Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, “The teacher’s place in society is of vital importance. He acts as the pivot for the transmission of intellectual traditions and technical skills from generation to generation and helps to keep the lamp of civilization burning.” As per Madan Mohan Malavia (the founder of Banaras Hindu University, the world’s second largest residential university), a teacher is, “It lies largely in his teacher’s hand to mould the mind of the child who is father of the man. If he is patriotic and devoted to the national cause and realizes his responsibility, he can produce a race of patriotic men and women who would religiously place the country above the community and national gain above communal advantage.” these simple lines depict the role of a teacher in the society. 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. In addition to these attributes, the role of a teacher is to acquire professionalism and ethics and abide by their own moral code and that of their school, while maintaining a commitment to confidentiality between students, colleagues and the community.
The world changes day by day and there are no doubt that the modern society is not the same with an ancient one. Education system has changed completely – nowadays being teacher does not mean only being a helper in difficult process of getting education; it means being creative and highly talented “guide”, which accompanies a student in all way of studying. Are these changes positive or negative? In my opinion, contemporary teachers should pay more attention to new methods of teaching, what will make studying more enjoyable. Together with the changes, new expectations appeared towards our schools. Nowadays schools need to teach their learners how to gain information and how to select and use them. This happens so quickly that students learn how to use the Internet together with their teachers. Nowadays, teachers provide information and show their students how to tackle them. Although they are still considered to be a kind of leader in the class, they can be thought of as facilitators in the learning process. They are supporters rather than educators and also advisors towards parents.
If we focus on the teaching process, we still realize that there are a great number of changes in this field as well, and all of them have an influence on the role of teachers. First of all, teachers in modern classrooms are no longer lecturers, they are facilitators, their main task is to set goals and organize the learning process accordingly. Then, in the past, teachers used to follow a syllabus which was compulsory for them. Nowadays, teachers have a National Curriculum, a Core Curriculum and a local (school) curriculum that they have to consider, but – on the other hand – they have independence to choose the teaching materials (textbook), make up a syllabus of their own and teach their pupils so that they can perform well both at examinations and in life. Another difference between the past and present tasks of teachers is represented by the technical background they need to be able to use and handle effectively (computer, photocopier, power point, projectors, etc). Instead of teaching chalk face, they need to be an information technology expert, a technician or/and a photocopy master. One of the biggest challenges for teachers is that their role in the school management has also changed. The school needs them as individuals, who can make decisions and cope with the stress of the changing world of schools.
The main question is how these changes manifest themselves for the society, for the participants (teachers, learners, parents) of education. 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. The young today are facing a world in which communication and information revolution has led to changes in all spheres: scientific, technological, political, economic, social and cultural.
To be able to prepare our young people face the future with confidence purpose and responsibility, the crucial role of teachers cannot be overemphasized. Education is necessary for politicians, businessmen, artists, farmers, religious groups, students etc. for their respective career growth. Some of the great teachers were the cause of political and industrial revolutions around the world. Their vision helped various societies to gain self-sufficiency and financial freedom. The role of a teacher is to shape the minds of the younger generation. That shaping will be on positive line, development of a scientific & humanistic attitude and temper, self-discipline. The author like to conclude this article by writing few quotations. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” “What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” ? Karl A. Menninger.
(The author is Sr. Faculty (CSE) – GCET Jammu)