Being an educator isn’t just a task, it’s a privilege. It goes beyond textual knowledge and information. It transcends the boundaries of merely educating. It calls upon a person to inspire, create a thirst for knowledge, risk, adventure and an open-mind.
We are products of our circumstances. Spending nearly a quarter of our lives on learning in educational institutes means we are shaped an influenced to a large extent by the experiences we have there. The role models we have, the ideas and concepts we develop, our hobbies, aspirations and deeds all boil down to the environment that set the tone for us when we were younger.
We don’t realize how tender and malleable a young mind can be; it’s easily to bruise but quick to recover and thrive. A lot of who we are years after we are done with our schooling and college days has to do with the impact our teachers, our educators have left on us. The responsibility they took into their hands to make us the best individuals we could be today.
It’s not an easy task being a teacher; it requires time, effort, altruism and a Herculean amount of patience to be able to invest energy into somebody else’s life to ensure their personal growth. However, the best of the teachers pull this off with certain qualities about them that we, as grateful students look back on and recognize them for:
At the tender age of 3, I was a shy and introverted child, one that was extremely attached to my mother. If guests came over and tried talking to me, I would hide behind my mother’s legs and she would answer for me. Needless to say, she was concerned when I first started going to play school because I would bawl and want to go back home.
All this became extremely easy with a teacher that offered a sense of maternal comfort. She wasn’t impatient or irritated with my silly questions and demands and understood I was in a new, uncomfortable environment. Slowly, I became accustomed to having her around as a quiet pillar of support.
Kids need this support even later on in life when they are teenagers and have doubts with problems. An approachable teacher makes it a whole lot easier to talk to and reason with than one that is strict and indifferent to your needs.
#9: They get down to your level
They are forever oozing knowledge and tall facts you couldn’t have imagined stumbling upon but they’re not condescending when they need to get back to explaining the fundamentals to you.
A good teacher may have massive amounts of knowledge in his or her field of expertise but will not patronize you for not knowing. They will put themselves readily in your shoes and revisit the ABCs, reassuring you the importance of not rushing through with anything and learning at your pace.
#8: They don’t just teach, they counsel
Which means they don’t just read a few chapters from a book and then assign readings and homework, they know you as a person. They know you can speak more than one language, that your parents are going through a divorce and that your imagination runs wild and free like nobody else’s.
They aren’t just a passive bystander in your life, they are ingrained in it and are available for advice and a listening ear whenever you need them. They make an effort to break out of the teacher mold to try be a compassionate friend you can lean on.
#7: They understand your needs as a learner
They understand every child is unique and must follow through at their own pace for the maximum amount that they can learn and apply to their lives.
They know your Math might be weak, but you are stellar at school spelling bees and run track like a champion. They recognize your shortcomings but accept them anyway because that’s what makes you you. You’re not perfect and they are willing to accept that.
They won’t push you to the extent that you will clam up and be uncomfortable, they let you thrive at your own rate.
#6: They are friendly but firm
Being a disciplinarian is knowing how to be fond of your student who you are responsible for without letting that fondness overshadow your rational behavior.
A good teacher will not mix emotion and logic. If the child strays a wrong way, they won’t be afraid to point it out or actively work on the problem with the child to improve it. Their concern shows through their actions.
#5: They are flexible
They have fixed schedules and routines for you to follow through with but they are no strangers to exception. They know when they need to give you time to catch up and breathe and when they should be leasing you the loose rope.
#4: They create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for learning
They obliterate issues like bullying by stressing on teamwork and group learning and ensure the classroom environment encourages friendships, learning and an open-environment.
#3: They teach you the world beyond the books
Textual knowledge isn’t the whole world, and they make you curious to explore outside of it. They teach you the essence and importance of staying alert, acquiring general knowledge and the importance of the world outside of your comfort zone.
They teach you about ethics, values and morals your books couldn’t and apply book knowledge to a real world understanding.
#2: They teach you to challenge your limits
They know when there is room for improvement and help you strive for it by going above and beyond.
They create a hard working, devoted, committed student by making you push for nothing less than the best.
#1: They teach you to take failure sportingly and learn from it
They know it’s natural you fall behind sometimes and they teach you to take winning and losing in a sporting fashion and to take neither to your head or your heart.
There’s more to life than petty competition, and that is personal growth. A good teacher knows that.