within man is all knowledge, and it only requires an awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher.” And this is immensely crucial.
Earlier, I used to think that a teacher’s job is to make children learn, to impart all the knowledge that she possesses to her students. However, with the passage of time my perspective has begun to change. I admit that being a teacher is not an easy job; it means a lot of responsibilities; furthermore, responding and catering to the needs of every student— and that too in a class size of about 40-50 students— is not so easy. Yet, as I feel, a teacher ought to develop a cordial relationship with her students so that they can always come back to her with their problems and other things that they want to share. Fear and punishment should not have any place in a classroom. A teacher has an important role to play in encouraging children to participate productively, promote healthy interaction in the class. Being a teacher also means honouring each child, respecting the diversity in the classroom, and accepting the individual differences.
An ideal classroom should be a place where, as Tagore would have said, “the mind is without fear and the head is held high.” And to create such an environment is the biggest challenge for a teacher. A teacher, one should not forget, plays a very important role in the life of a child; a sensitive and accepting attitude, needless to add, is a must on the part of the teacher. In this context I would like to a share an article that I have read lately; it is about a couple who were teachers, and their six daughters who too became teachers in different schools. According to the eldest daughter, it was due to her parents that she chose to become a teacher. Both her parents were dedicated teachers, and they were loved by their students, and this was what inspired her. The article touched my heart. I feel it is really commendable to be an inspiration for all, especially for your students. No wonder, I feel inspired to celebrate the vocation of teaching.
According to me, teaching is not just a profession; it is an opportunity to learn; it is a continual process of becoming. It is a journey; you keep evolving throughout by self reflection, and you continue to learn from your students. I would like to conclude by a thought:
“A teacher is like a candle guiding students in their journey.”