By Marilyn R. Garpida
There are multiple roles that teachers are expected to play in the community especially among the young people. The three significant ones are to help develop the moral character of children; hone their talents and gifts and be second parents to them.
In order to develop the moral character, teachers must possess unquestionable set of morality themselves. As the saying goes, “values are not taught but caught.” If teachers tell their students to be punctual but they themselves go to school late, no one will believe the value of this virtue. If they teach students to respect one another but they themselves engage in slandering their fellow teachers before they start the day’s teaching sessions, students will not believe what they are teaching. If they teach about the health effects of cigarette smoking but they themselves smoke, students will just regard this as a subject-matter, not something to live by. However, teachers forget that values could also be taught. According to Bilbao et.al. (2006) if values are not taught then there is no point in including values formation in educational curricula. The fact is, values formation is teaching the will. It includes cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects. It includes training the intellect and will. The intellect discerns a value and presents it to the will as something good or evil. The will chooses firmly to act on the good and avoid the evil. As Thomas Aquinas puts it “the intellect proposes and the will disposes.”When the will chooses the good, the person lives with it and makes it a habit. Teachers then must exert efforts to teach and live standard set of morality. If they do this successfully, the community will become a place of order and unity. Teachers are also expected to hone the talents and gifts of the students. To be able to do this, teachers must plan for varied learning experiences which will bring out the potentials of the students. Teachers must shun traditional teaching and embrace modern strategies that will spark dynamism inside the classroom. They must encourage students to be active and contribute their talents in realizing the learning objectives. They have to train the students to achieve excellence in whatever skills they possess. If the teachers are able to produce skilled and talented students, the community will have excellent young people who will contribute to national development. Teachers too must be second parents to students. It is not a hidden fact that many parents have to go abroad to be abe to send their children to school and the devastating effects of this need not be mentioned. The teachers then must go out their way to reach out to these students. They have to regard them as their own children. Whatever protection, advice and love they give to their kids, they also need to give these to their students. They have to possess a caring and compassionate attitude. Indeed, teachers have significant roles to play inside the classrooms that have direct effects to the community. No matter how hard life is at present, teachers must go back to their lesson in The Teaching Profession- teaching is not just a profession, it is also a vision and a mission. Their role is not to go out to the streets if they believe their salary is low. They have to rally knowledge and wisdom inside their classrooms and silently pray hard that God will pour out resources to them so they will be able to live a comfortable life and at the same time a fulfilled mission.