The Teachers of Tomorrow

Abbasali Gabula

Author: Abbasali Gabula

Date: Sun, 2016-09-04 18:44

Dr. Peter Cunningham, Professor Emeritus, Senior Researcher Unit for Higher Education Internationalization in the developing world at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, spoke at the HEF Teachers’ Day celebration. His thoughts on the teachers of tomorrow are worth sharing.

There are 3 ‘S’s of a teacher:

First is the self-giving character of a teacher. This is the altruistic side of the teacher where he/ she wants to share with people to make a better society. This giving and sharing is unconditional without expecting anything in return. For this, faculty needs to be applauded.

The second ‘S’ is self development. Teachers are willing to have a life long learning mindset. They are questioning. They are inquisitive. Always asking. Willing to open new windows. Their self motivation is from their own achievements.

The third ‘S’ is self awareness. This is recognition of their own potential and also building that potential. This results in nurturing who they are.

We are always celebrating intellectual capital. There is also social and cultural capital which a teacher creates and that needs to be celebrated.

World leaders are all taking about eradicating poverty. There is another important poverty which needs to be eradicated, which is spiritual poverty. The challenges of the modern world are morality and ethics. These need to be addressed. The teachers of tomorrow have this onerous task to instill values in their students. They have the opportunity and the platform to influence the next generation.

As I write this, I am watching the live telecast of the Canonization of Mother Teresa. From Mother to Saint. I visited her home in Kolkata a few months ago and was blessed. Her words are flashing on the screen.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”

“Not all of us  can do great things, we can do small things with love”

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have today. Let us begin”

Let us begin to eradicate spiritual poverty from this world.


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<p>The<strong>&nbsp;</strong>most important thing in this world is to learn to give out love and let it come in.&nbsp;A very beautiful and a motivational blog. Truly inspirational. Awaiting an array of such Blogs soon. :)</p> <p>Best wishes.</p>

<p>Summarised very well through the 3S's, each of these truly are essential components of a good teacher.To add to it another important S- 'Set example' I feel the teachers also must take upon themselves the big role of setting the right example to their students coz without this the other 3S's can even go in the wrong direction...afterall Shukracharya in ancient times and the teachers of the radical mindset are also teachers and they too abide by self development,self giving and self aware</p>

Teacher is a person who shapes the life of a human through knowledge, love and care. They have been playing a very vital role in the society since the beginning of civilisation. Apart from knowledge transfer, they transform values, discipline, manners and punctuality. There are many scholars being into teaching not to earn money but they are passionate about building future. So our future is in our hand. We have to create concrete platforms, which will transform its best academics into teachers of tomorrow. We must value teachers the most in our society.

Dear Sir, Your article has excellently highlighted the 3 essential qualities of a teacher. An interesting study was done by a team of researchers at Yale University to determine if babies are born with innate sense of morality. A baby was shown two teddies where one teddy is shown to be good and helpful and another teddy is shown to be bad and non-helpful. Both the teddies are then presented to the baby. It was found that 80% of times, the baby chose the good helpful teddy. From this result, the study concluded babies judge good and bad in the actions of others as they are born with a rudimentary sense of justice. This study proves that we require role models in the form of our parents and teachers to instil moral beliefs that will sustain for a long time. Parents do the fundamental ground work for establishing the value system. However, the real application of it only comes in a community or group setting such as a school or a college. Teachers play a big role in the formative years as most people end up spending a large part of their time at school or college. To be a teacher requires great compassion and empathy. A teacher bridges the gap and builds relationship and helps in forming a community in a classroom. A teacher inspires students and helps to develop a positive outlook on life. In this digital age, teachers are still necessary to impart the values and technology has only helped in connecting the teacher and student better by offering both, the platform to have one-on-one discussions at any place, any time of the day. In addition to the persons who are teachers by profession, I believe everyone at one time, plays both the roles of a teacher and a student. Everyone we meet during this wonderful journey called “life” teaches us something. We learn from these people and their experiences consciously or sub consciously, resulting in an enriching experience and sharing of values.

