Responsibility of a Teacher: Developing the Moral Values of Students

Updated on October 26, 2019
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul grew up on a farm where moral virtues such as hard work and honesty were cherished. As a teacher, each class had a moral lesson.

My Sixth Grade Students in Thailand
My Sixth Grade Students in Thailand | Source

Most people think that a teacher's sole responsibility is to impart knowledge in the classroom. Yes, but imparting knowledge or facilitating learning is only one responsibility of teachers. In an age where parents are increasingly shirking their responsibilities in bringing up children, it is also the teacher's responsibility to assist in developing the desirable characteristics or moral values of students.

A Chinese teacher in Taiwan once remarked to me that there are no bad students, only bad teachers. I have thought long and hard about this statement and have come to the conclusion that it is true. When children are born, they have no manners and a general sense of what is right and wrong. Good, loving parents will teach a child the difference between right and wrong and develop other desirable characteristics such as good manners and honesty.

But what if parents don't teach their children? Can we say, therefore, that kids are bad because they have no desirable characteristics? No, we can't. It is the responsibility of the teacher to inculcate desirable characteristics into the education of students. If the teacher fails to even try to do this, he or she is a bad teacher.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Teacher?

The characteristics of good teaching include the responsibilities of a teacher. Besides being a source of knowledge and truth and facilitator of learning, a good teacher works endlessly to foster the desirable characteristics of students. The duties and responsibilities of a teacher are to ensure that all students develop the following desirable characteristics or moral values:

1. Honesty

Honesty and integrity are so very important in life. In the classroom, students must be taught not to cheat on tests, not to copy classmates' homework, and not to tell lies to the teacher and others. A teacher can guide kids to be honest by setting a good example in class. The instructor should always be honest in his dealings with the class. A wise teacher will also read and tell his class stories about honesty and dishonesty, and how dishonesty is never really rewarded.

2. Enthusiasm or Avidity for Learning

Every teacher wants his pupils to love school and be eager to learn. Nothing is worse than having an unhappy kid who doesn't want to learn and come into the classroom. In generating enthusiasm or avidity for learning, a teacher must be a good motivator. The teacher can do this by creating a very interesting classroom environment, and by using textbooks and other audiovisual materials which are fun to hear, read, and study. The teacher can also be dynamic in class in his or her relationship with students.

3. Ambition and Hard Work

Thomas Edison once said that genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Anyone who really wants to achieve a goal has to set his or her mind to it and work at it. Ambition and hard work must begin in schools and classrooms. Students must not be allowed to be lazy, and they should be required to complete all assignments on time. Pupils should also work up to their abilities. A good teacher will get his students ambitiously working hard by offering them rewards. These rewards would include comments such as "excellent" or "nicely done" on tests and assignments. They also would include recognition for being number one in the class or getting the highest grade on a test. A teacher can do this by announcing the highest achieving student in class or by posting their names on the classroom bulletin board, for example, as being the student of the month.

4. Curiosity and Asking Questions

Curiosity is a desirable characteristic that is missing from many students. There are just too many pupils who accept everything they hear or read and don't question its veracity. Many students have never learned how to ask questions to find out more about a topic they are studying. A good wise teacher will run a student-centered classroom and teach inductively. A Socratic method should be used to lead students to ask questions to get their answers.

5. Being Responsible

Student responsibility is one of the most important desirable characteristics. Being responsible and held accountable for one's actions is a necessary behavior for all members of society. There is no better place than the classroom to learn to be responsible. Students must be responsible and held accountable for bringing their books and school supplies to class, turning in assignments on time, making up missed assignments, and being punctual to class.

As for all desirable characteristics, the teacher sets a good example by being punctual to class and having all of his lessons prepared. There should be both rewards and punishments for ensuring the responsibility of students. The punishments could include staying after class or doing extra assignments.

6. Etiquette and Manners

Every teacher welcomes a good student who is well-mannered and well-behaved. In Thailand, all students are taught from kindergarten to respect their teachers with a "wai." All students should be polite to their teachers and classmates in school. There should also be no disturbances such as talking out loud in class or students getting out of their seats without the teacher's permission. Once again, teachers set an example by being polite to students and other teachers. If a student's manners are bad, a teacher must take the student aside and rectify the deficiency in his or her manners.

7. Self-Esteem

If a student is going to care about others and display good manners, he or she should have self-esteem. Students must learn to love themselves and take pride in their appearance and clothing. They must feel good about themselves and have self-confidence. Here the teacher can play a big part in developing a student's self-esteem. The teacher can do this by showing concern and love for the student, and by giving the student attention and every opportunity to succeed.

8. Co-operation With Others

Working with others is a necessary part of classroom life. In fostering a good learning environment, it is worthwhile for pupils to join in discussion groups and work together on projects. A teacher sets an example by showing kids hows to work together on a class project. Students could also observe a teacher working closely with another teacher in team teaching.

9. Being Kind and Helpful

There isn't one teacher who doesn't like a student who is kind and helpful to the teacher and other classmates. Students can exhibit this by doing classroom tasks such as erasing the board for the teacher or helping him or her pass out books and papers. A kind and helpful student will also tutor weaker students in the class. A teacher sets an example by being kind and helpful to his students.

10. Being Public-Minded

Public-mindedness is a desirable characteristic for everyone in society. There is no better place than the school to develop this civic responsibility. Students should be expected not to litter, and to volunteer to carry benches and chairs to be set up for a school assembly. Teachers can develop this desirable behavior by setting a good example by not littering and picking up trash in public areas. A good teacher could also show his students films about pollution and global warming and discuss these topics.

In preparing students for their roles in society, the development of desirable characteristics or moral values of students cannot be overlooked. If teachers avoid this responsibility, in the future there will be more deviant behavior problems in society.

