TEACHERS – ETERNALLY YOUTHFUL
Mr. P.V. Satya Ramesh is an Educator who teaches Mathematics and Psychology for the Secondary and Senior Secondary Classes respectively. With a teaching experience of more than 15 years, Mr. Satya Ramesh has published his articles in many magazines.
‘It is easier to build stronger children than to repair broken men,’ - Frederick Douglas
Nineteenth Century African American Social Reformer
Blessed are those who work with young minds moulding them into productive citizens who would contribute significantly towards nation’s development. These blessed ones are none other than the teachers working in different schools established in our country. All these teachers share a common goal irrespective of the setting in which they work. Then where do the differences arise? It arises in the strategy chosen by a teacher to accomplish the common goal with respect to the needs of the target group. Who decides the strategy or plan of action? Is it the teacher or someone else? In the case of schools functioning under state/central government it is mandatory to follow the guidelines issued by the governing body whereas in the case of most of the private schools it would be decided by the head of the institution taking into confidence all the team members.
Planning was never a matter of concern and the challenge always lies in execution. Who would be responsible for execution? It is none other than the teachers who are leaders in their classrooms. Imagine how difficult yet not impossible it is to accomplish a common goal by a teacher who is unique in her competency and working with students from diversified backgrounds. It is only a teacher who knows what goes into making transformation become a reality. In this entire process there is a lot of learning, unlearning and relearning. Many a times a teacher has to go for improvisation (which might be considered as deviation from planning) in order to ensure quick and effective learning.
A careful analysis of what’s happening in schools is important to understand why today teaching has become the last option while choosing a career. Teaching profession expects an individual to have immense patience, be self-sacrificing, be an ideal role model, etc. but all these unfortunately at the cost of a salary which is less than what a class IV government employee earns. How painful and frustrating it would be for teachers working in majority of the private schools in our country to serve at a salary which is one–fourth of what their counter parts earn working in state/central government schools? Who would take responsibility for transforming the lives of these teachers? Why should the bulk of these teachers think of going an extra mile to transform the society when they themselves are victims of exploitation? Who could give an answer which explains the rationale behind this silent exploitation of educated minds? It is beyond one’s imagination to understand the impact made by majority of these victimized teachers on the minds of the students. However the net result of this vicious cycle would be that the teaching-learning environment becomes stressful in most of the cases, leading to diminished thinking thereby encouraging rote learning. With a majority of the teachers working in schools with scanty resources, promoting an environment of teaching-learning which can have a transformative impact is not an easy task. Ironically cut throat competition makes expectations from teachers vary inversely and the net result would be undue pressure with mere emphasis only on marks/grades completely eliminating the joy component of learning at Primary Level and lack of necessary skills at the Higher Level.
It is high time that each member in the domain of education accepts the reality and makes conscious effort to improve the working standards of teachers. A revolution which can enlighten the minds of people to understand what actually is the purpose of education alone can help teaching have the transformative impact.
It is never too late and even today in India we have teachers whose sole purpose in life is only to inspire lives and uplift the standard of education in its real sense. They are the lighthouses for all those sailing in the darkness of ignorance. Now the only challenge before we teachers is to discover the light within us and thus brighten the lives of many others. Each one of us as teachers is sure to come across unlimited challenges in this noble journey of transforming lives but what matters is the strength of our character which should never permit us to surrender to circumstances. That’s the only hope which keeps us motivated to make a difference each day in our own as well as the life of every individual we encounter. Irrespective of our language, culture, religion, region, socio-economic status, position, target groups, working environment etc., let us unite to work in this direction.