Teaching has been esteemed as one of the noblest professions for the last many centuries all over the world. The teachers were thought to be the brain-developers and personality-building of the greatest personalities, including rulers, philosophers, intellectuals, conquerors, generals and scientists. The significance of this profession had been evident due to coaching and shaping the mind and character of the new generation. It is the teacher, as the thinkers opine, which play a pivotal role in the education and training of the whole generation. Jones (2000) observes: “The mind is cultivated, nurtured, and assisted primarily by teachers. And because of these essential activities, teachers and the profession of teaching have been esteemed throughout history.”
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The source of teaching, once limited to academies and centres in the past, has widely been spread all over the globe. Schools, colleges and universities were established with the passage of time. The twentieth century brought a tremendous revolution in all fields of life, including science, technology, industrialization and advancement. This also affected the teaching profession. Colleges and educational training centres were set up at the community level, and the latest branches of knowledge of science and arts were introduced. This not only upraises the level of education and eradicated ignorance and illiteracy altogether but also offered the members of the community chances of seeking education at a higher level even by living in their own community. It has tremendously increased the responsibilities of the teachers. In order to regulate the activities related to all the professions, each and every culture and society identifies different sets of laws to maintain peace and harmony. The same is the case with the occupation of teaching. As a teacher is the fashioner of the young brains, there must be professional ethics to identify the rights and duties in the course of a dual relationship between teacher and student. Since a teacher is a central figure and the most observed person, his activities, behaviour and attitude is keenly noted, liked and admired on the one hand, and disliked and criticised the other. The behaviour of a teacher, either good or bad, leaves indelible effects on the personality of students. There can be observed a cause and effect relationship while examining the association between the two. The contemporary world maintains a highly diversified population in every corner of the world, where students belonging to different religious, cultural, racial and gender groups seek education under one roof under the supervision and control of a teacher. If a teacher does not display any type of biasedness or prejudice towards any specific group and remains neutral and kind to all the students, they will not only become noble, and peace-seeking members of society in their practical life, but also such a responsible attitude of the teacher may create an ideal and exemplary social set up where peace and harmony will prevail in the world at large. It is, therefore, schools and educational institutions are considered as the most imperative social institutions of man’s life.
A teacher’s conduct based on ethics, including unconditional loyalty and devotion while working in the classroom, honesty, responsibility, reliability, trustworthiness, impartiality, punctuality, manners, fairness, neutrality, and hard work are sure to make a great nation consists of scholars, scientists and creators. On the other hand, if he displays favouritism and prejudices towards one student or group, it may hurt the feelings of others. Consequently, an atmosphere of jealousy and conflict may arise in the classroom, where sentiments of grudge and malice will start taking place in the innocent minds of the students. Their hatred against one another can result in clashes, and ultimately, it may pave the way in developing criminal behaviour among the students. The researches are replete with examples of the causes of criminal behaviour, which clearly prove the very fact that neglecting a child and keeping a prejudiced attitude towards him make the foundation of a criminal. Thus, a teacher’s unnecessary harshness and expressions of disliking may result in serious consequences in the future years to come.
The dual relationship between students and teachers must be on the grounds of the highest standards of honour and veracity. Not only this but also the students must respect the knowledge the teacher obtains rather looking into mere his rude behaviour. They must keep in mind the instructions and pieces of advice of the teacher. The students are bound under the ethical principles to be always regular and punctual while attending the classroom. They must be attentive in the classroom and never try to humiliate the teacher at any point. The teacher must always be beyond all biased attitudes towards each and every student. He should be impartial while giving rewards for doing well and announcing punishment. Ethics indicates that a teacher must listen to the problems of the students carefully and must try to resolve these troubles sympathetically. Moral values suggest that a teacher is an honest and loyal person who always maintains dignity and morality. He must not use abusive language or insulting remarks especially indicating towards some specific race, gender, community, caste, religion or nation. If a teacher uses slang words or applies abuse language, the students are almost bound to imitate the same.
A teacher must exercise efforts and render services for the uplift of the students by keeping in close contact with all the students without discrimination. He must transfer his knowledge and wisdom to the innocent minds of the budding genius. If he does not fulfil his duties and pays no heed to his obligations, it may have a very bad effect on the students. It has aptly been said that “better untaught, than ill-taught.” Thus, if a teacher neglects his duties, he is growing a crop of inefficient, dull, lazy, sluggish and irresponsible students. On the other hand, attending to all the students carefully and getting involved in their problems may make them sincere, responsible, capable and hardworking members of society. Delivering the lecture and directing the students in and outside the classroom can observe the kindness of the teacher. A noble teacher always looks busy in providing the students with emotional support and guidance if they consult him in the library, staff room and even in the playground. If a teacher encourages the students in their extra curriculum activities, he is creating debaters, sportsmen, leaders and pioneers from his own classroom, over which he can be proud of in future by looking at the people praising their talent and admiring their works.
- F.A. Jones, (2000) Teaching: Honourable Profession But what has gone wrong? Gibbs Magazine, Edition, 2000.
- Matt Ball (1995) A Theory of Ethics. Quoted in Veganoutreach.Org. Columbia University Press