for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. ~UNESCO

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tedious, Enduring, Awesome, Complicated, Honorable, Empowering, Respectable, Sensitive… A Profession called Teaching

Dedicated to teachers across the globe who are working tirelessly for the benefit of innocent children and building nations... 

Teachers contribute to the highest group of civil service. The teaching job is different from other professions. To a pessimistic man, teaching is a tedious, hectic and sensitive job. But teaching is all fun and important for an optimistic person. For a teacher… it depends.

Teachers play a very important role in building a nation. The responsibility is huge. Many innocent lives depend on a teacher. It is the teacher who can guide the future populace. So the world needs teachers.

The world is facing a deep scarcity of teachers. It is startling to know that 61 million children are denied their basic right to quality education due to the shortage of teachers. An added disadvantage is that our current teachers are leaving the profession at an ever increasing rate. Globally, we face yet another challenge of retaining and developing our current teachers. The system ought to invent a magic formula to attract best graduates to choose teaching as their first career choice and retain current educators. If a survey is carried out among current teachers, it will be astounding to know that most of them joined the trade as their last option. As a teacher, I feel a small important hole should be filled in the system in order to make the profession a WOW job. Consistent support tops the list. Teachers lack support and career development opportunities. Moreover, the outlook on teachers has deteriorated in the recent years. There was a time when the trade carried the highest honor in the society. The respected title of lopen (teacher) has become the most tedious and widely used scapegoat.

But all the way, we are doing a great job although the environment is breaking us apart. A teacher’s job is sensitive. We have to deal with young fragile minds and if our (moral) responsibilities fail, then the consequences would be large. A teacher should guide the nation into the future. A normal person will feel the load and role only if he spends some time in the classroom. All the blames that comes will lessen. After all, teachers face all sorts of challenges in the classroom and outside the classrooms. Personal sacrifices are huge in the teaching job. We can never postpone our duty because a day’s task must be fulfilled on that particular day. Every single day is imperative. The duties outside the classrooms are always there. Assignment corrections, student behavior improvement, co-curricular activities etc are few from the many outside the classroom activities.
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Thus the questions of monetary benefits come in. Teachers feel that they are not paid adequately. With immense responsibility and risk factor that comes along, I totally agree with this. One very important reality is that teachers have to depend on the so called ‘dry’ salary to meet all ends. We rarely get opportunities to generate extra income. Globally, teachers do extra jobs to meet their life expenses (UNESCO statistics). This statement of money matters might be viewed differently by diverse sections of people but the simple truth answers all doubts. The world moves around money… the inflations, the modern demands, and the basic needs all boils down to the materialistic thing called money. 

Teaching is noble. And teachers are important to build a vibrant future. The job requires sacrifices and consistent development. Children depend on teachers to receive quality education. The world suffers teacher shortage and teachers leaving the profession. Education is the most important tool to breed a positive society. Teachers play crucial roles and there is a need to improve the present status of teachers. The ways and means to attract the cream of graduates to join the trade is vital. Even more, we need to retain our trained teachers through regular professional development opportunities and support from all sections of the society. The teachers should be equipped with skills to face/overcome the 21st century challenges.

I don’t write so because I am a teacher. I write so as the world of teachers needs a closer look-to achieve the global dream of Quality Education for All.

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