“If you can read and write, then thank your teacher”, goes the old saying. This adage is even truest in this era when literacy is virtually a sine qua non to the modern man. In the olden days, teachers were regarded by the society as next in line to God. They were consulted in matters of critical decision making. Parents who wanted to build a bright future for their children sent them to live and be trained by teachers. And what is more, they were the envy of the society. Nowadays when this regard the society has for them has drastically depreciated; when they are among the least paid workers even though they work most, it is sometimes difficult to see the huge role teachers play in building the future society.
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Nonetheless, teachers are the most important blocks for nation building. This is because the future generation looks up to them in so many ways. Most of the things a student learns which carries him through life are those he learns from his teachers. The grammar, word use, pronunciations, life tips, etc. which most students make use of as adults come from what their teachers did or said when they were kids. It is not surprising to see students consciously or unconsciously mimicing their teachers in their manner of speech, mode of dressing, even their mode of walking, etc. Being at a critical stage of development when their minds are very impressionable, they tend to copy from reliable adults, and who more can they rely on than their teachers who open their eyes to so much knowledge. And what is more, students hold their teachers in awe and respect more than they do their parents or any other person for that matter. Parents realizing this, often threaten recalcitrant children with reporting them to their teachers.
Given these, the task of a teacher is therefore an onerous one. Basically, they should be masters in their various disciplines, as well as people of impeccable character. They should live lives worthy of emulation. They should not just be literate, but should also be cultured. Since the young students look up to them in so many ways, they should avoid any acts that would scandalize the students as well as tarnish the image of their noble profession. Governments, corporate bodies, and private stake holders who employ teachers should help them a lot in this regard by making their work more incentive, and by raising their dignity in the society. This would empower and challenge them to live up to expectation.
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