IF you are a teacher,……….?
Govinda Raj Bhattarai, Ph.D.
Professor of English, Tribhuvan University
A man should first direct himself in the way he should go. Only then should he instruct others, says Lord Buddha, considering the duty of a teacher. This is an age-old dictum, yet its value has never faded away, nor will it be so even in the distant future. Actually, a teacher practices examples, he should shun away from preaching only. His character and nobility, his personality and perseverance count thousand times, valuable than his degrees and diplomas. A teacher instills humane values in the learners, not merely does he teach the students the tricks of life, and he teaches them its mystery and beauty as well.
In modern sense, he becomes a facilitator pointing always at the ideal path—without enforcing, without coercing he should direct them, he doesn’t rule their mind, instead, wins thousand hearts. Psychologically, he attracts the learners towards a world of harmony, patience, love, courage and achievement. See, how the words of Galileo echo until today: You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.Therefore, let our students find the unending treasure of mystery and possibility lying within themselves, let us help them eschew away from sheer automata and mechanical repetitiveness because creativity has no repetition. The teacher will be truly a facilitator in modern sense.
All eternal messages are inscribed long ago. They echo in the ether time and again. A true teacher should listen to these words. Let us listen to Horace Mann: A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron. Let us stop and think, are we hammering on cold iron or are we stroking the budding flowers that may bear infinite color and smell and touch and feel?
Teaching is greatest of jobs on earth, a happiest moment to spend; only a luckiest person can internalize these values and thank God for appointing him or her for the noble task of being a teacher. It is the only moment when someone is face to face with innumerable souls with divergent interests and capacity, inclination, and probability. To live with these thriving souls, to talk with them and watch them grow every moment is a mystery, and a great joy.
A true teacher is a sage—performing humblest of duties on earth—of shaping innumerable souls in the mould of humanity, not in the format of an engineer, a doctor, a professor, a business person, a lawyer, or an administrator.
One should first of all learn these immortal values before being a teacher. It they fail to do so, they will justify Wilde’s saying: Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching. Are we also incapable of learning?
Of course, if we fail to understand the mystery of teaching, the glory of being a teacher and the beauty underlying it, we fail to learn, we are incapable of learning. A true teacher should never fail to learn.