Kin Tung Wong
What makes me into this service? Among the greatest of all services that can be rendered by men to Almighty God, is the education and training of children, so that they can foster by grace in the way of salvation, growing like pearls of divine bounty in the shell of education and will be one day the jewel in the crown of abiding glory.
Henry Von Dyke has said about teachers and teaching “Ah! There you have the worst paid and the best rewarded of vocations. Do not enter it unless you love it. For the vast majority of men and women it has no promise of wealth and fame, but they to whom it is dear for its own sake are among the nobility of mankind. I sing the praise of the unknown teacher, king of himself and leader of the mankind,” This, we may say is the philosophical meaning of teaching, but is very relevant and meaning also.
The teacher is the yardstick that measures the achievements and aspirations of the nation. The worth and potentialities of a country get evaluated in and through the work of the teacher, “The people of a country are the enlarged replica of their teacher.” They are the real nation builders.
It needs no description that the teacher is the pivot of any educational system of the younger students. On him rests the failure or the success of the system. If the teachers are well educated and if they are intellectually alive and take keen interest in their job, then only, success is ensured. But, if on the other hand, they lack training in education and if they cannot give their heart to their profession, the system is destined to fail. Hence, the teacher is another vital component of the school.
The teacher is a dynamic force of the school. A school without teacher is just like a body without the soul, a skeleton without flesh and blood, a shadow without substance. “There is no greater need for the cause of education today than the need for strong manly men and motherly women as teachers for the young”. As social engineers, the teachers can socialize and humanize the young by their man-like qualities
Definitions of a Teacher
“A Teacher is the image of Brahma” -- Manu
“The teacher is a Brahma, the creator, he is God Vishnu, he is God Maheshwar. He is entire universe, salutations to him.” -- Indian Prayer
“The true teacher is he who can immediately come down to the level of the student, transfer his soul to the student’s soul and see through and understand through his mind. Such a teacher can really teach and none else” -- Swami Vivekanand
“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” -- Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
“A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame. The teacher who has come to the end of his subject, who has no living trafic with his knowledge, but merely repeats his lessons to his students can only load their minds. He can not quicken them” -- Tagore
“Every teacher and educationist of experience knows that even the best curriculum and the most perfect syllabus remains dead unless quickened in to life by the right method of teaching and the right kind of teachers.” -- Secondary Education Commission
“The Teacher is the real maker of history.” -- H.G. Wells
“The teacher is the maker of man.” -- Sir John Adams
Essential Qualities of a Teacher
1) Teacher as a Role Model :
Role Models are people who set good examples by the words they speak and by the actions they take. Role Models can be the people you know personally or people you have learned about in the news at school or on television. Students tend to copy the behaviour and mannerism of the teachers. The teachers entire personality is a reflection on the minds of the students. If the teacher is honest, leads a balanced and disciplined life, the children adopt these virtues as a ideal conduct unconsciously. The ideal teacher s one who through his thoughts, words and deeds, gives and an impression of an honest upright life which can serve as a model for the students to copy, follow and emulate.
2) Teacher’s Character
A flower in bloom is loved by all and in this lies its glory. Similarly, man may be viewed as having achieved everything in life when he becomes perfect in character. If the best flowers among mankind take to teaching, society is abundantly enriched, their fragrance and beauty are then made the best use of. If the teacher becomes an embodiment of right conduct in thought, word and deed, the students by their association will learn virtue and develop manly qualities. They can be humanized and can live and act like normal human beings. They can become thoughtful, concerned and courageous.
3) Teacher’s Personality
Every teacher must have a good personality. Radiant, pleasing and impressive personal appearance, refinement, pleasant manners, industry, enthusiasm, drive, initiative, open mindedness etc., are some of the essential traits of an ideal teacher. External appearance has a psychological effect upon the students. By attractive appearance, he/she can win the love and affection of his students and can command respect. He/she should be frank, tolerant, kind, fair and straight-forward so that he/she can stimulate learning.
