Dr. Peter Cunningham, Professor Emeritus, Senior Researcher Unit for Higher Education Internationalization in the developing world at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, spoke at the HEF Teachers’ Day celebration. His thoughts on the teachers of tomorrow are worth sharing.
There are 3 ‘S’s of a teacher:
First is the self-giving character of a teacher. This is the altruistic side of the teacher where he/ she wants to share with people to make a better society. This giving and sharing is unconditional without expecting anything in return. For this, faculty needs to be applauded.
The second ‘S’ is self development. Teachers are willing to have a life long learning mindset. They are questioning. They are inquisitive. Always asking. Willing to open new windows. Their self motivation is from their own achievements.
The third ‘S’ is self awareness. This is recognition of their own potential and also building that potential. This results in nurturing who they are.
We are always celebrating intellectual capital. There is also social and cultural capital which a teacher creates and that needs to be celebrated.
World leaders are all taking about eradicating poverty. There is another important poverty which needs to be eradicated, which is spiritual poverty. The challenges of the modern world are morality and ethics. These need to be addressed. The teachers of tomorrow have this onerous task to instill values in their students. They have the opportunity and the platform to influence the next generation.
As I write this, I am watching the live telecast of the Canonization of Mother Teresa. From Mother to Saint. I visited her home in Kolkata a few months ago and was blessed. Her words are flashing on the screen.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”
“Not all of us can do great things, we can do small things with love”
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have today. Let us begin”
Let us begin to eradicate spiritual poverty from this world.