14 March 2008

A Teacher Is

No, this isn't one of those smarmy lists that repeat an opening line and add treacly platitudes over and over again. This is simply a definition, a categorization of what A Teacher Is.

And it all boils down to three simple words: A Positive Example.

So for those of you who'd like a full sentence, here it is: A Teacher Is A Positive Example.

Now I'd like to point out that I use "Teacher" in reference to a person, for one can learn from many types of negative examples, and though there are tons of "negative example teachers" out there and one can learn what NOT to do from them, I prefer to focus on the positive side of things (yes, I do) and develop this definition from what a Teacher should be.

And there it is: A Positive Example. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, the operative word there is obviously "example", for many people are (or deem themselves) positive, but restrict their positivity to mental exercises or pure convenience.

To be A Positive Example one not only has to think in positive ways, but also act in positive ways. The Teachers that change lives, that change societies, are those who merge the positive ideas and thoughts for growth with behavior and actions that build these invisible foundations into tangible results.

Therefore, a Teacher is someone who undertakes her job and career as a mission, not as a means of survival. Someone who does the right thing--especially when no one is watching--because ultimately, he himself is watching. A person who knows the hard road is almost always the only road to success. A woman who values the process for what she gives as much as for what she receives; a man who knows his responsibilities and duties go hand-in-hand at all times.

And as you can see, a Teacher could be--is--anyone, everyone, all of Us. As parents or employees, government officials or clergy, students or laborers, We all should be Teachers. We should hold Ourselves to the standard of being Positive Examples because the alternative, so often taken, leads to a dead-end for all of Us.

And lest I be accused of parading idealism like a helium float, I don't expect everyone to live up to the notion of being A Positive Example. All I'm asking is for several more of Us to do so, to lay the foundation for a little bit of growth that could help stem the tide of crass bestiality that seems to be growing, eating itself into Our society's heart from the outer fringes.

And yet again, this is not a new idea. Aristotle lambasted his fellow citizens for similar notions. In times of change, in times of confusion and chaos, it is often the Positive Example the only cornerstone of the new road to progress. The more cornerstones, the sooner We build it.

And as so often said here, A Positive Example is nothing more than a matter of...choice.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Aníbal said...

"A poor teacher complains, an average teacher explains, a good teacher teaches, a great teacher inspires." — H. Narasimhaiah

Gil C. Schmidt said...

Whatever his name was, he was right!