Defining the “new age” teacher

I’ve personally worked with almost 500 teachers so far (in past 4 months) and given my previous article I got into a discussion with my friend on what in our opinion defined a “new age” teacher. You may, rightly, ask why the classification? Well, I could have as well used “good”, “excellent” and some other such term, I chose “new age” on purpose. One, it gave the discussion a purpose of looking for something “different” and secondly, it clarifies that we are looking for someone who is “contemporary”, irrespective of age.

Ok, coming back to the main point. What are the characteristics that define today’s teachers? In my mind the baseline is clear, she should be knowledgeable in her subject and she should have good communication skills. But, how does one go beyond? In today’s world, with its abundance of information, a teacher with a capability to upgrade her knowledge “just-in-time” instead of the traditional view of being a “know-all” is a cut above the rest. Another key quality is curiosity, more a child-like curiosity to devour information ensures that she facilitates better understanding and guidance for the child to navigate the complex world that they are faced with today.

A teacher who recognizes that today the skill set required to fit into the world has changed from hard work, obedience and intelligence to critical thinking, independent thought process and yet, being a team player will help mould the child accordingly through various activities and aids available in the classroom. Of course, the teachers need exposure to the corporate world or some way of upgrading their skill set to be able to acknowledge, accept and implement this change in their teaching methodology. What do you think? What defines a new age teacher?

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