- a Living Example
PERSONALITY TRAITS OF A SUCCESSFUL TEACHER
Complete self-control not only to the extent of not
showing any anger, but remaining absolutely quiet
and undisturbed under all circumstances.
In the matter of self-confidence, must also have a
sense of the relativity of his importance. Above all,
must have the knowledge that the teacher himself must
always progress if he wants his students to progress,
must not remain satisfied either with what he is or
with what he knows.
Must not have any sense of essential superiority over
his students nor preference or attachment whatsoever
for one or another.
Must know that all are equal spiritually and instead
of mere tolerance must have a global comprehension
"The business of both parent and teacher is to enable
and to help the child to educate himself, to develop
his own intellectual, moral, aesthetic and practical
capacities and to grow freely as an organic being,
not to be kneaded and pressured into form like an
inert plastic material."
The interest of the students is proportionate to
the true capacity of the teacher.
is no better lesson than that of an example. To tell
others: "Do not be selfish," is not much use, but
if some body is free from all selfishness, he becomes
a wonderful example to others; and someone who sincerely
aspires to act in accordance with the Supreme Truth,
creates a kind a contagion for the people around him.
So the first duty of all those who are teachers or
instructors is to give an example of the qualities
they teach to others. And if, among these teachers
and instructors, some an not worthy of their post,
because by their character the give a bad example,
their first duty is to become worthy bí changing their
character and their action; there is no other way.
is the most powerful instructor. Never demand from
a child an effort of discipline that you do not make
yourself. Calm, equanimity, order, method, absence
of useless words, ought to be constantly practised
by the teacher if he wants to install them into his
pupils. The teacher should always be punctual and
come to the class a few minutes before it begins,
always properly dressed. And above all, so that his
students should never lie, he must never lie himself;
so that his students should never lose their tempers,
he should never lose his temper with them; and to
have the right to say to them, "Rough play often ends
in tears", he should never raise his hand against
any of them. These are elementary and preliminary
things which ought to be practised in all schools
(Ibid. Vol. 12, p. 168; p.389; p. 360; pp.194-95)
Teach in the Right Way Every child is a lover of interesting
narrative, a hero worshipper and a patriot. Appeal
to these qualities in him and through them let him
master without knowing it the living and human parts
of his nationís history. Every child is an inquirer,
an investigator, analyser, a merciless anatomist.
Appeal to these qualities in him and let him acquire
without knowing it the right temper and the necessary
fundamental knowledge of the scientist. Every child
has an insatiable intellectual curiosity and turn
for metaphysical enquiry. Use it to draw him on slowly
to an understanding of the world and himself. Every
child has the gift of imitation and a touch of imaginative
power; Use it to give him the ground-work of the faculty
of the artist.
(Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol.17, p.215)
is one thing that I must emphasise. Donít try to follow
what is done in the universities outside. Donít try
to pump into the students mere data and information.
Donít give them so much work that they may not get
time for anything else. You are not in a great hurry
to catch a train. Let the students understand what
they learn. Let them assimilate it. Finishing the
course should not be your goal. You should make the
programme in such a way that the students may get
time to attend the subjects they want to learn. They
should have sufficient time for their physical exercises.
I donít want them to be very good students, yet pale,
thin, anaemic. Perhaps you will say that in this way
they will not have sufficient time for their studies,
but that can be made up by expanding the course over
a longer period. Instead of finishing a course in
four years, you can take six years. Rather it would
be better for them; they will be able to assimilate
more of the atmosphere here and their progress will
not be just in one direction at the cost of everything
else. It will be an all-round progress in all directions.
you should do is to teach the children to take interest
in what they are doing - that is not the same thing
as interesting the students! You must arouse in them
the desire for knowledge, for progress. One can take
an interest in anything - in sweeping a room, for
example - if one does it with concentration, in order
to gain an experience, to make a progress, to become
more conscious. I often say this to the students who
complain of having a bad teacher. Even if they donít
like the teacher, even if he tells them useless things
or if he is not up to the mark, they can always derive
some benefit from their period of class, learn something
of great interest and progress in consciousness.
Works of the Mother, Vol.12, P.171)
would be interesting to formulate or to elaborate
a new method of teaching for children, to take them
very young. It is easy when they are very young. We
need people - oh! we would need remarkable teachers
- who have, first, an ample enough documentation of
what is known so as to be able to answer every question,
and at the same time, at least the knowledge, if not
the experience - the experience would be better -
of the true intuitive intellectual attitude, and -
naturally the capacity would be still more preferable
at least the knowledge that the true way of knowing
is mental silence, an attentive silence turned towards
the truer Consciousness, and the capacity to receive
what comes from there. The best would be to have this
capacity; at least, it should be explained that it
is the true thing - a sort of demonstration - and
that it works not only from the point of view of what
must be learned, of the whole domain of knowledge,
but also of the whole domain of what should be done:
the capacity to receive the exact indication of how
to do it; and as you go on, it changes into a very
cleaperception of what must be done, and a precise
indication of when it must be done. At least the children,
as soon a they have the capacity to think - it starts
at the age of seven but at about fourteen or fifteen
it is very clear-the children should be given little
indications at the age of seven, complete explanation
at fourteen, of how to do it, and tha it is the only
way to be in relation with the deeper truth o things,
and that all the rest is a more or less clumsy menta
approximation to something that can be known directly.
(Ibid. Vol. 12, p. 170,p.171,pp406-07)
you take the children very young, it is wonderful.
is so little to do:
is enough to be.
make a mistake.
lose your temper.
And to know and see clearly why there has been this
movement, why there has been this impulse, what is
the inner constitution of the child, what is the thing
to be strengthened and brought forward - this is the
only thing to do; and to leave them, to leave them
free to blossom; simply to give them the opportunity
to see many things, to touch many things, to do as
many things as possible. It is great fun. And above
all, not to try to impose on them what you think you
scold them. Always understand, and if the child is
ready, explain; if he is not ready for an explanation
- if you are ready yourself- replace the false vibration
by a true one. But this... this is to demand from
the teachers a perfection which they rarely have.
But it would be very interesting to make a programme
for the teachers and the true programme of study,
from the very bottom - which is so plastic and which
receives impressions so deeply. If they were given
a few drops of truth when they are very young, they
would blossom quite naturally as the being grows.
It would be beautiful work.