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The Good Teacher and The Good Pupil

Aspiration is the hallmark of a good pupil. Through the kindling of aspiration the flame of knowledge begins to burn in his mind and heart. The teacher's role is to uplift the aspiration of the pupil and to answer it not so much by instruction as by suggestion, example and influence. A good teacher is a guide, philosopher and friend who does not impose himself on the pupil, but communes with him in intimate understanding of his needs. He may commune in silence or through conversation, letters, even discourses, though he does not preach. He varies his method according to the pupil's age and psychological state.

All this is illustrated in Jawaharlal Nehru's letters to his daughter, Indira. We present in this selection two of these letters, "The Book of Nature" and "How Early History was Written ". Jawaharlal Nehru was not only a great political leader and world statesman but also a keen seeker, a loving father and a good teacher. A teacher does not necessarily have to hold classes and give lessons. A good teacher is in his very being an intimate friend of nature and lover of children. Parents, if they so choose, can become very good teachers. In fact, teaching should be regarded as the natural profession of every parent, and every parent should strive to cultivate the qualities of a good teacher. How a good father can be a good teacher is very well illustrated by Jawaharlal Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru began writing letters to Indira in the summer of 1928, when she was eight or nine years old. She was in the Himalayas at Mussoorie and he was on the plains below. One great secret of learning that Nehru reveals in these letters is to treat Nature as a book. Indeed, knowledge vibrates