Teachers, like poets, are born and not made. Teaching is a creative art, not a constructive art. An ideal teacher is rarely seen is society these days. Since the down of human civilisation, India has been famous for teachers. There is a fundamental difference between a tutor and a teacher. All the school-masters working at different schools may be good tutors but it is not essentially possible that they are teachers, much less ideal teachers. Manu and Gautam Buddha are well-known in Indian history as ideal teachers. Mahatma Gandhi will ever be remembered as a great teacher of humanity. The first and foremost quality of an ideal teacher is that there should be no gulf between his words and deeds. He teaches as well as he molds the character of his students.
Essential qualifications of an ideal teacher
There is a great difference between idealism and realism. Idealism is always an imaginary thing and realism is a thing of practical vision. An ideal teacher is always a dream. Ideal teachers are born after gaps of centuries. But in normal course of life, an ideal teacher should have two essential qualification Firstly, he should have a sense of dedication or should possess a missionary outlook towards his profession. Secondly, he should be scholarly. A money-minded teacher cannot command universal respect and cannot be looked upon as an ideal teacher. In the life of a teacher, money mindedness is equal to mean-mindedness. To sum up, spirit of dedication. and scholarship are the foremost qualifications of an ideal teacher.
An ideal teacher and morality
An ideal teacher should possess a sound moral character. Child is an imitative being.. Students consciously or unconsciously imitate the manners, habits and activities of their teachers. Once the late Purshottam Das Tandon remarked, ‘One who smokes is not qualified to be a teacher.’ Even smoking is a slur on the character of a teacher; the question of other moral lapses does not arise. Life speaks louder than tongue”. Like Caesar’s wife the character of an ideal teacher should be above suspicion.
An ideal teacher
A fountain head-At a school, an ideal teacher is the fountain head of inspiration for his college as well as his pupils. He takes a keen interest in all the curricular and co-curricular activities and does not flatter the Principal at the cost of his self-respect. He is punctual, obedient, regular, disciplined, well-built and well-mannered always. An ideal teacher is properly dressed. Neither he should be shabbily dressed nor should he be gaudily dressed like a film actor.
In my own life, I have come across many good teachers. But Dr. B. Prasad, Head of the Department of English at one of the renowned colleges of Northern India, has impressed me most. It is impossible to enumerate his numberless qualities of head and heart in the present context. He is a great scholar. He has a heart of gold. He is sincere, affectionate, kind and upright. He does not only impress his students but also captivates their hearts. He will stand out in my memory as an ideal teacher throughout life.