The evolving landscape of education in the digital age and discover how modern teachers are equipping students with not just knowledge but also crucial values
By Aubaid Ahmad Akhoon
“To teach is to touch a life forever.” (Jerry Whittle)
As we turn the calendar to September 5th each year, we embark on a journey of gratitude and reflection. Teachers’ Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the mentors and guides who illuminate ourpaths, is a time to appreciate the incredible role educators’ play in shaping the future of society. Celebrating Teachers’ Day
The Teaching Profession in the 21st Century
An effective teacher in the 21st century embodies a unique blend of knowledge, skills, beliefs, values, professional aspirations, and unbridled motivation. They transcend the traditional confines of curriculum and content mastery, possessing a wealth of soft skills that enable them to empower students with advanced knowledge and skills. These educators are beacons of guidance, nurturing their students with the latest research and the seamless integration of cutting-edge educational technologies.
When we reflect on the luminaries who have shaped our world, let us not forget the dedicated teachers who worked tirelessly in the shadows, the quiet heroes of our progress. To nurture students with not just knowledge but also values like environmental awareness, social consciousness, tolerance, altruism, and respect, we must ensure teachers can develop without constraints, equipped with all the resources they need to excel.
The Teacher-Student Relationship and its Sacred Significance
The teaching profession is more than just a job; it creates the foundation for all other professions. Among the various human relationships in the world, one stands as particularly sacred: the teacher-student relationship.
In Islam, the teacher’s status is deemed equal to that of biological parents. A teacher is considered the second parent of a student. After parents, it is the teacher who imparts the real meaning of life—how to behave, how to live, how to differentiate between right and wrong, and more.
A good teacher should possess certain qualities. They should have a pure character and a welcoming demeanor. Effective communication skills, education, and knowledge are essential. Teachers should be role models for their students, diligently revising and reinforcing previous lessons. They should avoid overwhelming students with excessive homework, instead, assessing their performance empathetically. Scolding and corporal punishment should be avoided, with attention given to students’ feelings, emotions, and self-esteem. Individualized methods of discipline should be adopted, and special support provided to slow learners. Teachers should also nurture physical and aesthetic development and foster students’ character development. Above all, they should use appropriate methods of communication, presenting themselves as role models in words, actions, morals, and intellect.
Teachers and the Modern Age
The teacher can impart others the same knowledge that they themselves have access to. However, the teaching profession is far from easy; it demands constant hard work, up-to-date knowledge, dedication, passion, ethics, humanity, consciousness, spirituality, and a calm demeanor.
In the present age, moral education is as crucial as secular education because knowledge without moral principles is like a fruitless tree, a futile endeavor. The Quran underscores moral education as a central theme, with numerous verses emphasizing the formation of good character and embodiment of morality.
Knowledge is intrinsically tied to morality. Knowledge pursued solely for personal gain is like poison, lacking in productivity.
Appreciation & Criticism
We often hear about government teachers who struggle with basic tasks, like writing a simple application, betraying the great profession they represent. It is disheartening to witness some teachers who, during the pandemic, remained idle for nearly three years, yet proudly celebrate Teachers’ Day, seemingly unaware of the true essence and responsibilities of the teaching profession.
On the other hand, we have seen teachers who dedicatedly fulfilled their duties, even joining forces with healthcare professionals to combat COVID-19 while continuing to teach online. There are also honorable government teachers who provided free home tuition during the pandemic, significantly contributing to the improvement of education standards in government schools.
To uplift government schools, it is imperative to introduce in-service training courses to equip teachers with modern education, ensuring they can impart cutting-edge knowledge to their students. Regular assessments of teachers’ performance, similar to student evaluations, can maintain high standards in government schools. Encouraging government teachers to enroll their own children in government schools would also foster a personal investment in improving these institutions.
A Personal Contribution to Education
Whether in a supporting role behind the scenes or in more direct involvement, I, like many others, contribute to students’ education by orchestrating exams, creating assignments, and providing practice papers. We are silent observers to the remarkable dedication of teachers who mold the minds of our budding learners. With a profound sense of pride, we find ourselves deeply engaged in their educational journey, sowing the seeds of knowledge alongside these inspiring educators.
As we celebrate Teachers’ Day, let us recognize the profound impact teachers have on society. They are not only educators but also mentors, shaping the character and future of our youth. It is a day to honor their dedication, inspire change, and pledge our support to empower these guiding lights as they lead us toward a brighter and more enlightened future. “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.” – Scott Hayden
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of this newspaper. The author can be reached at [email protected]