The world needs to eradicate poverty in all its forms - economic, spiritual and intellectual. It is imperative for the sustainability of socio-economic societies as well as life on the whole. None should have a second thought to the idea that teachers have to play the most crucial role in the same. Across the globe, teachers with the agenda of selfless giving have become an indispensable resource for the system of alleviating poverty across its hierarchies. Teachers of tomorrow are prioritizing spiritual poverty since its elimination would form the basis for a widespread increase in the thirst for education. Secondly, by eliminating intellectual poverty, teachers would be able to create an ecosystem of educated individuals who are well equipped to suppress economic poverty. That’s how the hierarchy would work. The responsibilities of teachers have essentially increased. It is no longer about imparting knowledge alone. They have to play the role of the enabler as well. More precisely, help masses comprehend the importance of education, break out of their socio-political barriers and ultimately enable large societies to look at the world from the perspective of constructive contributors. For different aspects of poverty, teachers play the role of givers (intellectual poverty) and enablers (spiritual poverty and economic poverty). The socio-economic state of large societies is determined by the level of education, which in-turn is associated with the quality and quantity of teachers around. No wonder, the world desperately needs a huge pool of good teachers.

‘Sahar don’t just read, practice with a pen. Apply your mind in all imaginable scenarios till the time there’s no other possibility left to solve the problem, then I would say you have learned.’ I wouldn’t lie if I said I was scared of mathematics. It was a repulsive relationship that we shared, the subject and I. Being a scholar, balancing my low grades in mathematics with better ones in other subjects was a task. It exhausted me mentally and physically. This was the time when Manoj sir started to teach us and he flipped my anxiety of solving a problem into excitement. It was as if a dark veil had been lifted. The gift of teaching is of the most noble kind but also carries a world of responsibilities. Teachers not only cultivate moral and intellectual stamina but also lift your confidence and help you become the person you want to be. They are the dream catchers and treasure keepers who guard your secret and nurse it. They play various roles in one go – that of a teacher, guardian, mentor and a friend. Teaching as a profession is undervalued in today’s society but the responsibilities it comes with have the power to make or break the world. Think of a world where Leopold Poetsch wouldn’t have been Hitler’s teacher? If Nelson Mandela, Aung saan suu kyi and Dalai Lama would not have followed Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings? Wouldn’t the world have been different? In this era where individuals get influenced by anything easily in their formative years, the teachers have a major role to play! Apart from imparting knowledge, they’ll have to constructively build an environment that propagates value based growth with discipline. With the changing scenario of the world, the quality humility and kindness are of utmost importance. Teachers would not only have to learn how to teach the same to the students but also try their level best to inculcate these values in their students. I strongly agree with Mr. Abbasali Gabula on the idea behind this article. Thank you for throwing light on this topic.

During my teaching stint at CRY, I realised that my interest of teaching was driven by love for learning. I believe a good teacher can’t begin or continue to inspire learning without being a learner. Once you accept that you don’t know everything, no matter how much you think you know even the simplest person will have something to teach you if you are humble enough to listen. Today I feel that I learnt a lot more than I taught. One of the most powerful lessons which I learnt from these kids was to be fearless. I am talking about the many fears which we learn over time such as fear of being judged, fear of rejection etc. My learning didn’t stop there it, in fact it never stopped because these kids had awaken the child inside me. I started thinking as a child because of these kids. Today after reading your blog, I could understand and relate how a child could be such an effective teacher because every child has these three qualities. Self-giving- Children will always share what they know without any retention whatsoever. They speak with free mind without expecting anything in return Self-development- A child’s curiosity to learn is unmatched. They would always be eager for learning new things. It has been proven scientifically that the tenacity to learn in childhood is maximum. Self-awareness- A child always recognizes its own potential and capabilities. Whenever I think of these children a thought crosses my mind “Who was the teacher, was it me or them?”

