My beloved wife has just completed her 25th year of science teaching last week in a reputed school in Kolkata. It is indeed not an easy task .Teaching science is very different from teaching other subjects for senior classes. Completing 25 years in a teaching career is more than a statistics to me.
Over the years the art and science of teaching have undergone a phenomenon change, but the tasks of a teacher are primarily the same, which is the transfer of knowledge to the next generation.
Any second person will agree with me that by all definitions the profession of teaching has a very prestigious place in all professions. Teacher is undoubtedly a kingpin in the entire system of education. I read somewhere that teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions and also a teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils mind.
Teaching has now become a very demanding “occupation” with a lot of stresses for a teacher who has a lot of deadlines to meet and a lot of responsibilities to shoulder about which no management tool have been evolved to combat such stresses associated as mentioned below: excessive workload, rising class sizes, changes in curriculum and courses, changes to assessment and testing requirements, poor management, workplace bullying, crumbling schools, pupil misbehavior, risk of violence from pupils, parents and intruders, lack of support with bureaucracy, form filling and routine tasks, lack of job security due to redundancy and fixed term contracts, lack of control over the job, burden of providing cover, threat to early retirement arrangements, denigration of profession by politicians and media, lack of public esteem and so on. The moot question is who will address all the above problems to make teaching a most sought after profession.
In recent days the subject has caught the attention and many educational experts are trying to focus the” stress” aspects in the profession of teaching .Topics like Classroom management, cultivating a classroom culture, communication skills and so on are very often discussed by experts . Umpteen numbers of books are written on the subjects including teacher’s survival guides and so forth. In this context I wonder can anyone learn teaching, swimming or boxing by reading books and attending seminars and workshops. Of course I am not and cannot.
One should understand that the art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate (management) tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task with “native intelligence skills”. Do you agree with me? I dedicate this post to my wife for completing twenty five bright years in the teaching profession.