Teaching profession is said to be one of the noblest profession and teachers are said to be nation builders. Ancient India was considered a heaven for knowledge imparted by great teachers of all times. They are people who are responsible for the values and knowledge being imparted to each and every student. Teacher’s day is celebrated almost all over the world on different days and in India it is being celebrated since 1962 on 5th September. The day commemorates the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan, a philosopher, a teacher and the first Vice-President of Independent India, for his significant contribution to the field of education.
Teacher’s day is being celebrated to remind society at one hand about the importance of teachers in the society towards nation building through imparting education, life values and character building and at the other hand to make teachers aware about the important role they have to play. Each and every teacher at any level of education system has a role to play in imparting knowledge, subject knowledge, life values and character to the students. To make teaching process more effective and satisfying to the students and society, every teacher should do self reflection at regular interval of times if not daily.
When one has taken teaching as a profession then every teacher should work hard to be a good teacher. Most of the teachers in the profession are just pulling the strings of teaching without much interest and dedication. Teaching can be quite satisfying for people who do it well. There are some universal qualities that are necessary for anyone who wants to teach effectively, whether they want to teach in an elementary school or a university. If any teacher possesses the following characteristics and qualities, he/she can become a very good teacher with large fan base.
- expert communication skills
- superior listening skills
- deep knowledge and passion for their subject matter
- the ability to build caring relationships with students
- friendliness and approachability
- excellent preparation and organization skills
- strong work ethic
- community-building skills
- high expectations for all
Although great teachers may also possess a number of other wonderful qualities (like a sense of humor, personality, flexibility, kindness, leadership, classroom management, a calm demeanor, experience, and the ability to multitask), these are the qualities the best teachers universally possess. Whatever may be written or said, teaching profession has taken a big nose dive in the society. Presently, teachers are not respected either by students or parents or in the society as they were few decades back. Changing social values in the present civilization do have a role in this to some extent but teachers themselves are more responsible for their present status in the society. A bad teacher does not properly prepare for presentations each day and is not fully knowledgeable about the subject matter. Such teachers go to classes unprepared and late, leave classes before time and pass class time by gossiping only. They are very irregular in their duties and sometimes hire dummies. Bad teachers are real and we can find them in many educational premises throughout the world. They are just waiting for the monthly salaries and other benefits without putting any efforts to teach or improve on their teaching. Unfortunately, students suffer the most with such teachers.
Teachers are said to the most fertile minds and souls on earth, therefore they should introspect themselves or have a self reflection on their teaching so that they can improve their teachings. Taking the time to reflect about one’s own teaching is one of the most effective ways to make positive changes in the classroom. Reflection is deliberate and structured thinking about choices. It is an integral step to improving practice. Through reflection, teachers can look clearly at their successes and struggles and consider options for change that greatly impact student learning. Self-reflection can allow one to:
- Develop a rationale for practice
- Assess student learning and understanding of concepts
- Identify strengths and weaknesses in a lesson plan
- Identify the degree to which instructional goals and objectives were met
- Assess how effectively one is performing
- Obtain information about class participation and student responses
- Assess pacing of the class and amount of student engagement
- Observe on-task behavior of students
- Identify one’s own delivery and presentation strengths, and areas for improvement
- Take informed actions about what is being done in the classroom and why it is being done
Developing a habit of self-reflecting will lead to a natural process of evaluation. Self-reflection is not about focusing solely on the negative; it also will enable us to think about what one does well. Self-reflection provides a structured method for also considering what is positive about one’s teaching. While bad teachers are and will always be a part of the education system but they should not be a convenient excuse for students not doing their part or giving up at the first sign of adversity. Students should realize that it’s as much their responsibility to make the teacher to teach them.