There is a huge disparity in the type of teachers that exist today within India in various types of institutes. Most of the Govt. run schools have below average teachers and on the other side many Govt. run professional training institutes have the globally renowned and accomplished teachers. Most of the private institutes have on average better teachers given their ability to pay more. Having said this, I still have a very limiting outlook about the teachers of tomorrow. In many developed countries teachers are highest paid employees as a result the profession attracts the brightest brains, in India we are yet far from that state and as a result we will continue to have a lot of below average teachers in the system. Some of the key factors that will determine the quality of the teachers we will have in the future are as a) The compensation of the teacher b) The growth path of the teacher & c) Family Care of the Teacher Given the fact that almost every day we are drifting more towards the western way of management, we will see a majority of the teachers heavily being influenced by western way of management this I expect to reflect in the more materialist way of measuring the individual success of the teacher. In case these is a sea change in the outlook of various leading Indian institutes by adopting the Indian style of management which is heavily mixed with the spiritual achievement, I really am not too optimist about the quality of the teachers India will have in the near future.

“शिक्षक कभी साधारण नहीं होता, प्रजा तथा निर्माण दोनों उसकी गोद में खेलते हैं” - Chanakya. A teacher who built the empire of knowledge, altruistically, by training the students deserves our true respect. The education a teacher provide is always with the motive that it will ultimately contribute to the growth of the nation. As beautifully conveyed by sir, self-giving is the attribute of a teacher for building the nation, which is the biggest contribution by someone. A teacher sacrifices happily whenever he feels that the students need their help. Many examples from my childhood until now I have seen, I have never seen a teacher kept his own motive above the students’ welfares. A teacher who fill the whole generation with the moral and technical knowledge is the one who can eradicate the spiritual poverty, the mental poverty by setting examples as pointed out by Miss Swati in the comment, and by motivating them with the compassion toward society. The students are as much passionate as much the teacher is. Teacher is the one who convert the ordinary person in the genius, bring them from 0 to 1. It is easy to take them from 1 to 10. A teacher makes leaders. A real teacher make the flow of his knowledge, wisdom and attributes in every veins of the student, and then the student is filled with the same thoughts as the teacher. The relation of a teacher and a student is very sweet. After the success, the student says it was your guidance and the teacher says it was your ability. I really appreciate the motivation behind being a teacher, the great thought, the great objective; welfare of the society. The unconditional love with the society is appreciable. Especially in the time when everyone is running behind career, self-fulfillment, someone devoting his life to the nation. For the upcoming event HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY Sir.

I come with nearly four years of work experience. In the course of my learnings, my boss emphasized more on values of punctuality and discipline than on team targets. He believed the workforce in the industry needed a radical change with respect to their loyalties and commitment. There was this one instance that I repeatedly reached late to office and my boss discreetly emphasized on the importance of good organizational behaviour practices especially punctuality and sticking to timelines. He was a man of authority and he could conveniently have me reprimanded for repeatedly coming late on consecutive days and not taking office timings for serious, but instead he chose to explain this to me through the example of the support staff in the office. If they had not arrived on time, our tea/coffee wouldn’t be ready for us the minute we walked into our cabins, the office inventory wouldn’t be in order, the air-conditioning wouldn’t be on. All the support functions would be in jeopardy if not for them maintaining their schedules and sticking to their daily the timelines. Rewind a few decades, post-independence when PSU’s were established in the country to mark the industrial revolution of the country, employees considered their companies as their sole responsibility and worked day in and day out to make the company grow. Fast forward today, employees don’t have such loyalties. Employees are objective and are concerned only about their pay scales and career upliftment. The commitment needs to come in no just in achieving company targets but also in carrying forward the company’s vision in creating a change. This thinking needs to change from the grass-root levels This is where it comes down to our teachers in various spheres of life to instil such values in us and create a change of spiritual poverty in the world.

