A teacher should be a role model for his or her students. A good teacher knows how to lead by example, and knows right from wrong. Good teachers, however, can be difficult to find these days, and while it may be easier to settle for a teacher who only knows how to teach, it is even better to find a good teacher who can teach his or her students values as well as academics.
Not everyone expects teachers to teach their students about values. We think of values as concepts taught by parents. However, good teachers will know that values are also an important part of a good education. Shouldn’t students be reminded about friendship, acceptance, tolerance, and respect? Shouldn’t they learn these concepts in a classroom setting, a setting which is inevitably a social one? If students are not applying the values that they learned, whether they learned those values from their parents or from their teachers, they will never fully understand those values.
So, a good teacher will know how to follow those values, too. In other words, a good teacher should be able to lead by example by putting those values to good use, and to giving examples for them. For instance, a teacher who does not show tolerance to his or students is not a good teacher, since he/she is not encouraging the value of tolerance. On the other hand, a teacher who encourages friendships and teamwork is a good teacher because he or she is able to put those values in action.
Most of us don’t say that we expect teachers to be role models for our children, but subconsciously that is what we hope for. We want our teachers to be able to substitute for us during the time that our children are in school, so that we know that they are learning about life just as much as they are learning about math or English or science. But, this can be a very big expectation.
However, sometimes we may expect too much from a teacher who cannot give more than we can. While a teacher is supposed to lead by example and is supposed to teach our children about academics, that same teacher cannot be everything for us. Instead, we have to pool our resources together so that we are all able to teach children positively. To do so, we should all learn how to lead by example.