Bill Copeland, an American poet, writer and historian, once said, “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” No teacher wants to put their best foot forward and fail to score ultimately. The only way to avert this situation is to adhere to the principle goals of teaching: to educate, inspire and learn.
A great teacher’s principal goal is to be the best educator they can be. There is something extremely gratifying about imparting information to your students and working with them to ensure they understand, not only concepts, but practical applications as well. There are different methods you can use to teach, and while your teaching style is unique to you, the most important thing is that you engage, motivate and inspire students to learn. Many people teach out of a passion for their subject. Others teach out of a concern for some of the issues facing the education system and because they want to be a part of the solution. Whatever the reason, our role is to educate, so why not impart lessons that will last a lifetime?
In addition, successful teachers also seek to inspire students in all aspects of their lives, and for many teachers, their greatest goal is to be a role model. A role model is someone who inspires and encourages students to strive for greatness, and teaches them through experience and commitment how to realize their full potential to become the best they can be. Teachers can inspire an uninterested student to become engrossed in learning; they can motivate them to participate and focus, and even bring introverted students out of their shells. A great teacher can get students reading; inspire a passion for languages; make math or science fun, and turn history lessons into fun and exciting stories. A great teacher can leave an indelible mark that lasts a lifetime, and for many of us, some of our most important decisions were inspired by our teachers.
Another goal every teacher should aim at is constant year-round learning. You cannot teach what you don’t know; neither can you teach this generation’s learners using books published before Christ. Teaching is one of those careers where you learn something new every day, and many educators cite this as one of the main things they hope to get out of their career. On a strictly professional level, the education you attain to become a teacher opens your eyes to many things you may never have been exposed to before. Teachers also learn a great deal about themselves through teaching. Teaching requires you to step out of yourself in a way you may have never done before, and through this you learn about yourself as a teacher and as a person. You may learn more about how you work with others, particularly with children, and better understand how to communicate effectively and teach efficiently. You can learn how to better handle stress, and the organizational skills you’ll gain from planning lessons and grading assignments will be invaluable.
Ambitious teachers are the ones who enter this career to affect change. These are the ones who want to meet the demand for great teachers: They make it their goal to help improve the quality of education for everyone. These teachers are willing to work in high needs schools, where there is low teacher retention and impoverished communities desperate for committed, talented teachers.
The writer is a Language Consultant