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Teachers: Effecting Change for a Sustainable Future

‘Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education and key to sustainable global development.’
- UNESCO

“The importance of the role of the teacher as an agent of change, promoting understanding and tolerance, has never been more obvious than today. It is likely to become even more critical in the twenty-first century. The need for change, from narrow nationalism to universalism, from ethnic and cultural prejudice to tolerance, understanding and pluralism, from autocracy to democracy in its various manifestations, and from a technologically divided world where high technology is the privilege of the few to a technologically united world, places enormous responsibilities on teachers who participate in the moulding of the characters and minds of the new generation”
- World Education Report, UNESCO (1998)

Teaching is one of the oldest and most respected professions in the world. In India for example the description of a teacher and teaching dates back to, much before the Buddhist and the Medieval periods, there are records of how Teaching and Teachers have evolved with the coming of the British to the present times.

Our Teachers have been a role models to almost all of us. Each of us too as teacher joined the profession of teaching not with the aim to be in spotlight. For us, the greatest success are seemingly small gestures, words of encouragement and moments of connection that happen with our students. If we ask teachers what have they achieved as teachers, the common answers would be that our success is when we see our students succeed. Some would reply,

“I increase the curiosity of my students”, “We are rediscovering teaching with our students”, “I believe that I can guide my student”, “I try and connect education to the world outside the classroom” and the like.Teachers have always inspired students in order to ensure their success and to enable themto reach and accomplish their potential. Best Teachers have been known to be committed to their students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom.

It comes as no surprise that in 21st century, there are many trends that as teachers we need to prepare our students for. The teacher education programmes bridge the gap between theory and practice forEducation -in that it attempts to foster greater convergence between the study of education as a social phenomenon and the preparation of professional educators. Some of the key areas towards development of a perspective for analysis and research while engaging with teacher education could be seen as pedagogy, curriculum, policy, planning, and administration, technology, inclusion, continuous professional development so as to achieve high quality of teaching and learning in schools.

Imagining a world without teachers would be really difficult. A teacher plays one of the influential characters in students’ life and inspires them to take the best out of them. Teachers are not only important for students but for the society as a whole by providing education to individuals who grow up to become a part of the society. Constantly taking suggestions and feedbacks from students and accordingly deliver the requisite knowledge is one of the characteristics that a teacher must possess to make a difference in the society. A teacher lays out strategies, guidelines, and real-life examples on building and enriching close and trusting teacher-student relationships.

It is often said that, ‘Teaching’ is an art and a teacher an artist. They facilitate the education of the students and are the instruments of inspiration. It takes a big heart to shape little minds and future of a nation and Teachers Make it happen!

According to UNESCO Institute of statistics, 69 million teachers must be recruited to achieve universal primary and secondary education across the world by 2030.

No doubt that the Policy guidelines paint a commendable vision to radically transform the education system of any country but No education system can rise above the quality of its teachers, the vision, skills and values necessary for the kind of classroom envisioned by the progressive policy documents.