In today’s competitive world children’s education and their performance in academics is one of most talked about subject. If for some reasons a child does not do well in the academics, the blame is put on teachers and school management. The pressure on teachers and schools has become so much that teachers are losing interest in the profession resulting in teaching profession as one of the least desired professions.
Just few years back it was not so. Teaching was thought to be noble profession and teachers used to take pride in what they do. They used to feel they are not only shaping the future of the kids, they are instrumental in building a society which is based on strong foundation and values. Students and Parents used to respect teachers as god or at least next to god.
Why there is so much change? Are schools, school managements, parents and society as a whole responsible for this? Let us try to examine this and think what we can do or at least where we can start….
Primary education is the stepping stone in someone’s life. School (Primary and High) teachers understand their contribution to society and nation building and do their best with utmost sincerity. We all know and understand their role but are we doing enough to make sure they are able to give their best and they get their dues they deserve?
Most of the teachers love their work; they enjoy spending time with kids. They get immense pride and satisfaction in the fact that they are shaping the future of the kids and the nation. At the same time the respect they command in the society makes them more committed to their work.
Teaching at the same time has become a very high pressure job. There are many things which have made teaching profession less rewarding and less satisfactory. When we talk to teachers and read the books, newspapers, articles on internet we find that many teachers are complaining on many things.
The current situation:
Teachers are complaining that:
- They are not able to balance their personal life and work as they are spending lot of time in school
They are expected to prepare for the teaching when they are away from the school, are expected to take the papers for correction to home, prepare for school functions and events etc.
- Salaries of the teachers are not in line with the responsibilities they shoulder
They do not get enough salary. The salaries are very less when compared to many other professions.
- Their suggestions are not considered while decisions are made
Their suggestions are not sought when teaching related decisions are made by management. This puts lots of pressure on them as either the decisions which are made are not best for students or decisions are not helping the students.
- The classroom strength has become bigger and bigger
The no of students in classrooms are ever increasing. This is not allowing them to give their attention to the students they deserve.
- There is too much to complete in the time allotted
The time allotted for teaching work is not enough. There is too much to be completed in very limited time and it is affecting the quality of the education.
- They are not getting enough aids to teach
The schools are not upgrading. There are lot of things which are available which can aid to their teaching and will help students, but management is not open to try new ideas, concepts and wants them to teach in traditional way of lecture-listener style.
- Prospect of promotion/career growth are limited
They do not see many opportunities to grow; neither the management is serious at it. Once someone joins as junior teacher it takes many years to become senior teacher and move forward in the career.
- They are spending significant amount of their teaching time in administrative work
Teachers are being forced to do lot of administrative tasks. This takes away significant amount of their teaching time and they are not able to give their full attention to teaching.
- The eagerness of students to learn and excel has reduced
Students are not showing eagerness to learn. Because they are not showing eagerness to learn their results suffer. Teachers are blamed for this and are subjected to bullying by their parents and in some cases by students themselves.
Is there something which can be done?
Yes, there is lot which can be done. The most important thing which can be done is to bring the change in the way schools function and the teachers are treated.
To start with basics we need to empower teacher by providing all the necessary aids to teach, ensure descent incentive and other benefits, and keep the classroom strength manageable so that teachers can give personal attention to students. We need to respect their view in the decision making as they are the one who are affected by any teaching related decisions. The interference (micro management) from management should come down and they should be allowed to do their job freely.
We know what can be done but then why it is not done?
There are multiple reasons why it is not done. The very first and foremost thing is the attitude of management. The management knows for all the valid reasons that no of job seekers as well as no of students who are looking for admissions into schools are very high. Whether the teachers are happy/satisfied, whether students are getting enough attention or care it does not matter at all. People need jobs so they will come as teachers and at the same time parents want schools for their kids so they will enroll. Another is the money mindedness – They want to spend less and less on creating the facilities and infrastructure, so that they can make more profits.
Most of the heads institutions consider education as a business and not a place where students learn and get empowered by learning. There is too much focus on accreditation so that they can get more students and charge more money
The possible solution:
Is there something else which can bring change?
Yes, the most important thing which will bring change is the change in the attitude of all the stakeholders. This may be the first step but certainly can be a giant step.
Attitude and Mindset of the Management:
The attitude of the management needs to change. We need to find the ways to make management understand the importance of work they are doing. They are not in this only to make money; they are here to facilitate quality education to kids who are going to be torch bearers of the society. They need to provide teachers what they want, so that they can give their best at what they do. Listen to teachers when it comes to teaching related decisions as they are the ones who directly get affected by any decisions which are being made.
Attitude and Mindset of teachers:
We need to find ways to make teacher drive pleasure from their work. We need to make them understand that the success of students is success for them. They do not have to teach what is prescribed in the syllabus only but they need to do more than this. They need to teach ethics and values also. The education with ethics and values will contribute a lot to the success of the student and will build the society and nation which is built on very strong foundation of ethics and values.
They need to feel the pleasure they get when a student succeeds, they need to feel the pleasure when parents praise them and say Thank You for their share in their kids success, they need to feel the pleasure when a student dedicated a part of their success to his/her teacher.
This feeling is alone is enough to make teacher give their 101% to what they do and leave the other worries and complains aside.
Attitude and Mindset of parents:
Parents need to understand that sending their kids to school alone is not going to do everything. They must understand that teachers do their best they can but they also need to put aside some time and spend those on kids’ studies. Check with students whether there are any home works, whether they have finished the portion they were asked to etc. They need to show genuine respect to teachers for what they are dong.
Attitude and Mindset of the Students:
School days are the most important part of student’s life. This is the place where the foundation stone is put for the future and teachers are very important part of it. Students should respect their teachers for their contribution in this. They should give their best while learning and should make their teachers feel proud by doing well in studies.
Attitude and Mindset of the Society:
The society also needs to change its attitude towards teacher and respect them for their contribution. We people make society. If each of us start giving respect to our teachers they deserve and genuinely appreciate and thank them for the same, there will be probably nothing more which will give our teachers the happiness and satisfaction they are looking for.
Written by : – Krishna
The views in the article are author’s own views derived on his understanding of the problem teachers are facing today in education field.
For any query he can be reached at [email protected]