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Qualities of a Good Teacher
Dr. Shehzad Saleem

The teachers of a society can play a pivotal role in the development of a nation. On them, therefore, rests its future. If they deliver, this future is surely going to be bright. However, ever since commercialism has stepped into this profession, a lot is left to be desired.

Here are some suggestions to this fraternity and to all those who in future aspire to join it.

1. A teacher must master the subject he or she is entrusted to teach. If a teacher is to inspire students and make them conceptually aware of the subject taught, this is an obvious given. Any slackness in this will not only damage the reputation of the teacher, it will also make students lose interest in the subject.

2. Not only should a teacher be very adept in the subject taught, he or she should also try to make teaching techniques very attractive. The pedagogy adopted should capture the interest and attention of the students. In this regard, experiential and activity-based teaching can work wonders since they are very interactive and also make students retain most of the content taught since it becomes an experience they live through.

3. Teachers must have a high moral character and ethical conduct. They must try to become an embodiment of noble traits and high ideals. They must remember that it is their unwritten commitment to their students to make them better human beings besides being proficient in the subject. They should try to be truthful, honest, humble grateful, sympathetic, charitable, generous, selfless, devoted and morally courageous. If they show these traits, they will have laid the foundations of a very upright and morally strong new generation.

4. Teachers must be well equipped in the art of emotional intelligence and empathy. They should try to use this skill in guiding their students and take a personal interest in solving their personal problems.

5. Teachers should pay special attention to weak students of the class and give them extra time and coaching to overcome their shortcomings. Every class has below par students. However, the way to bring them at par with their class mates is not through scolding and rebuke. It should be through compassion, taking pains and giving more time to them.

6. Teachers must try and help their students in discovering their inner potential and aptitude. More often than not, students are unaware of their inner talent and need guidance and aptitude testing techniques. If teachers are able to do this, they will do a great service to their student fraternity because in this way they will be able to make their students potential high achievers in life.

7. In each class there are students who are very intelligent and much ahead of their class mates. At times they pose questions to their teachers to which they may not have an immediate answer. The quality of a great teacher is that he or she is always ready to learn from brilliant students by re-evaluating and rethinking the data they have.

8. Teachers must keep themselves abreast with new developments and researches in the subjects they teach. Knowledge has ever-increasing frontiers and it is the right of students that they be taught the latest update in a subject.

9. One of the biggest contributions teachers can make is to inculcate critical thinking in their students. Critical thinking starts with a yearning for the truth and may lead to new discoveries and phenomena.

10. Teachers must never snub their students if they ask questions. On the contrary, they must always encourage questions from their students. This sharpens the curiosity and inquisitiveness in them and makes them vibrant thinkers.



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