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An Ideal Teacher
In every country of the modern world education is sought to be raised to an ideal plain. But it is universally admitted that no ideal education can ever be imparted without ideal teachers. Hence in every society ideal teachers are in heavy demand. Students and guardians, rulers and legislators, all speak of ideal teachers as the backbone of any progressive scheme of national education. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to discuss and decide who an ideal teacher is, or, in other words, what are the qualities that go to make an ideal teacher.
The ideality of a teacher has to be determined by some solid and dependable tests. Why do we come to the college? My answer is that we are sent for two purposes-proper education and sound character. And the teacher who does his best to contribute to the fulfilment of these two ends of education is the ideal teacher. To do so is not obviously an easy task and calls for the possession of certain virtue sand qualifications which, therefore, a teacher to be called ideal must acquire and cultivate.
Firstly, good education begins with sound academic instruction for which the teachers are required to be both scholarly and dutiful. To make his instruction interesting, the teacher must labour to make his lectures easy and lucid, so that students in general may follow him. This calls for assiduous labour on his part and a profound love for his profession. In short, an ideal teacher must combine scholarship, diligence, love for his occupation and an easy capacity to teach his subject. He must also enforce the rules of study and neither neglect his duties nor tolerate any negligence on the part of the students. He has, in short. to act upto his responsibilities with a live conscience and without fear pr favour.
Secondly, to help the formation of character, a teacher must combine the role of a friend and a philosopher whom the students may emulate and that of a strict disciplinarian whose displeasure will restrain them from evil ways. They will have a free access into his personal association in the college, at home, in the library or at the playground. They must, in short, receive a free flow of love and attention from him. But they must at the same time feel that his love is conditioned by their being loyal and dutiful and that his affection does not spring from a motive of earning easy popularity. Thus treated with warmth but handled with firmness, their character will be formed.
In performing his due role inside and outside the class, a true teacher may initially fall into the disfavour of his students. But that need not worry him because he is not eager to earn their estimation at any cost. As he will proceed on with his duties, he will soon be able to change their very character and mould them into students after his own choice-cager to learn, to obey and to emulate him in their own life. The respect that he will earn then will never die and he is sure to be discussed with reverence long after they have left the college.
In conclusion, it is a debatable point whether ideal teachers are entirely born or can be made in part. If scholarship alone would constitute the ideality of teachership, they could well be made because there are scholars outside the periphery of teaching. But qualities of the heart, such as, intense interest in the career of students, love for their welfare and the attitude of trearing students as sons and daughters, are never to be acquired by those who drift into the profession out of necessity or compulsion. Unless these inherent virtues are there, sheer intellect, laboured diligence or practised sterness of character cannot make a teacher ideal. Hence, it would be safe to say that ideal teachers-teachers like Dr. Arnold, Derozio, Hare and Laski-are born, not made.
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