The author as an English teacher at Saint Joseph Bangna School in Thailand in 2009.
The author as an English teacher at Saint Joseph Bangna School in Thailand in 2009. | Source

Responsibility of Teachers

What is the number one responsibility of teachers?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Paul Richard Kuehn


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      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        It is important for children to receive education both at home and in school.

      • profile image

        racheal nawa 

        2 months ago

        it's good to educate children

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        21 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thank you very much for your comment!

      • profile image

        Ojara Patrick 

        21 months ago

        Wonderful moral values

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Ruth, I really appreciate your comment. I am pleased that you liked this article.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        thanx for these moral values and i appreciate that

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Shankar, thank you very much for your supportive comments. I am pleased that you share my views.

      • profile image

        Shankar Prasad 

        2 years ago

        Paul, I appreciate you and all other like-minded teachers who see your role as more than imparting facts. You also build character by modeling and instructing. Really good hub. Excellent content! Voted up and useful.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thanks for your comments. Yes, educators would morals would really help!

      • choneycutt profile image

        Henry Wordsworth 

        4 years ago from United States

        I agree with you. Morality is key to teaching. I just wish that the hiring of educators was based upon morals at all.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        &m Abdullah javed I agree with all of your ideas about what a teacher should do. I strongly feel that raising moral standards is especially important. Sorry for my delay in replying to your comment.

      • m abdullah javed profile image

        muhammad abdullah javed 

        5 years ago

        Hi Paul Kuehn. Nice write up on the nation builders. I think you may agree with me that following should also be included, a teacher should:

        1) Focus on personal development.

        2) Try for intellectual development.

        3) Try to learn new techniques of teaching.

        4) Keep a track with the teachers community across the globe.

        5) Try to raise personal moral standard.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


        Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my hub. Teachers indeed have a big responsibility in helping kids develop intellectually, morally, and socially. Thanks for your great comments and support!

      • peachpurple profile image


        6 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        i love reading your hub. I do find that teacher shoulders a heavy responsibility to educate students while getting the blame from parents if the students turn out bad. I salute to all teachers out there.

      • yoginijoy profile image


        7 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

        Dear Paul, it is all about modeling for them! One has to model each lesson as well as each characteristic. This is so true! However, it can be very hard if the students come from a background that does not value education or its elders. I agree though that the responsibility lies with the teacher, although, I feel that we are all teachers for each other. Great hub! Voting up and awesome!

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


        Thanks for reading and the interesting comments. When I taught in Taiwan in the 70s, I never taught in a K-12 school. I taught mainly adults and some kids first in cram schools and then at my home teaching business. I remember back then that all students were very polite and had almost all of the desirable characteristics I talk about in this hub. However, back then Taiwan had a different society than it has now.

      • LouisAlbert profile image


        7 years ago from Taipei

        This is good stuff Paul. I hate to hear teachers complaining that there isn't anything they can do to rectify the apathy to the characteristics that you listed. It appears to be a major problem at many of the lower tier high schools in Taiwan. Unfortunately, many students lose much of their self worth after testing into these schools and resign to a belief that they've already lost. Then many of them aren't interested in practicing all of the positive characteristics that they're good teachers have been teaching them for so many years.

        I understand that teachers in this situation have an incredibly uphill battle, but that's no excuse to stop modeling the positive behaviors you listed.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Ms. Dora,

        Thanks for stopping by and the really nice comment.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


        Thank you very much for reading and the great comment. I agree that there are some corrupt teachers and administrators as in other professions who will take donations for admission to schools. I have personally observed this in Thailand.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


        Thanks for stopping by and the nice comment. I really appreciate it.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        7 years ago from The Caribbean

        Paul, I appreciate you and all other like-minded teachers who see your role as more than imparting facts. You also build character by modeling and instructing. Really good hub. Excellent content! Voted up and useful.

      • Pallavijaiswal profile image


        7 years ago from India

        Ya! it's very true that teachers should impart moral education to students but not all are fulfilling their duty honestly. There are many teachers who unknowingly impart corruption to students.

        Corruption is taught by our teachers themselves, in our schools and universities. There are donations for admission in the schools, is it right?

        In almost every university, there are management seats through which students get admission who even are not the deserving candidates for the seats, but just because they have money in their pocket, they easily get the seats of deserving candidates, and many students who just due to lack of some basic amenities are not able to get education.

        Thanks for your post! May be it'll aware at least some concerned people.

      • Karre profile image

        Karre Schaefer 

        7 years ago from Eskridge, Kansas

        I love this! Thank you from a grandma who works with the teachers on a regular basis.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Paula. Sorry to hear abput your power outage. We teachers need more parents like you who take an interest in their children's education.

      • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

        Paul Richard Kuehn 

        7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

        Thanks for stopping by Billy. I really appreciate your comments.

      • fpherj48 profile image


        7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Well, Paul....Here I sat, half-way through leaving my comment for you and POOF, we experienced a power-outage! Is that annoying or what? Wait for it to come back on, go through the house, fixing all the "digital" clocks (that I keep forgetting to arm with back-up batteries!) Do the whole computer RE-Start thing, sign back ON to email and HP.....What a PAIN!....not mention, I forgot what track I was on!

        I'll just say that I am a great fan and supporter of TEACHERS.....who are definitely a dedicated lot. I have personal teacher friends, which allows me an inside edge. To me, it truly requires specific qualities to be a good teacher. Throughout my son's education, I formed an actual partnership with as many of their teachers as possible. I'll always be grateful to them.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        7 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Bravo! As a former teacher I applaud your list of qualities and hope that future teachers will consider your points before committing to the profession.

        Great job and thank you for the job you do as a teacher.


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