The Noble Role of Teachers:
Transforming Ourselves to Change the World
Study Session 1 – Recognising the Nobility of the Teaching Profession
The Exercise – Step 1
As you follow the Steps below, we trust that you will develop further your own manner of recognising and championing the noble role of teachers.
Read and reflect upon the five quotations on this topic that are shown below:
“Teachers are, I believe, the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth.”
~ Helen Caldicott (2002)
Loving this Planet
“Throughout history teachers have played a role more profound and subtle than that of instruction. Bringing to their vocation a passion for ideas and values together with a love of children and an understanding of the process by which you plant the seeds of motivation, the profession has inspired millions of people to become everything from community activists to loving parents, from distinguished professionals to valued leaders in every aspect of a society’s life. It is imperative that we never lose sight of the teacher in this personal, interfacing sense as the critical instrument in the educational process.”
~ Michael Manley (1996)
Education, Empowerment and Social Healing
“…we teach who we are. Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together. The entanglements I experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the convolutions of my inner life. Viewed from this angle, teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror, and not run from what I see, I have a chance to gain self-knowledge – and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject.”
~ Parker J. Palmer (1997)
The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s life
“The teacher is not merely one who deals with students’ intellectual capacities but one who relates to the whole person and the whole person’s needs and development.”
~ Terence Lovat ( 2005)
Values Education and Teachers’ Work: A Quality Teaching Perspective
“Students are like the stone out of which the sculptor chisels the figures he wants. It is the sculptor who produces a thing of beauty out of a piece of rough rock. Parents and teachers are the sculptors who have to mould the shape and figure of the students for whom they are responsible. If parents and teachers set the right example, the students will automatically blossom into models of excellence and bring glory to the nation.”
~ Sathya Sai Baba (1926 – 2011)
The Exercise – Step 2
The Exercise – Step 3
The Exercise – Step 4
Extract those passages that resonate with you in the above five quotations and five essays and write a short (300 to 600 words) essay on the topic: ‘Teaching is the most noble of all professions’.
The Exercise – Step 5
Edit and improve upon your essay until it is of the highest quality, perhaps also giving it to someone to proof-read and edit.
The Exercise – Step 6
Record your essay in your Journal, along with any other quotations, phrases or sentences that you’d like to return to again, for reflection and contemplation.
“At the heart of Human Values Education is the conviction that, above all else, teachers who are willing for the sake of the children to commit themselves to an ongoing self-transformation into humble and inspiring role-models of good character, will be the essential catalysts for the change that is required for civilization to turn away from its present hazardous trajectory, towards a new world where compassion, harmony, common sense and care for the environment prevail.”
~ Ron and Suwanti Farmer (2015)
Handbook for Teachers in Human Values Education