Who are Teachers?

Volumes have been written about educational ideals, yet we are in greater confusion than ever before. There is no method by which to educate a child to be integrated and free. As long as we are concerned with principles, ideals and methods, we are not helping the individuals to be free from their own self -seeking activities with all its fears and conflicts.

It is only in individual freedom that love and goodness can flower, and the right kind of education alone can offer this freedom. Neither conformity to the present society nor the promise of a future utopia can ever give to the individual that insight, without which he is constantly creating problems. You say easily that we love our children, but is there love in our hearts when we accept the existing social condition, when we do not want to bring about a fundamental transformation in this destructive society?

An educator is not merely a giver of information, he is one who points the way to wisdom, to truth. Truth is far more important than the teacher. The search for truth is religion, and truth is of no country, of no creed; it is not to be found in any temple, church or mosque. Without the search for truth, society soon decays. To create a new society, each one of us has to be a true teacher, which means that we have to be both the pupil and the master; we have to educate ourselves.

If a new social order is to be established, those who teach merely to earn a salary can obviously have no place as teachers. To regard education as a means of livelihood is to exploit the children for one’s own advantage. In an enlightened society, teachers will have no concern for their own welfare, and the community will provide for their need.

The true teacher is not he who has built up an impressive educational organization; nor he who is an instrument of the politicians, nor he who is bound to an ideal, a belief of a country; the true teacher is inwardly rich and therefore asks nothing for himself; he is not ambitious nor seeks power in any form, he does not use teaching as a means of acquiring position or authority, and therefore he is free from the compulsion of society and the control of governments. Such teachers must have a primary place in an enlightened civilization; for true culture is founded not on engineers and technicians, but on the educators.

A real teacher is one who strives to enlighten young minds not with knowledge but wisdom, not with materialism but idealism, not with indifference but love.