Professional equipment of the teacher
This pertains most of all to human nature, for we are all of us drawn to the pursuit of knowledge; in which to excel we consider excellent, whereas to mistake, to err, to be ignorant, to be deceived, is both an evil and a disgrace.
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, 46 B.C.
Every good teacher must have three separate qualifications. First, he must know and like young people. Second, he must believe that they can be taught, and he must make the necessary effort to learn how best to accomplish that teaching. Third, he must master the subject that he is going to teach. Without any one of these things the teacher will not succeed; they work together in the preparation of the teacher and in his professional life.
Since, most likely, persons entering the teaching field are somewhat gregarious by nature and have a rather strong sense of obligation to social service, the first attribute is the most easily acquired, but if it is absent--if a teacher does not genuinely like young people-- he had better choose some other vocation. A teacher must believe in the capacity to learn and thereby to increase power for positive social action. Any extensive acceptance of the principles of general education and the advisability of mass instruction must be predicated on the assumption of improvability of human behavior and the educability of the individual. To believe this one must like people, especially young people.
Something similar may be said concerning the teacher's obligation to learn and use acceptable methods of instruction. It is necessary