I was reading yet another disturbing article of a rape case and I had several questions running through my mind. What goes on in the minds of these rapists? Are they psychologically ill? Is it the mindset, that men are superior to women? Or are they lacking in moral values? I don’t have a full proof answer to it yet but this blog intrigued me again. I had not come across the phrase ‘spiritual poverty’ until I read this blog. I completely agree with Abbasali Sir’s thoughts about the importance of imparting moral values and ethics. We, as a human race have come a long way when it comes to economic or technological advancement, yet, the news headlines are often full of corruption, scams, murders, thefts, etc. Children today have access to a vast pool of information but I think there is a need to teach them how to use that knowledge keeping in mind ethical and social values. If we consider the future being dominated by artificial intelligence, the knowledge of ethics and morals becomes even more important. The coming generation of children will be programming these artificial intelligence instruments which will be taking many decisions for us in the future. But, imparting moral values through education can be quite challenging, especially in India. Firstly, the theory will have to be based on some principles which will have to be common across regions, religions and classes. So, the education will have to be based on some common principles like respecting the freedom and choice of people around you, discipline, selflessness, etc. Secondly, teaching through text books will turn into an uninteresting read and reduce the motivation to have these values inculcated. Simulation of real life situations, interactive videos, stories of role models could be some of the ways of inculcating these values. Thirdly, most children learn a lot from the people they see as role models. This makes it very important for the teachers to be strong in such values and then consciously act and behave in accordance, keeping in mind that children will learn as an example from them. And, I think the 3S’s that were spoken about – ‘self-giving’, ‘self development’, ‘self awareness’ becomes even more relevant then. If a teacher can implement all these, he / she can be the appropriate role model who can help children decide what is right and what is wrong. Only when a teacher is self-giving will he/she be able to teach his/her children to be selfless. If a teacher has a self-developing attitude, he/she will be open minded and will be able to change with time. This way, he/she will be able to impart relevant values applicable to people across religion, culture, regions, etc. And, self awareness will help a teacher align his/her thoughts with his/her actions. Given this, it is equally important to motivate and incentivise people to take up this profession.

Great thoughts by Dr. Peter Cunningham and very kind of you to share them with us! The 3 S’s on teachers of tomorrow really fit well with what is seen even today. A teacher is a teacher – be it a kindergarten teacher or a college professor. They are self-giving, constantly look for self-development and are self-aware. The first quality, as shared by you, portrays that they are givers – as described by Adam Grant in his book Give and Take. They always look for the benefit and growth of their students. They also develop themselves to make their students better and are self-aware about their strengths and weaknesses and keep working on themselves. You also talk about eradicating spiritual poverty through teachers and celebrating social and cultural capital along with intellectual capital. At SPJIMR, we are fortunate to have faculty which places equal or more importance to ethics and morality than anything else. Our vision includes creating value-based socially-sensitive leaders of tomorrow. As a part of eradicating spiritual poverty, we have been exposed to courses like Management and Liberal Arts (MaLA), People and Performances, Management- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (YTT) and would also be learning Science of Spirituality (SoS). These courses instil deep within us the sense of choosing the right way and doing things right the first time. They also develop our self-awareness and show us a pathway of self-development through various exercises. Moreover, in YTT, our dean explains to us a roadmap for self-development and how to build it to be a better leader of tomorrow. Our dean has been very inspirational and so have been the other faculty members, especially in Financial Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis where morality plays a huge role, and finding inner peace holds utmost importance. Also it is not only the institutional teachers that play a role in a person’s life, but all the people who directly or indirectly affect and thus shape a person. Developing the ability to be self-aware and constantly focus on self-development, however, takes time. Starting and building this culture of being self-aware and spreading the art of being self-aware should hence ideally begin at home, and at a young age, when our minds and personalities take various forms before getting comfortable in one of them. All of us consider our teachers to be a divine being and do what they say, at least when we are young. It is this stage, according to me, that the spiritual, cultural and social core also gets developed and needs attention by the teachers of tomorrow. We need to focus on the training and development of teachers who give primary education more than those who are a part of students’ lives at a later stage. I am very fortunate to have parents who are teachers by profession. From the beginning, they have instilled in my core, values which I am proud of and which are now a part of me. I have also learnt a lot from teachers from my student life and I am still learning, every day from people all around me.

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