They must try to raise the self-esteem of students. Good teachers create trust, confidence, interest, enthusiasm and hope and not fear, frustration and disappointment. They be kind and forgiving instead of being revengeful. Teachers must encourage and entertain questions as well as ask questions to stimulate minds and promote formal and informal discussions for enhancing critical thinking and achievement of in-depth understanding.
They need to frequently evaluate student’s performance both formally and informally and give them prompt feedback in the form of encouragement, praise, appreciation and reward for correct performance and guidance for rectifying mistakes both meant for improvement of their performance and creation of a desire for learning. They should teach by interaction with students rather than depending on lectures alone. In this process they should identify the variety of talents that different students may possess for different desirable functions and should give them support for whatever potential they have.
They should reinforce creativity and originality in students. Teachers should encourage students to help, teach and test themselves and each other as well as the weaker and the junior students. They should organize group-learning projects, contests, competitions, debates, cultural activities, entertainment and field visits to create interest in learning. Teachers must remain humble and ready to say “I don’t know” and be prepared to admit their mistakes and take a lesson from them and from the mistakes of others. They must not laugh, ridicule, humiliate, embarrass or insult any student over commission of mistakes.
If promptly and politely corrected mistakes teach memorable lessons for better performance. Apart from accepting blame they should make a habit to say “we” and not “I”. They should be prepared to speak less and listen more. They should be magnanimous enough to share their credit with others and accept alone the blame for failings of students. They must share with students before making all decisions that affect students and must make an effort to share their joys and sorrows. Equally teachers should share their interests with students that will promote friendship. Teachers should have a sense of humor and be capable of creating humor.
They should use different methods to break monotony and boredom i. e. by use of variety of learning resources and teaching methods, relevant jokes, quizzes, questioning and involving the inattentive, creating surprises, mysteries and suspense, referring to relevant events in day-to-day life etc. They should teach by example and act as role models instead of giving sermons. What they do has far greater power to teach than what they say. They must be able to do themselves what they expect from the students to do and be able not to do what they expect from students to abstain from.
In fact teachers should put themselves in the shoes of students before asking them to do or not to do anything. They should be sensitive to the needs and feelings of students. They should speak the language of the students when needed and should relate to their level of mental and physical abilities. According to William Glasser’s Choice Theory, teachers must promote the basic needs of students to convince them that they are the well wishers of students and in return students will listen to them. These basic needs are the requirements of survival, love and affection, freedom, leisure, entertainment and empowerment.
This means that in addition to academic issues teachers must take keen interest and help students in their social and economic matters and participate in their extracurricular activities. Teachers should delegate more and more to students and refrain from doing every thing themselves. In this way, apart from empowering students, they also give them a chance to learn by doing. Instead of passing knowledge to students they should be made to create knowledge to give them a sense of ownership of what they learn.
Good teachers must resolve disputes through the policy of give and take and make all the effort to defuse tension and ensure cohesion and friendship among students. They should set a side time for listening to problems of students. They should honor their pledges, be consistent in their responses, dependable and reliable. They should be flexible and not rigid to meet the changing circumstances and diversity of situations. They should always be ready for the unexpected and must exercise utmost patience and tolerance in dealing with students.
Great teachers never lose temper and refrain from acting when upset. In difficult situations they should happily get the input of colleagues, parents and all the well-wishers of students. Teachers must treat all students equal, serve them selflessly with devotion and expect no returns from students. Teachers are regarded as spiritual fathers and mothers to students who are expected to act as guides and mentors. They must show courtesy, love, compassion and respect to their students that is bound to generate a similar response.
Teachers must take part in continuing education to update their own knowledge, skills and attitudes, come prepared to classes and should strive to develop learning resources for students. Lastly they must ensure their integrity, punctuality and physical and mental cleanliness at all costs. Teachers possessing these qualities will be highly respected and loved by the students and will create an ideal environment for learning in educational institutions. The developing nations must be ready to pay any price for such teachers who will groom their children into knowledgeable, skillful, productive and enlightened personalities of character.