I have not yet formed a definite opinion regarding which profession suits me the best. At different times, I have toyed with the idea of being a doctor, an engineer, and a journalist. There are moments when, dipping into the future, I see myself as a teacher, an ideal teacher of course. Even now, I sometimes imagine what I would do if I were a teacher.
If I were a teacher, I would be aware of the nobility and vital importance of my profession. I might not be paid as well as I should be, but that would not justify my indifference to my work. This attitude is certainly wrong. A teacher’s duty is not merely to teach the prescribed books or syllabus but his higher duty and privilege is to mould the minds of the young, to form their character, and kindle love of knowledge in them. I would be aware of this great power of a teacher, the far – reaching influence he is capable of exercising on the rising generation.
Though its results are slow and imperceptible, this power is greater than that wielded by administrators and ministers. I would, therefore, put my heart into my work and strive not only to teach the prescribed course but to develop in my pupils the qualities of discipline, integrity and idealism. With this end in view I would read widely and collect a good stock of – stories, jokes, anecdotes and quotations which, when aptly introduced in the course of one’s teaching, would make it enlivening and stimulating. Since example is better than precept, I would try to be a living embodiment of the thirst for knowledge and sterling qualities of character which I should like the young to cultivate.
Several teachers do not pay individual attention to their students. Some teachers do not remember even the names of the boys and girls they teach. Naturally, many a young pupil feels that he is a non – entity in school. I would try to remember the names of all my pupils and recognise their individualities. Thus they would develop self – respect and pride and endeavour to improve themselves. Some students are inevitably slow on the uptake, but I would treat them with sympathy and patience.
I would maintain discipline in my classes, but not with sternness and threats of punishment. Discipline inspired from within is better than discipline imposed from without. In short, the image of myself I should like to build up in the students’ mind would be that of a friend, philosopher, and guide.