First of all, a teacher must have a genuine interest in teaching. Often we get teachers who are half-hearted in their job or use teaching as a temporary measure before they get more lucrative jobs. I have met many like these. There was one who always came late to class. When he did he always had a cigarette in his hand. He would then spend ten minutes or so in class before going out for another smoke.
Then there were others who showed no interest in what they were teaching, asking us to read from the book or do our own work. Of course, there were bullies too, both men and women teachers. The men use their physical strength to bully the boys, especially the little ones; and the women use their mouths to humiliate some poor inarticulate students. I too was humiliated and made to look like a fool in front of my classmates before, all because I could not give the correct answer. The most common form of punishment for trivial matters was to stand on our chairs.
Such atrocious behavior on the part of the teacher stems from the fact that many teachers are unhappy with their job, for whatever reasons. It is obvious too that some are unhappy with their life. So a teacher who really wants to help the students is one who loves his job, regardless whether it pays well or not. Also, he cannot allow problems in his personal life to get in the way of his job. He has to settle the problems himself and not take it out on the students. Imagine having to put up with a teacher who is having a hangover from the previous night’s drinking session, or a shrew who finds fault with everybody because she had some family problems.
There was once a teacher who, in my opinion, is close to being an ideal teacher. He was kind, considerate and really showed genuine interest in all his students, not only the smarter ones. He taught us mathematics. After explaining a lesson, he would go around to each and everyone to see if he could help. Everyone enjoyed his lessons because he was a cheery fellow and he explained the lessons well. As he was really good, none of us had any difficulty with mathematics. We all did well in his tests and other examinations. He was approachable and was willing to spend time after school with students who needed extra help. Often he could be found in the school canteen after school with some students who flocked around him for help.
Outside normal lessons, he was fun and enjoyable to be with. He had a great sense of humor and could interact with people young and old. He was about twenty-five but he could speak to a fifteen-year-old or a fifty-year-old just as easily. When we had to come back to school for extra-curricular activities, he would always be available to help out in anything that he was able to. He never said no if we asked him. The most outstanding quality about him was: he was genuine.
This teacher had moved to another school. We miss him for he had the qualities of a really good teacher. It would be good if we had more teachers like him.