An integral way of life is something that integrates natural human qualities in a human being. Away from the definitions by the thinkers and philosophers; for me, it is a way of living that makes a human being more humane. Taking this concept to higher education, it is important in today's world to create students who are more sincere, transparent, honest and logical. And the onus of it lies largely on the educators who can, by their efforts, sincerity, dedication, and meticulous planning make this happen.
In today's era when we are losing youth to vices, an approach to understand them, talk to them, and nurture them may help. The teaching nowadays has moved beyond the classroom and so is the teacher-student relationship. In order to develop the fullest potential of the students, it is required that we find some time to look into the hearts and souls of the students. A small 'hi', a pat on the back, listening to their issues, interacting with them beyond the classroom does not cost much to the educator but means a lot to the students. Also important here is to be empathetic and non-judgmental. There can be many ways in which one can do this but for me, as a higher education educator, is the mantra of A-B-C, that stands for Availability, Bonding & Communication.
Being available to students at the time of need is utmost important for any educator. One cannot just restrict students to classrooms; and it's not because of any rule, it's out of our love not only for our students but also for our profession. Learning takes place round the clock and more of it takes place outside the walls of classrooms. Students, at times, may discover something to learn and may want to discuss the same with you. At sometimes, it is possible that they may just want our opinion or may talk to us for something that is not related directly to the course but is related to human life; life outside institutes, universities and colleges. One must try to bond and keep the doors of communication open for our learners. The role of a teacher does not limit to the word 'teacher': for me it is a combination of a facilitator, a friend, a guide, and a philosopher!