October 4, 2020

Role of a Teacher & World Teachers Day

‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ ? William Arthur Ward
Education is an attempt to develop the potential given by God to humans, such as developing the mind, structuring behavior, regulating human relations with the human God and humans and their relationship with nature. The goal is for humans to be able to maintain, develop, and utilize the potential that is in themselves well. Teachers are an integral part of educational resources that explore the educational success. A teacher who plays a role in the intellectual and mental coaching of students is expected to instill discipline and attitude towards students. Education can take place in three dimensions: family, school and community environment. In the implementation of education, several components are interconnected, among others, principals, teachers, and students. Aristotle taught by Plato was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, and government. He provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. Aristotle said that “those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” In other words, parents just make babies. It’s teachers who turn them into people. Aristotle may have lived a long time ago in a different land, but his slightly acerbic exaggeration still has a ring of truth to it. Good teachers still play a significant role in making us who we are. The teachers who shape us may not always be standing at the head of a classroom (including, of course, our parents), but wherever they’re found, they are doing something that no one else can do: changing our view of the world and making us into something better than we were before. According to Aristotle, Teaching is the highest form of understanding. Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together. Education is our passport to the future and tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. A teacher is an awakener and the art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. Nobody can inspire us as great teachers can. They seem to come along at just the right moment, at a time when we need them the most.
Our parents gave us life and it was a teacher who taught us how to live it. Teacher introduced honesty, integrity, and passion to our character. Happy Teachers’ Day 2020! All the efforts and hard work teacher have invested to bring out the best in us can never be repaid in mere words.
Teacher’s ability dramatically affects the quality of students. The first revelation called upon the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and humanity was to pursue education and acquire knowledge in accordance with the Divine guidance of Allah (SWT): “Read and understand in the Name of the Lord and Cherisher”. The Qur’an says, “Allah (SWT) will raise up to honourable ranks (and degrees) those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge. Adam (RAA) was raised to the highest rank among beings because of knowledge. The Prophet (SAW) attained the height of eminence by his perfection; “He dispelled the darkness (of the World) by his grace; Excellent were all his qualities; Pray for blessings on him and his descendants.” He is asked in the Qur’an to pray for an increase in knowledge. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Acquire knowledge from cradle to grave”. He further stated that the acquisition of knowledge is a duty imposed on every Muslim.6 It is inspiring to recall that the very first word that was revealed to him is Iqra (read). Human beings have many qualities which are latent or which they may wish to suppress or conceal to their own detriment. The Prophet (SAW) also said: “Wisdom is the lost property of the Muslim; he recovers it wherever he finds it”. This is inspiring and indicates that there is no monopoly in matters of knowledge. Among children of Adam (RAA), those who excel in knowledge and wisdom, are the world leaders and hold the office of Imam (Spiritual Guide). Knowledge and wisdom protect your ideological boundaries from evil. The Muslim World, unfortunately, failed to excel in knowledge and wisdom. Acquiring knowledge and understanding it (research) is left to the others, resulting in Muslims’ degradation in science and technology as well as in trade and business. The Prophet (SAW) said that knowledge is a foundation of Islam. Regarding this let us look at the Prophet’s (SAW) concern, attitude and priority; to educate Muslim children up to reading level, he even asked the prisoners of Badr, who were the non-believers of Mecca, and considered this as their compensation. This reflects his concern about education and treatment of prisoners of war at a time when Muslims were fighting for their own survival. There is a difference in acquiring knowledge, understanding knowledge, and education targeting literacy. To increase the rate of literacy among Muslims, the Prophet (SAW) utilized the services of even the non-believers of Mecca, i.e., prisoners of Badr. Knowledge must be of truth and reality or of what the Qur’an calls Haqq (Truth). Unfortunately, the Muslim World has confused knowledge with literacy. The dilemma is that we are utilizing our resources to increase the rate of literacy rather than acquiring knowledge, even then we fail in it. There are many other factors contributing to the degradation of Muslim World but the first and the most important is the education. It is education which transforms a casual person into a responsible, socio-economic developer and nation builder. Education has always received great importance in Islam and the pivotal ingredient in education is the teacher.
There should not be any doubt in our mind that highest rank teacher is Allah (SWT). He not only taught Adam (RA) to upgrade his ranking but also guided. The teaching profession is noble and given high status in the society because the nature of the job is next to that of parents. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, “Teach without chiding. Teachers are preferable to the scolders”. He also said, “Use leniency to those whom you teach and those who learn from you”. He (SAW) is reported to say, “Teachers who have three students of social classes and do not treat them equally, will be in the line of the traitors on the Resurrection Day.” Imam Al-Ghazzali, regards the first duty of a teacher to accept the child unconditionally as his own. He quotes the saying of our Prophet (SAW): “I am to you like a father who desires to save his child from the fires of hell.” A teacher is expected an Influential Person in Student’s Life, Communication Specialist, Man of Character, Encouraging, Accepting Challenges, Learning Facilitator and a Mentor. In brief education teachers are competent in carrying out their roles. in instilling students’ discipline, organizers, motivators, initiators, and evaluators. Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble. The most familiar role a teacher plays in the classroom is to teach knowledge to children. World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is an international day held annually on October 5. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world. This recommendation outlines standards relating to education personnel policy, recruitment, and initial training as well as the continuing education of teachers, their employment, and working conditions. World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching. The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching and research personnel in higher education. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, WTD has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession. World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, the International Labour Organization and Education International. To celebrate World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO and Education International (EI) mounts a campaign each year to help give the world better understanding of teachers and the role they play in the development of students and society. In 2020, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and, now more than ever, we must work with teachers to protect the right to education and guide it into the unfolding landscape brought about by the pandemic. The issue of teacher leadership in relation to crisis responses is not just timely, but critical in terms of the contributions teachers have made to provide remote learning, support vulnerable populations, re-open schools, and ensure that learning gaps have been mitigated. The discussions surrounding WTD will also address the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education and the teaching profession. This year, in view of the current situation, the celebrations will take place online. As well as the WTD Opening Ceremony and UNESCO-Hamdan Prize Awards Ceremony on 5 October, and the Closing Ceremony on 12 October, there will be a series of national, regional and global events throughout the week. Our parents gave us life and it was a teacher who taught us how to live it. Teacher introduced honesty, integrity, and passion to our character. Happy Teachers’ Day 2020! All the efforts and hard work teacher have invested to bring out the best in us can never be repaid in mere words.
( Dr Bilal A Bhat is Associate Professor at S K University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology –SKUAST Srinagar and Aliya Mehraj is lecturer in the J&K Education Department. They write regularly for “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are their own) [email protected]


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