4) Teacher’s Mental Health
We speak of education as a lamp lighting another lamp, one life making another life and a spirit speaking to another spirit. We can achieve this objective, if the teachers have good mental health. Students develop interest in those subjects, which are taught by pleasing and genial teachers. The teacher makes the emotional atmosphere in the classroom. A neurotic teacher may spread fear, nervousness and worry in the classroom. A fanatic-teacher may spread hatred, prejudice and hostile feelings among the students. If he has a good mental health, he can create love, interest and enthusiasm for learning and a taste in the subject he teaches.
5) Teacher’s Physical Health
A teacher should possess a sound body alongwith a sound mind. He should have a sound physical health, physical energy, vitality and he should be free from physical defects. This will make him alert, cheerful, happy, dynamic and enthusiastic. He can maintain emotional stability.
6) Teacher’s Social Adjustment
Sociability is another important quality of a teacher. He should have a sound social philosophy and he should make his best contribution to the society. He should know how to adjust himself to the social surroundings in which he lives. He should not be quiet, retreating and introverted. He should be free from worry, anxiety and thinking and feeling about himself. He should mix well in society to have a large body of friends and to take a helpful interest in his neighbours. Normal social life outside the school will go a long way to give him happy social adjustments.
7) Teacher’s Professional Efficiency
The teacher must possess a strong sense of vocation and true devotion towards teaching. He should have a genuine love for his calling. For his professional efficiency, he should have knowledge of psychology, educational philosophy, aims, contents, methods and materials of instruction, skill and interest in teaching. He must possess a fair knowledge of current affairs about his own country and other countries of the world.
8) Teacher’s Academic Achievements
A teacher should possess knowledge of the fundamentals of the subjects he teaches. He should have a sound academic and cultural background.
10) Teacher’s Professional Training
The teacher must have the required professional training; without which he will commit serious pedagogical blunders. Prof. Monteque in his book, “Education and Human Relations”. Asserts that, “No one should ever be permitted to become a teacher of the young unless by temperament, attitudes and training, he is fitted to do so.”
11) Teacher’s Accountability
Lessinger advocates that each child has a right to be educated in order to become a productive citizen of a country. The parents and the citizen have a right to know the progress of education of their children. Teachers, being the “educational or human engineers” are accountable for the progress of the children they teach. Because of this, the National Policy on Education – 1986, in India, has made this concept very popular.
Mass education in India appears to be in a degrading condition. Education imparted by some teachers is far from satisfactory. Majority of the students lack fundamental knowledge in different areas of education. Such teachers do not feel it to be their responsibility. They are involved in private tuition and coaching centres to get some remuneration. Many parents cannot educate their children in costly public schools. Commitment on the part of the teachers have been reduced to a great extent. Therefore, there is a need to make the teachers aware of their accountability to their profession.
Since a teacher’s accountability is very important in modern teaching-learning process, the accountability of the teachers should be evaluated at frequent intervals. There must be proper supervision of their work. The supervisor should see how far the teachers are accountable in respect of teaching, research, co-curricular activities, use of aids and equipments in the classroom, utilization of local resources for the benefit of the students and development of students moral and ethical values. Thus, the degrading condition of education in our country can be checked.
Professional Ethics of Teachers
Teachers who consider their job as a profession, work only for pay cheque. Their work is considered useful for their own sake. Since perchance they have occupied a professional chair they try for their own good, at the cost of others. But our cultural heritage proves that true teachers are those who consider their job as honourable . Such teachers work with a sense of self-fulfilment and self-realization. Prof. George Herbet Palmer once rightly said, “If Harvard does not pay me to teach, I would gladly pay Harvard for the privilege of teaching”. This should be the professional value of an Indian teacher. An ideal teacher should not work with pecuniary motives, but with a sense of education and for the cause of education.
It shall be our primary duty to understand them, to be just, courteous, to promote a spirit of enquiry, fellowship and joy in them, not to do or say anything that would undermine their personality, not to exploit them for personal interests and to set before them a high standard of character, discipline and personality.
