The dilemma of being a teacher

The dilemma of being a teacher

Posted on: Fri, 10/30/2020 - 16:43 By: admin

One of my neighbors asked my mother. What is your son doing now ? “He is a teacher” my mother replied. Oh, just a teacher! anyone becomes the teacher. ( Vo to koi bhi ban jata hai). He further continued  hamne to suna tha ki dilii me rahkar khub padhai kar raha hai ( we heard that he is doing serious study  in Delhi.)

This is how the journey of being a teacher begins. I learned to not expect any social status being a teacher. Oh, but the story doesn’t end here. To know the story better I would like to give a brief description about me. My height is approximately 6 feet. I have a fair complexion. I could speak a couple of languages and can explain the things well. I also have a good physique and I am fond of exercise. So, basically, I have a good built.

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Teacher, as imagined by students


You may question that why this description is required here? Well, this has a connection with the story ahead. My students have often queried that why am I a teacher? You should have been in ARMY. Sir, your height is so good. Some students suggest that You should have Joined POLICE again because of my built.  Students from across the class have suggested me. I really find it difficult to answer that why am I a teacher? I have found one thing that a teacher must not have good built and good height this is how students have imagined the teacher.

While teaching political science, I often explain the concepts and cites a lot of examples from different real-life settings. I have found that my students suggest me to be a politician. They go one step ahead, they promise that if you join the politics we would vote for you. What I feel is that a teacher with the knowledge political science must be in politics not in the classroom, this is how the students have imagined a teacher.

I often use a mix of language in the classroom. My students have observed me and they feel that I speak good English. They again wonder that why am I not an English teacher? The students whom I haven’t taught in the classroom, they have the perception that I am the English language teacher in their school. They have a concept of teacher and they believe that teachers apart from the English language should not speak English.

Teacher and the fellow teachers

I have found people calling me a philosopher. Perhaps, because of my appearance as sometimes, i wear KURTA. I never understood that they praise me or criticize me. I have sensed that if you talk about philosophy, you have no space in the school. The school doesn’t require a philosopher as a teacher or a teacher as a philosopher.

I found most of my colleagues often laments that there is no scope of promotion in this job. The job of a clerk is better than our job. They get a lot of departmental promotion. We join on a particular  post and retire from the same post. Their concern is genuine as long as teachers identity would be measured by their ‘POST’. I have found that one of my colleagues was upset. He was waiting for the day when people would call him lecturer. He had to wait for more than 20 years. The pain was deeper as he possessed masters in ‘PHYSICS’. What’s the perception? A clerk is better than a teacher.

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Bureaucracy and the idea of teacher

I have found that most often the senior teachers suggest the young new teachers to change the profession. ” You have the opportunity prepare for civil services exam and join the administration” . Their concern is personal. They give advice out of the life they have lived. When the director visits the school teachers irrespective of their knowledge and experience have to kneel down in front of the director. Principal, a person with more than 20 years of experience in teaching and administration  have to immediately stand from his/her seat in front of the director. The director, who has no experience of teaching in the school is the supreme ‘BOSS’ of the teachers. I don’t wonder any more that why the senior teachers in the school advice the young to join the other field? One can imagine the compulsion of a person who is negating his/her profession. Perhaps this is not seen in any other profession.

One of my colleagues tried to pursue her higher education and got admission into a reputed university for Ph.D. she needs to take permission from the concerned authority in her department to do her Ph.D. she has to run from pillar to post. She shared that once the concerned authority asked her that why does she want to pursue Ph.D.? She was told that a school teacher does not require a Ph.D. and thus the permission can not be given. What is the perception? A school teacher should be educated ENOUGH, but not beyond the eligibility criteria.

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Teacher and the Universities

Most of the universities are intolerant for school teachers. They have several rules which ensure that teacher should not have an entry into university. They have the clause like one year of compulsory attendance in the university. Some university has this clause for two years. They may have their own arguments, but it is definitely discouraging for the teachers. What is the perception? Perhaps schoolteachers are not serious and they cannot complete the higher study.

In summarizing the story, I find the following image of the teacher in our society

A Teacher should

  1. Be of a small or average height
  2. Have weak and fragile physique
  3. not be a philosopher
  4. Be educated enough but not exceptional
  5. Have Average knowledge of the subject
  6. Not go for higher education
  7. Not possess the skill of speaking multiple languages

Dear readers do you want your child to be taught by the teachers with quality mentioned above? This is the time to reflect.