“Perfection” is the pursuit to refine what we view as “clawing inadequacy”. We attach subjective value to people through layers of expectations, strung together with their ability (or inability) to inspire us while imparting fragments of their acquired knowledge. It’s no secret that everyone who walks into our lives teaches us something. However, some people pursue teaching as a profession, something to do daily for a living. Teachers tend to have the highest influence on their students, a direct or implied effect on the people they become, the values and social habits they learn and impart. Growing up, we always had preferences for teachers – the young teacher, the cool teacher, the funny professor, the inspirational teacher or the motivating coach. As a student myself, I present to all, my “perfect” recipe of an “ideal” teacher.
(Disclaimer: beware amateurs! The recipe may be more complex and demanding than it appears.)
1. ½ litre of creativity
2. ¾ cup of patience
3. 2 full cups of tolerance
4. 5 cups of open-mindedness
5. 3 tablespoons of skill, technique and ability
6. A dash of motivation
7. A drop of inspiration
8. 300 grams of all-purpose understanding and empathy (brand suggestion: Child/Adolescent Psychology)
- Pre-heat the oven to 360° of experiential and theoretical knowledge.
- Fill a glass to the brim with creativity.
- Fill another glass with the ability to hone skill and confidence in students.
- Take an empty bowl and pour out the two glasses carefully in order to avoid spilling the crucial liquids.
- Mix the liquids with a tablespoon of skill for 2-5 minutes, until technique and ability begin to surface. Avoid mixing too aggressively, for excessive blending may lead to the teacher becoming rotten with too much focus on personal goals, a pungent smell of agenda and an aftertaste of pressurized, unhappy students.
- Leave the mixture in the refrigerator of “passion to teach” for one hour.
- Take out the mix from the fridge only if the smell of “enthusiasm work” is prominent.
- Then, slowly and gradually pour ¾th cup of patience and 300 grams of all-purpose “understanding” and “empathy” (from our favourite brand of Child and Adolescent psychology) while beating the mixture with an electronic whip.
- Continue whipping the batter until it becomes stiff. Then add 2 full cups of tolerance and 5 cups of open-mindedness.
- Now use a spatula of love and kindness to fold the batter for 5 minutes and sprinkle it with a dash of motivation and a drop of inspiration.
- Place the batter in the oven of knowledge for half an hour to allow it to rise and feed young and hungry minds.
- Refrigerate the warm and perfect dough and serve it with compassion!
Mistakes to avoid
- Do not heat the oven of knowledge to more than 360° in order to avoid burning the batter with vanity and acidic superiority complex.
- Do not pour more than ¾th cup of patience, for a teacher with more patience than necessary will lead to the students exploiting her.
- Avoid adding partiality or unfairness as these can breed insecurity amongst the less preferred students and can result in a cake too sweet for one, but too bitter for another.
- Value education, basic and social etiquettes, motivation and inspiration should all be present in proportions enough to satiate the parched and ravenous students.
- While pouring ¾th cup of patience and 300 grams of all-purpose understanding and empathy, make sure not to throw it all in at once and pour it gradually in order to avoid making the batter too soft.
- To ensure recipe success, use non-judgmental, unsalted butter. Use it to grease the tray before carefully layering it with the batter to guarantee a more welcoming teacher.
- Use thick oven mitts while pouring the batter into the tray to avoid contaminating it with prejudiced opinions and illogical thought processes.
- Use a net to sift motivation as the teacher must be well-versed with the type of motivation that works for students. For example, reverse psychology may be too demotivating for some students and thus the teacher must comprehend this and use appreciation and acknowledgement for such students instead of challenging them.
- Level off the dough before placing it in the oven to allow the batter to settle down equally so as to gain sufficient knowledge from various areas. However, the dough may rise higher in some sections due to specialization of skillset and knowledge. This must be respected and students must learn the most from these areas.
- The cake must not be refrigerated for longer than 2 hours after fully baking it as it may eventually freeze and adopt the habit of a “cold shoulder” towards the quotidian problems of children. Some warmth in the cake must be retained and valued, for it can result in reassuring security for several students.
- One ideal teacher.
- Several well-taught and well brought-up students with oozing intelligence and willingness to learn from and contribute to a vibrant community!
A perfect cake cannot exist, for a perfect amount of each ingredient is impossible to put together. However, a very good cake can definitely be baked if the ingredients are about right according to our taste buds. In fact, the good cake may seem better than the perfect cake because the former always has some room for improvement, and is striving to grow and become better. Similarly, an ideal teacher may not be humanly possible to coexist with but a good teacher who acknowledges her shortcomings and seeks to outgrow and overpower them to become better, sets an ideal example for her students to never be a full cup, but one that always has space to incorporate more positives!
Kriti Mehra, an 18-year-old student, is a clichéd coffee-shop reader and writer with an interest for anything topical/socio-political, and therefore is pursuing Literature and Writing. She is immensely embarrassed, yet slightly proud of her vapid contribution to art and has been published online before. To read more, explore her blog https://kritinomics.wordpress.com/.