Why Teaching is the Most Important Profession for the Society?
Dr. Mani Shankar Chakraborty
Education and Healthcare are two areas closest to the heart of all Tripuraites. The beneficiaries of these industries are ready to walk that extra mile and are ever-willing to dole out extra sums to avail best of the services in these two industries. If that means moving out of the state, they do not even think twice, however, will the state progressing quite well in these areas over the last decade, many consider to stay back and experience the local offerings. On one hand it is indeed praiseworthy, but, owing to several bottle-necks at times it becomes imperative for the beneficiaries to get the same from other quarters. Healthcare can be a discussion some other day, over here, let’s dwell on what the need of the hour is for the Teaching Community of Tripura, so as to have a positive contribution overall for the state and the country.
(1)Update and Upgrade- Modern day teaching is one of the most versatile profession. Reasons are manifold, on one hand being the major catalyst of change for the society and the nation, teachers are instrumental in sowing the seeds for a better tomorrow. The image of yesteryear, where teaching was just another job is a passe. Versatility in teaching effectively translates in frequent updation and upgradation, both in terms of certification as well as the approach. Furthermore, if you thought, its going to be a pssive profession, where, you can sit back and relax by giving some tasks to the pupils, well, you need to think again about the career option you are part of.
(2)Teachers are no more knowledge dissemintaors-There has been a change of modern day’s teacher’s role. Earlier he used to be the knowledge disseminator, today that role has been taken over in a better and more efficient way by Google! What teacher’s can’t, Google Can, on the contrary, what Google can, teacher’s can’t! The moment a modern day teacher realizes it, he would get into the underlying change that has happened to his profession. This in turn would bring in the much required alteration in his behavior, attitude and approach towards the profession.
(3)Target audience is smarter-Modern day students are much smarter than what it used to be a decade before. They are techno-savvy, polished, understands the nuances of networking and relationship building better, exposed to a large amount of information and are the major influencers in the decision making process, as part of their career. In such a situation, a teacher devoid of the versaility matching his pupil’s attributes would simply fade away, from the radar, in a short period of time. The concept of “respect” that always formed the cornerstone of this profession has undergone a facelift. Gone are the days when the pupil used to bow down to the “Mastermoshoi” just because he happened to be the teacher. These days the bowing down still remains as part of the Indian culture, but the eternal respect will dissipate if the teacher doesn’t meet up to the expectation of the modern generation of students.
(4)Degrees are necessities, not luxuries anymore–Teaching is no more a left over profession, where, one can consider it as a stand-by option, only if other career opportunties does not work out. Teachers are professionals possessing professional degrees and certifications in teaching and learning and there is a need to keep oneself abreast with the latest, happening around him. Simply claiming to a be renowned teacher on the basis of experience and popularity amongst the teacher, would not suffice as regulations makes it imperative on the part of the teachers to acquire whatever is the order of the day. So, it is better to get started immediately, rather than wait and watch and then experience an unpleasant situation. The good old day teachers claimed to be the best not on the basis of degrees, which was there, but only those which was considered essential (i.e. the basic degree like graduation), but with competition increasing and need to have professionally trained teachers, it is absolutely pivotal to have other specialized degrees which makes the teacher understand the nuances of the profession from a contemporary standpoint.
(5)Contribute towards building a learning culture- Teachers being the change agent for the society should consider contributing towards the creation of knowledge centered culture within the society. They are the best bet as they form the linkage between students and parents and they have the largest influence on both. Teachers therefore can very well consider themselves as role models in every sphere of life and make this a part of the learning culture the society needs so badly. Setting the right examples would enable the pupils to idolize the teaching community as a result of which good practices would get intertwined into the social fabric. Sermonizing would have little impact as the major difference between a teacher of yesterday and today lies in lesser sermonizing and more learning by doing approach, as the pupils of today want to experience it by doing, rather than passively listen to preachings and sermons.
(6)Let money run after teacher and not the other way round-The noble profession of teaching has often been blamed to be a profession devoid of substantial monetary benefit, vis-à-vis other professions. The teachers who have made it big are generally the ones who have ventured out in areas not consider familiar to the masses. The situation prevailing is ripe for teachers to make that difference to the society in a positive way, which would compel each and every stakeholder, involved, directly and indirectly, with teaching to pour in resources to make this community help contribute towards their cause. An example could be research, where teachers contribute through their knowledge so as to bring in much needed change in the life of the common man. The other option could be metamorphosing the society as a knowledge based society, where, every indvidual takes decision on the basis of knowledge, culminating in the enhancement of the society, state and the country.
Teachers form the fulcrum for everything resonating from the society and therefore, it is absolutely vital for everybody to contribute positively towards these professionals, even if their respective wards are through with the formal educational years. This is a myth that needs to be broken as teaching never stops, even after one has graduated from a formal teaching-learning set-up. The impact of teachingis felt by one and all as every happening good or bad in the society is an outcome of teaching that happens, formally as well as informally. Although it is the opportune time for the teachers to soul search, the time is also apt for all of the other stakeholders to reorient their approaches towards this profession. As they say the mirror image of the society is reflected in teaching and vice-versa!
Senior Teaching and Learning Expert based in the Middle-East
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