It shall be our primary duty to be sincere and honest to our work and to go thoroughly prepared to the class, to endeavour to maintain our efficiency by study and other means; not to do or say anything which may lower our prestige in the eyes of our students; not to write or encourage the use of help books; not to exert any pressure upon our students or their parents to engage private tuition, not to act as an agent or accept commission and other compensation for recommending books.
It shall be our primary duty to set an example in citizenship, to endeavour to promote the public good, to uphold the dignity of our calling on all occasions, to size up the demands and aspirations of the society, to be dynamic leaders when required and to be ideal followers when desired.
Teacher’s Union Teacher’s union can also play a very significant role in creating an atmosphere in which shirkers and other people with doubtful intentions may not find a congenial environment. Unions should create a public opinion which should serve as an adequate sanction against such unsocial acts. Now, teachers’ unions are merely used as a forum for ventilating their grievances and otherwise trying to promote service conditions. In addition, these unions should also take steps which may help the teachers in projecting their proper image among the people.
My Research/Area of Interest
(a)interested in what makes people commit criminal acts, ranging from the childhood environments of serial killers to the psychological pressures which lead people to rob banks to deal with financial problems
(b)interested in the ways in which criminals deal with the aftermath of a crime, including criminals who choose to run or act up in court
(c)utilize a variety of clues to gain an insight into the nature of a crime and the person who committed it
(d)could look at the victims selected by an offender and draw conclusions about the offender and likely future targets from their profiles
(e)observe or participate in the interrogation of a person of interest in a crime, or to interact with the victim to gather information
(h)gather psychological clues from conditions at a crime site or an offender's home
(i)suggest areas of pursuit which might be rewarding for investigators.
1. Mental health and criminal justice : a review of the relationship between mental disorders and offending behaviours and on the management of mentally abnormal offenders in the health and criminal justice services
This paper considers the current state of knowledge, research priorities and policy implications of the relationship between offending behaviour and major mental disorder, intellectual disability, brain damage and neurological disorders including epilepsy, and substance abuse; the methodological limitations of existing studies; effect size and practical significance; the step from associations to risks, and from risks to predictions; the influences of changing patterns of mental health care service delivery and the burgeoning prison population; managing mental disorders in the criminal justice system; and managing the risk of future offending among the mentally disordered in the mental health services. The report includes a number of appendices, which mostly consist of articles reprinted from other publications. Most of these are not included in the online version of the report.
2. The identification of mental disorders in the criminal justice system
Although mental illness is widely recognised as a problem in modern society, it presents particular challenges for the criminal justice system. Research has shown that offenders have higher rates of mental illness than the general community. The Criminology Research Council commissioned a study to assess the level of screening and the instruments used across the jurisdictions by criminal justice agencies. Based on interviews and relevant documentation, the researchers found that, although assessment occurs in all jurisdictions and sectors, there is little consistency in the way offenders are assessed. As a result, the paper argues for a thorough, nationwide system of screening of all accused offenders taken into police custody, to identify those who require a comprehensive mental health assessment. Such assessments need to be repeated as an offender moves through the various stages of the criminal justice system. For there to be an effective and efficient response to mental illness, the authors recommend not only that assessments be shared between criminal justice agencies but also that there be ongoing dialogue between mental health and justice agencies. However, little will be achieved unless courts, police, and parole authorities are given training and resources to better meet the needs of the mentally ill. A more fundamental issue is why over-representation of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system occurs, and the authors call for further research on this key threshold issue.
I love teaching, that's for sure. Being an academician, there are couple of things that are part of our world: teaching, doing research and publication. Of all those activities, i love teaching. I enjoy working with my students, either through face-to-face interaction or through online platform.And one interesting impact of this online platform is my students are no longer behave passively (as frequently observed in my conventional face-to-face approach).
Comments & Ideas
(: Keep up the excellent work you are doing. --Nellie Deutsch 06:26, 21 March 2010 (UTC))
Hi Kin Tung : This is an interesting observation. I teach in a school in New Zealand and many of our students are "a pleasure to teach" many teachers say. This is fine but they are often very passive especially once they reach the last two years of high school. It will be great if we can get them engaging more actively by using online platforms such as WE--Robin 08:33, 4 August 2009 (UTC)