If I was asked a few years ago who my ideal teacher is, in all my naivety I would have answered with fervour –
“Professor Dumbledore! Any day! Oh no! it has to be McGonagall or probably Remus Lupin, any of them, I’m unable to put my finger on a single one.”
Having to write this article, I thought about the question again and I failed to find a better answer. This might sound a bit absurd to you but don’t get me wrong, I do not wish to indicate that my idea of an ideal teacher remains only in fantasy.
The qualities I have always adored in my professors seem to be a blend of the ones they evidently possess – connection, approachability and humility. The relationship between a student and her teachers should not be bound by the walls of a classroom. Teachers and students have to be friends beyond the classroom as well. I must say I wouldn’t have enjoyed mathematics or English Literature or as a matter of fact school at all if it were not for the intimacy and understanding I shared with my teachers. It was this bond between us (my teachers and me) that helped inspire me to strive for the best always.
One of the best parts of a student-teacher bond is the immense emotional support that you as a student can derive from your teacher. Another quality that you would like your teachers to have is that of approachability. No matter what your problems, small or big, you should be able to go up to your teacher and talk to them, seek advice from them. For us, especially adolescents, no problem is small and the teachers should understand that.
Usually for most students, teachers are their role models. But I ask why see teachers as role models? Wouldn’t it be better if we looked upon our teachers as our friends, supporters and confidants? Donning the role of a role model is a burdensome responsibility that will force both the student and the teacher to behave differently. When a student idolizes his/her teacher approaching that teacher becomes impossible, confiding in the teacher becomes difficult because a psychological distance is caused as the teacher is perceived to be out of reach. Instead as our friends, teachers are better place to understand us and help us build our own individualistic personalities.
The credit for providing the gateway to the outer world to broaden a child’s heart and mind should be given to a teacher. Reminiscing about all my teachers as I write this article while on a job as an assistant teacher, I have to admit that this profession is not an easy one at all. To impart knowledge calls for humility, a certain sense of modesty that does not invoke feelings of inferiority among students while maintaining professional hierarchy.
Having expressed myself in this article, I would also like to say that I do not want to box teachers into categories or ideal representations when I strongly wish for them to not do so for me.
It would be unjust to subject the educators unto anything but heartfelt gratitude.
Sakshi is an 18 year old student exploring diverse avenues during her gap year to witness the multitude of this universe staying true to her name’s meaning. She is using her gap year to volunteer and intern at various organizations related to Art and Literature. She can be reached at [email protected].