The future of India is now being shaped in her classroom is the statement with which the Education Commission (1964-1966) under the chairmanship of D.S Kothari starts its report. It emphasises that to make any process of education a success, the quality, competence and character of teachers were the most important aspects. The University Education Commission (1948-1949) under the chairmanship of S.Radhakrishnan examined various aspects of the teaching staff and emphasized the importance of the teacher and his responsibility. Saiyidain (1950) made the role of teacher quite illustrative when he said that the teacher had to patiently cut out of a crude and unshaped stone, a thing of beauty. His role, today, more than ever, has become exceeding crucial in the national attempt to bring about several positive changes in the society. In any scheme of improvement of the teaching and standards in schools and colleges, it is the teacher who has the key role to play. Unless and until he is a fully competent person, greatly interested and involved in his work and does his job satisfactorily, all other efforts that are taken to effect any improvement in the field of teaching are bound to fail. It is the ideal teacher who nurtures “The would be leaders” in educational institutions and prepares human capital for all fields of life. The characteristics of an ideal teacher are given below:
- An ideal teacher is not only a highly learned person, but he has also the ability to transfer his knowledge to the students. He prepares his lessons every day. He does not go to the class unprepared. He remains a student all his life, as he is always enriching his knowledge by further reading and keeping himself abreast with new developments in the field of his specialization. He never brags about what he knows and does not try to prove that he knows everything. He is ready to accept his mistakes and encourages question answer sessions in the class.
- An ideal teacher is always impartial and treats all his students alike. He is not favouring any student on the basis of caste, colour, sex, birth, religion, language or region. He is fearless, earnest and sincere in discharge of his duties and is sympathetic towards his students
- An ideal teacher takes a lot of interest in his students. He develops rapport with his pupils to know their difficulties and helps them to overcome them. He not only teaches them subject matter but becomes their guide and philosopher friend in all matters concerning them. He shares his personal books with them. He is always available to the students in the educational institutions beyond working hours and not to speak of only delivering the lectures in the classroom. He pays attention to slow learners as he does to bright and intelligent ones.
- An ideal teacher hardly tries to find fault with the functioning of the students and their classroom behavior. Instead of weaknesses, he approaches to the strengths of the students and helps them to shine with special reference to their strengths. He functions like a candle that consumes itself to light the way for others. He becomes the light house that guides the wandering ships to guide to their right destinations and prevent any accidents. He becomes the torch bearer for the success of students.
- An ideal teacher is one who loves students and can inspire them. Students want to be in his class not by force but by choice. He believes that his job is not only a source of income but a service to the students in particular and mankind in general.
- An ideal teacher has a sense of duty and responsibility. He is punctual, dedicated, sincere and committed. He is honest to himself, his students and his profession. Changing a man into a human being is the central point of an ideal teacher.
- An Ideal teacher has a drive and works hard to achieve goals. He has enthusiasm, and does not give up. He deals with, but does not accept setbacks. He strives to overcome setbacks through preparations. He takes initiatives to bring improvement in teaching learning process. He doesn’t have to be told what to do.
- An Ideal teacher is realistically self confident. He shows his confidence through facial expressions and positive attitude around the educational institution. He always seems to have time to talk to a colleague and students or to do something extra for the institution.
- An ideal teacher has an internal locus of control. He learns from his mistakes, rather than blaming others or just bad luck. He is open to new experiences. He has good understanding of his strength and weaknesses and is oriented towards self improvement rather than being defensive.
- An ideal teacher has above average intelligence (IQ) and high emotional intelligence (EQ) and positive self concept. He believes that he can do whatever is assigned to him in the institution.
- Mentoring the students on mission mode has been highlighted by NEP (2020). An Ideal teacher will be more than willing to shoulder this responsibility in order to facilitate teaching learning process for underprivileged class of society especially having illiterate or less educated parents.
- An ideal teacher encourages pupil-pupil and teacher-pupil interaction in the class so that the inhibitions of the students fade away. It decidedly helps the students to be confident and bold in order to put their point of view in any kind of task without shyness and as a matter of fact creative talent of students gets nourished.
- Use of technology is must for an ideal teacher; however, technology cannot replace teachers. Teaching learning process can be effective by the use of modern technology.
- An ideal teacher has an ability to put oneself in students’ situation, sense their emotions and understand them from their perspective. He teaches subject matter from simple to complex, concrete to abstract, and easy to difficult.
The students identify themselves with the teachers. Therefore, the teachers should try to be ideal teachers, a role model for the students, so that they can identify themselves with him and the students in particular and society in general will be benefitted.
Dr Mahmood Ahmad Khan Prof, Department of Education, Kashmir University.