It is customary that teachers get compliments, admiring comments and titles, gifts and good wishes from their students on this special day (teachers’ day) but the things i admire the most and like from the children are handmade greeting cards, beautifully decorated bunch of flowers or self written acrostic poems that really reflect the love, respect and appreciation they have for their teachers. but ‘teachers’ day’ is not and should not be just a single day of the year dedicated to commemorate the invaluable services the teachers render.
teaching: career with a divine calling:
many people enter the teaching fold to earn a livelihood by honest means. our ancient scriptures and great leaders too have held teachers and teaching in high esteem. ‘acharya devo bhava’ (the teacher is god) reflects the divinity of the teacher. many great teachers of the past have left behind this divine mantra to carry it to the succeeding generations of teachers. no doubt with growing materialism and changing values teachers have fallen from this pedestal but real teaching is still and will forever remain divine in nature.
need for empowering teachers:
there is a reciprocal relation between education and teacher as an agent of social change. the teacher’s role is very vital in bringing positive educational changes and therefore he/she needs to be empowered in taking vital decisions with regard to curriculum planning and implementation, setting teaching– learning goals, assessing the learners, and sharing opinions in policy making decisions. but many so called ‘reputed schools’ do not allow teachers to express their own viewpoint. in the current educational scenario teachers need a lot of freedom at work to bring out their creativity, innovation and personal methodology to become practitioners in the real sense of the term. prof. krishna kumar in his key note address during the progressive teacher conclave held in new delhi aptly highlighted the ills of the growing culture of digital inspection of teachers by many schools. it is sad but true that the teacher who is regarded as a role model and harbinger of change and upliftment is seen with suspicious eyes at his workplace. the real joy of teaching-learning will come when schools will give autonomy to teachers.
teaching viz–a- viz learning:
educational reformer, psychologist and philosopher, john dewey once stated,’ if we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.’ in many other specialised professions like medicine, engineering, accounting, law, architecture, consistency of quality is built by building a body of knowledge by providing regular pre and post job skill training in that knowledge. in teaching too skills need to be updated. the real joy of teaching comes to those who harmonise it with learning. just as a musician tunes his instrument before he performs to bring out melodious and soul-stirring music, in the same way teachers with a ‘put learning first’ attitude can bring about effective teaching in their classrooms.
find fun in your work:
teaching is a serious vocation; therefore it needs lot of patience and perseverance amidst the changes and challenges of the modern world. being a teacher, i have always taken teaching seriously with conviction and care. but at the same time i devise ways to make it interesting and joyful for myself and my learners.
on some occasions the school environment, and teaching itself, can be stressful for all involved. the teachers engaged in teaching and related activities may suffer from stress and fatigue but humour can give everyone a temporary respite from such stress, defusing frustrated behaviour from students and allowing teachers to relax and be more in control of their class. teachers who spice up their teaching with fun and humour are liked by their students. just as a scottish-american classicist, academic and writer gilbert highet states, ‘a very wise old teacher once said: i consider a day’s teaching wasted if we do not all have one hearty laugh.’
niche your career with creativity:
creativity in teaching is the science and art of looking for ideas from everywhere and transforming them into a useful tool or aid to enhance interest and joy, and facilitate more ideas to come forth from all quarters. creativity isn’t something that just happens by magic. it takes a lot of planned, prepared and ‘ready to work’ attitude. creativity is an intelligence that requires tireless work to nurture, grow, and develop. creativity in a teacher’s work brings lots of ideas and methods to help the learners grasp the most complex curriculum related terms. a creative touch inspires the learners to move forward. i always find teachers of my school busy in writing and preparing lesson plans, question papers, home assignments, teachinglearning aids with utmost care and creativity. the reflection of their creativity is seen in their learners’ work too. the real joy of teaching comes when a teacher finds his learners reflecting his/ her creativity. in fact, creativity as a teaching tool helps teachers and learners to find joy in their work, solve problems with ease and be passionate at work.
making every child in the classroom feel special:
i have been very fortunate that many of my former students have been placed in top institutions in the country and many of them have gone abroad for higher education. i feel unbounded joy when some of them call me and remind me of interesting or funny events that took place in the classroom or in the school. i feel elated when they express their heartfelt gratitude. since i treated them all as special, they return the same. the real joy of being a teacher doubles when old students remember their loving and caring teachers and the fun they had in school.
in conclusion, i would like to quote a few lines from a poem, why god made teachers’ written by kevin william huff – when god created teachers, he gave us special guides to show us ways in which to grow so we can all decide how to live and how to do what’s right instead of wrong, to lead us so that we can lead and learn how to be strong.
ashok singh guleria teacher of 19 years standing, is a post- graduate in english literature. he writes on pedagogical issues and children’s behavioural concerns. currently, he is the head of department of english and academic coordinator cum teachers’ trainer at the akal academy group of schools, kajri u.p.