My experience as a teacher has taught me a few things. A teacher who knows his subject very well, but doesn't know his students, can't be a good teacher. Good teachers are compassionate and caring. A teacher is a hero, more than a role model. A role model impacts our life for a shorter period; once her role is over, she disappears from the scene. Heroes remain with us for a much longer time. We say a hero of the century. Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, two of our greatest teachers, are our heroes.
A good teacher knows that some students need time to understand even simple things. Effective teachers understand that learners have different capacity of engagement in the classroom. An effective teacher addresses their needs by differential instruction.
My profession has taught me that everything is not for sale. Many things are available for free, but that doesn't mean we should have them. If someone pays my bill, it doesn't mean I should overspend. I have learnt that education is something that should be understood by these yardsticks and valued accordingly. Our internal reward mechanisms are very powerful. Often they help us to overcome dishonesty. We act selfishly to maximize our own payoffs, but we are also sensitive to the costs that our dishonest ways impose on the self as well as others.
Once a university professor was asked what will change everything? The professor said, he wants the end of conventional centralised, age-stratified schools. He wants to see some schools where each child follows his personal learning track at his individual level and rate. He wants all the children to do playtime and gym-type activities together. Starting such a school needs another level of determination and resources.
I would want to start a school where knowledge would not be a burden, no problem will be trivial, learning will not be dictation, incoherence will be heard, and in this school there will be hope that dreams can turn into reality and mirrors can turn into windows.