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Day 17: On What makes someone a good teacher?


Picture Courtesy: Google Images
In my journey, so far, I have met some wonderful teachers. Teachers, who have guided me in their own way and taught me some invaluable lessons. When I say, teachers, it does not only mean the professionally employed professors or instructors. Everyone around you, who has been a great inspiration to you, helped you look at the world from a  different light, can be called a teacher. It could be your peers, your family, friends and so on.

Recently, I was asked by someone, to name three of my most favorite teachers in my life. I had to write down the names of these people and then, also list the traits or characters that I saw in them, which for me defined a great teacher. As I wrote down a list, I could see a pattern. A pattern that connected every individual listed under my favorites. (There is always a pattern and always a theme across everything we see in life. Even in chaotic space, there will be a pattern that we can find).

Among the terms I wrote down, I will list a few here:

Humbleness: This was a term that I thought was apt for all three of them. These teachers in my life are always humble. Being humble is the first important trait of a truly educated person. In fact, if I remember right, there is a quote on that about education, something that says, a truly educated person is always humble (I am not sure of the exact quote). These great men were never arrogant. They never felt that they were better than others around them. They never boasted about their achievements. In fact, they are all extremely strong and experts in their field. However, I have never heard them talk about it. If at all, I knew anything about their accolades, it was through someone else, only when asked.

Please remember that being humble does not mean, being meek. It means, one who is kind, considerate, unpretentious, soft-spoken and of course, simple.  It was also interesting to observe that when I wrote down the list of terms  against those whom I never liked as a teacher, all I had to do was write down the antonyms from the other set. These teachers never let their pride get over their head. If you have seen the ones who did, you will know how unbearable they are, in every sense. They can never inspire you. Well, yeah, I am sure they can be an inspiration of how not to be someone like them!

Non-Judgemental: This is the next term that was apt for all on my list. The ones who inspire me, are never judgmental. Interestingly enough, the people who are on my list belong to different areas of interest, profession, expertise and culture. Despite all that, their true nature was very much alike. These wonderful people never commented harshly on any one else's moral character.They never passed judgments.

Others: They also never complained when someone did not recognize their work. They did not expect it to be that way and just kept moving forward. They were also never bored. They tried to keep themselves busy with things they loved. These people were also modest and never ashamed to admit if they did not know something. So, great teachers had a lot in common.

Well, just think about your favorites and see, I am pretty sure at least one these terms would best fit them. 
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