Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Gratitude to teachers

Teacher’s Day on September 5 is celebrated throughout India every year, to honour teachers for shouldering the tremendous responsibility to impart knowledge, inspire and instil human values, morals and ethics to students both young and old. Teacher’s day on September 5, falls on the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second president of India, who himself was a renowned teacher and a person of many great qualities and attributes. Dr. Radhakrishnan preferred to celebrate his 77th birthday in 1962 to honour teachers and it has continued since then. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, as the president of India (1962-67), had flown to Kohima on a helicopter in 1963 to officially declare Nagaland as the 16th state under the union of India. Dr Radhakrishnan was also a teachers besides being a philosopher and a devout follower of his faith. Deserving tributes are paid to teachers on Teacher’s Day through various official programmes.If earlier, teaching was restricted to making students literate, a few centuries later, it emphasised on problem solving and personality development etc. Today, teaching is more demanding and complex in a world of emerging ideas and technological development. What has changed today- learning is no longer the domain of class room teachers. Teachers also have to don multiple hats of being tutor, coach, mentor, counsellor, instructor, friend and more to play more dynamic role in means of learning, not just academic but also the mind-set of learners. As students have access to any information possible, there certainly is no need to “spoon-feed” the knowledge or teach “one-size fits all” content. Earlier, the internet turned the whole world into a global village. It was believed then, that internet has brought a far reaching revolution. The world has changed so much because of the digital revolution during the past few decades. Knowledge today is not a simple matter of imparting information but practical use of it. That is why skill development has also become another useful tool in education. This goes with the saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. As the world moves in high gear and as expectations rise higher; teachers have to be relevant to the emerging needs and trends. A great teacher is a gem and has impacted generations. Great teachers are always prepared. What sets apart teachers has been amply defined by American motivational writer William Arthur Ward, who described the four kinds of teachers: a mediocre teacher –who simply informs ; a good teacher-who explains; a superior teacher- who demonstrates and a great teacher- who inspires. Great teachers never stop learning. They read and keep themselves updated with new ideas to share with their students. They also know that adaptation is a good quality since individual personalities of every student differs and so recognise them as individuals who need to be approached effectively. Great teachers evolve and improve by learning new methods, new strategies and new technologies. They understand that being relevant is like a new curricula. While honouring teachers, it should also be a time for introspection among the fraternity on whether they accept the challenges for innovation and also what has been their collective contribution to society in Nagaland.