Someone who taught well; cleared all your doubts and answered every question no matter how foolish or irrelevant that question was? You liked those teachers even though they were strict disciplinarians and sticklers about submitting assignments on time. Why? Because they explained everything extremely well?
Or was that teacher your favourite one who often came late to class; was frequently absent and gave plenty of free time?
Personally, my favourite teachers were the ones who were approachable and friendly; teachers who were patient and always wore that cheerful look of tolerance. Moreover, I was always in awe of well-groomed teachers – Oh yes, I noticed how well they draped the sari, and how perfectly those pleats were pinned in place; the colour of the lipstick, size of the heels and how perfectly she wore her eyeliner; those eyes that twinkled often, either in amusement or mischief. I followed every word she spoke, the way she pronounced the words and also how often she smiled at me.
So, we can see that everybody has that favourite teacher in school life for some reason or the other. I know someone who liked a particular teacher because she often asked him to stand outside the class where he had plenty of fun with friends.
So let’s find out what makes a teacher the favourite one with students?
But before that, we need to know that there might be favourite teachers, but there is no perfect teacher.
That is because the day a teacher claims to be perfect; she will stop growing completely. She will assume that she is so perfect that she does not have to strive towards improvement and betterment. Just the way students are always learning, teachers are also consistently learning and growing.
A teacher plays an important role in the educational system because h/she inspires learners to be cultured, knowledgeable, independent and world worthy. A teacher thrusts them forward in such a manner that students can function without the teacher; they can make wise decisions; they can distinguish right from wrong, and they have the courage to do new things and pursue their passions relentlessly.
And for that teachers have to be role models and consistently endeavour to imbue in themselves virtues that will help them in fulfilling these goals in a place we call - ‘the classroom’.
To be an ideal teacher, he/she must have a great sense of humour. This means that a teacher should be willing to look at the positive side of everything that happens in a classroom without losing temper. She should also have the courage to laugh at herself if she makes a mistake while teaching instead of getting embarrassed or angry.
Teachers who wish to be one of the best must have good knowledge about the subject they are teaching. They should consider themselves to be diligent scholars and not accomplished educators who have learnt it all – who know it all. Teachers should always be eager to read more and upgrade themselves to fit in today’s academic world that is consistently and irrevocably changing and modifying. She should learn different ways in which her subject can be taught so that learners look forward to learning with enthusiasm.
An ideal teacher should always be flexible. If learners are not in a mood to study that day , which happens occasionally, h/she should not be rigid in attitude to somehow start that lesson and also complete it, indifferent to the fact whether students are paying attention to it or not. It is always a better part of wisdom to first find out the reason for that lethargy and disinterest, discuss it and then get back to teaching after bringing back that ‘affable mood’ in class.
Popular teachers are good communicators. They are clear in thoughts about what is expected of the students in their class. They are diligent and hard-working. And this is conveyed through their work in a very positive manner. Students also respond in an affirmative manner when teachers are able to communicate to the learners, objective and goals that have to be met in that subject.
An ideal teacher is always positive, inside and outside the classroom. This positive attitude can be seen and felt by everyone around them. Such teachers inspire positivity in others also. They convey to others through their work and appearance that nothing is impossible and where there is a will, there is always a way. They never look down at failed attempts, but rather lend a hand to others to stand up after falling.
Teachers who wish to be role models in the lives of their students are always seen smiling. Students consider such teachers to be open and approachable. This trait is often noticed when teachers share with learners how they felt in a particular situation and how it was dealt by them. This attitude opens vistas of communication between teachers and learners because students can connect with teachers emotionally. And right emotions help students to be better learners.
An ideal teacher who is willing to grow and learn makes consistent effort to make the topic h/she is teaching extremely interactive. This is done by relating theory to practice. When a teacher introduces activity based learning in the class, it takes away fear and antagonism if the topic or concept is difficult. It also makes room for fun and interest if the topic is uninteresting.
And last but not the least; ideal teachers are always pleasantly dressed. Such teachers take good care of personal hygiene and are always well groomed. They wear the kind of clothes that is acceptable in the school where they are teaching. Having the right body language is equally important along with right grooming because it speaks a lot about the personality and intention of teachers. The body language of a teacher should not be offensive or aggressive that can put students off learning.
About the authorKavita Bhupta Ghosh
Faculty (Teacher and German Pasch Project Coordinator)
Delhi Pubic School Bangalore South
And author of ‘Wanted Back-bencher and Last-ranker Teacher’