The role of a teacher in society is both significant and valuable.It has far-reaching influence on the society he lives in and no other personality can have an influence more profound than that of a teacher. Students are deeply affected by the teacher’s love and affection, his character, his competence, and his moral commitment. A popular teacher becomes a model for his students. The students try to follow their teacher in his manners, costumes, etiquette, style of conversation and his get up. He is their ideal.
He can lead them anywhere. During their early education, the students tend to determine their aims in life and their future plans, in consultation with their teachers. Therefore, a good and visionary teacher can play a prominent role in making the future of his students while as a corrupt teacher can only harm his students much more seriously than a class of corrupt and perverted judiciary, army, police, bureaucracy, politicians or technocrats. A corrupt and incompetent teacher in not only a bad individual, but also an embodiment of a corrupt and incompetent generation. A nation with corrupt teachers is a nation at risk; every coming day announces the advent of its approaching destruction.
The importance of a teacher as an architect of our future generations demands that only the best and the most intelligent and competent members of our intelligentsia be allowed to qualify for this noble profession. It is unfortunate to find that generally the worst and the most incapable people of the society find their way into this profession. Anyone who fails to find an opening in any other walk of life, gets into this profession and recklessly plays with the destiny of the nation. An important reason for this is understood to be the poor salaries of our primary and secondary teachers which are no better than that of clerks. A large number of our teachers is , therefore, frustrated and disinterested.
They have to go for part-time jobs to meet their basic needs. Again, the teaching profession also does not enjoy due respect in the society. The primary and secondary teachers are particularly at a disadvantage. Their status is lower than that of doctors, engineers, advocates, civil servants; even lower than that of semi literate and illiterate traders. It would therefore require great commitment for an intelligent individual, however fond of education and training he may be, to forsake the career of a doctor or engineer in favour of teaching. Therefore, while selecting good teachers, it must be borne in mind that better opportunities,prospects and perks are offered to the teachers.
When we speak of good teachers it means that a teacher must be a model of faith and piety and should have a fairly good knowledge . A teacher should consider it his duty to educate and train his students and should feel responsible for it. He should feel that his students have been entrusted to him and he should avoid any breach of the trust the society has reposed in him. He should be a sociable person with his roots in the society. People should take him as their well-wisher and a sincere friend who cares for their children. It should be ascertained at all cost that a candidate for this profession has a natural acumen and aptitude for teaching.
He should actively participate in the social activities in a positive way. He should know the art of teaching with a deep insight into child psychology. He should always deal with the students in a just manner. He should not lose his self-control on mistakes his students may commit, and instead he should respect their feelings and ego, and should try to understand and resolve their difficulties with grace while keeping his cool. He should be able to smile in the face of bitter criticism on his opinions, and should not feel ashamed or humiliated to accept his mistakes wholeheartedly.
He should be proud of his culture, his national dress and his national language.He should be a missionary, a mentor, a reformer and a guide besides being a dedicated tutor. In other words, he should be a perfect teacher and a perfect educationist.
While highlighting the role of a teacher in the society, it is imperative to involve the role of parents, too, in the process of character building of the students. In the past, parents and teachers both used to make the best of their efforts to provide an atmosphere to their children congenial to the development of higher virtues and morals. But the gross social change over the last fifty years, large scale urbanization, ruthless competition for financial gains, and heavy preoccupation in everyday life deplete all time and energy from the parents, leaving behind little time or energy for them to monitor their children.
Whatever time they have at their disposal is consumed by newspapers, television and other recreations. As a result, the younger generation hardly gets any opportunity to share ideas with their elders or to enter into a meaningful discussion. On the other hand, this idea is gaining ground among us that education is not meant to build up better human beings, but only to get better jobs. Consequently, the students’ minds are obsessed with better jobs and dreams for higher social status.It is,therefore,duty of the parents, too, to take active interest in the day-to-day progress of their children both in and outside the institution and apprise them of the real meaning of education.