A teacher who swims across to teach children daily
On 7th November 2013, Dunya, a daily newspaper published a news that a teacher, living in a small village of the south Indian state of Kerala, has been coming to school swimming across the 70-meter wide river for last 20 years for teaching students in some other village. He never gets late nor takes any leave. In the rainy season, the water level of the river rises at least 20 feet but he reaches school on time showing punctuality. After reaching the bank of the river, he puts all his belongings in a bag and crosses the river using a rubber tube. The distance of the school is 7 kilometres by road from his village and one has to take two to three different buses to get there because the village, he goes to teach daily, is surrounded by river from three sides therefore, crossing river shortens the distance to only 1 kilometre. So, he goes to this village by crossing the river.
Dear Islamic brothers! Teachers are like the backbone for the progress and prosperity of any nation. They belong to an educated and sensible class. Building a nation, character building, Tazkiyah-e-Nafs (purification of the soul), enhancing leadership skill, adorning leadership with the powerful ideology of distinguishing truth and falsehood, raising awareness about ‘permissible and impermissible’ and ‘Halal and Haraam’ are also the part of the obligations of teachers. Due to all these responsibilities, a teacher is called a spiritual father. It is said that teachers are the real guardians of the nation because reforming new generation and enabling them to serve country are in their hands. Blessed efforts and valuable activities of teachers are of the supreme level. Duties of teachers are the most difficult and important tasks because the keys of all kinds of ethical, civic and religious virtues are in their hands and their efforts are the source of every type of progress.
Being a teacher is a great privilege and honour, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, the final Nabi of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, has stated: ‘اِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ مُعَلِّمًا’ I have been sent as a teacher. (Ibn Majah, vol. 1, pp. 150, Hadees 229)
The responsibility of providing the best upbringing to human generations has been basically shouldered on two (kinds of) people: (1) Parents (2) Teachers.
What are the basic responsibilities of a father and mother? What role should they play in the Tarbiyyat (upbringing) of children? Read the series, namely ‘How a father should be?’ and ‘How a mother should be?’ of monthly magazine ‘Faizan-e-Madinah’ (from the month of Sha’ban-ul-Mu’azzam 1439 AH to Zul-Hijja-til-Haraam 1439 AH).
(Note: All issues of monthly magazine ‘Faizan-e-Madinah’ are available on Dawat-e-Islami’s website: www.dawateislami.net). The importance and responsibilities of a successful teacher are mentioned below:
Attributes of society’s well-wisher and excellent teacher can be divided into 4 aspects:
1ِ Character and behaviour of a teacher.
2ِ Lesson planning and the way of teaching.
3 Relationship with students.
4ِ Ability to perceive the capabilities and inclination of students.
1. Character and behaviour of a teacher
٭ The most successful teacher is he who acts upon his knowledge first only then his students would act upon his pieces of advice. An intellectual said, ‘When a scholar does not act upon his knowledge, his pieces of advice slip from the hearts just as the drops of rain slip from a hard rock.’
٭ A teacher should be an embodiment of excellent courtesy so that both intelligent and unintelligent students may get the benefit. It has often been noticed that unintelligent students studying under the guidance of any strict teacher suffer from a continuous failure. The main cause of it is that they remain unable to speak their heart and are scared to ask a question.
٭ A teacher should be the biggest practical example of punctuality because his punctuality will ultimately result in the punctuality of his students and they will value time in their practical life.
٭ Ups and downs are part of life. Everyone goes through worries, diseases and the matters of necessities of life but taking leaves due to a mild illness or for the work which can be done by anybody else or reaching late in school etc., are not good practices. Future of nation is always in the mind of a good teacher which gets disturbed by even a little late so when he cannot tolerate even a little late, let alone taking leave.
2. Lesson planning and the way of teaching
٭ A teacher should teach only those subjects in which he is skilful; one should not do teaching experiments on children for his own learning but rather he should learn the subject well and equip himself with sufficient knowledge about it then start teaching children.
٭ Undoubtedly teacher’s status is incredibly high but it is not necessary that every teacher is perfect and complete from every aspect. The process of learning and teaching keep continued since they are a lifelong process, a teacher should admit his flaws and weaknesses with a broad mind and try to overcome them.
٭ First and foremost responsibility of teachers should be the success of their students and it requires considerable efforts in elementary and secondary education because these serve as the basic foundation of children’s education.
٭ This is a responsibility of a teacher that he should do a thorough study first of the lesson which he has to teach, understand it well and prepare himself to make students understand. He should make students understand in an easy way as he could. He should make the lesson easy through examples and must also keep in view the mental approach of students.
٭ Education and Tarbiyyat (edification) are extremely necessary for producing capable individuals in every walk of life and the important responsibility of ‘education and Tarbiyyat’ lie with teachers. Although teachers should carry out efforts and motivate students to work harder according to their subjects generally but the responsibility of Islamic studies and the subjects related to it are more important than all other subjects. Teachers of Islamic studies should remember this thing that they impart the religious knowledge so first they should ensure that they have understood the lessons very well. They must not pass any of their personal opinions regarding Glorious Quran and blessed Hadees at all. They should teach students exactly what the pious predecessors رَحِمَهُمُ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی authored and explained. Teachers must teach basic knowledge related to Iman, beliefs and Fard ‘Uloom (obligatory knowledge) included in curriculum, to students in a graceful manner and they should engrave Islamic beliefs in their hearts so firmly that whichever department or institution students join in future, they remain firm and true Muslim believers with correct beliefs.
To be continued…
Note: For more information about lesson planning and best teaching methods, read the book ‘Kamyab Ustad Kaun?’ [Who is a successful teacher?], a publication of Maktaba-tul-Madinah.