Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaching is a profession which teaches all other professions’ But????...

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam the former President of India was asked to contest for President Election recently he refused and replied I will be a teacher than a President!  As all of us know the President is the first citizen of the country and it’s a most prestigious position. But for Dr. Kalam being a teacher is more than that simply because ‘teaching is a noble profession’. It is a service oriented, it has a potential to have a great impact on the moulding of next generation. This profession is looked with honour and respect, many wants to be a teacher not with caprices of this profession just to serve and feel worth living. Teaching is a one of a kind profession; this career choice may be frustrating, exciting, and also very fulfilling those who are fully dedicated to choose teaching as their long life career.
A teacher should be a teacher in every moment in his life his attitude life style behavior everything matters a lot to himself and to the society as well. So he is more conscious of his life and behavior and also he should live up to the expectations of the society in spite of his financial hardship and professional life.
It is hard to believe but the fact is that teaching is stressful job hence most teachers deal with big stress level each day. It always goes unnoticed by the society management and the policy makers. Some teachers may think that he has a ‘mellow’ job so he is least bothered about his health effects of stress. The teachers stress level proven to cause physical problems, such as blood pressure and a slew of other problems.
Many studies evidenced certain source for stress for teachers in teaching profession. I also interacted with many people who are involved in this profession and I strongly feel there are certain areas needs to be focused for better in the point of pupils’ the well being of the teacher and the genuine improvement of the school.
More than two –thirds of teachers have experienced or witnessed bullying which resulted for one in five to quite the job. Apart from bulling on teachers themselves being shouted at in front of their pupils would set a bad example for children who were themselves bullied because it would send a signal to their tormentors that such behavior was tolerated. And the consequences for teacher of being bullied were devastating for their health and wellbeing. Loss of confidence, dread of going to work, sleepless nights, family disputes are some of the effects of this.
One teacher confessed ‘the school needs to improve but I am not sure it can’ common sense and trust in human communication is being forced out of profession. A lot of teachers seem to like being told exactly what to do and how to do it. The status quo is just fine for a lot of middle and senior management too. It allows them to wield power justify inflated salaries and be recognized by their peer as being ‘outstanding’ teachers. Recognition the children in their classes would never give them. Never mind they never really liked teaching children that much anyway!
Teaching is a political football; it changes all the time- the combination of continual change with frequent market need, societal demand, coupled with long unsociable hours and poor pay makes up a stressful recipe. All though the school day may be shorter than most office working days, teachers put in many more hours in the evening and at weekends preparing lessons, marking work and organizing extracurricular activities. As one teacher admits I teach twenty five lessons a week despite my best intensions some of these lessons are boring. To plan an outstanding lesson can take hours. I can do that for every lesson I teach. Sometimes I stand in the class delivering a lesson I know isn’t as good as it could be. I know how to make it better. I just don’t have time to do it. I don’t think children notice they are used to this.
Another important area which appears to make teachers more pressured than other professions. Problems in relationship with managers-head teacher, deputy teacher, sectional heads. If there is a good relationship, professional as well as humanitarian then teachers feel free to express themselves to ventilate their feelings. Most of the time its lacking, building relationship and maintaining the same relationship has a very positive effect in any profession but in teaching it has double effect. The problem here is if any problem arise the teacher need to tackle alone so the feeling of isolation troubles the teacher which may lead to the resignation of the teacher from that school. Even while handing the problem behavior of the child the teacher should do it alone and also teacher have to look after their pupil’s welfare and also the school boundaries which are imposed on them so teacher gets little outside support. This sense of isolation can grow and contribute to teacher burnout.  
The school leadership is also another important area of concern. One of the most consistent findings from studies of effective school leadership is that authority to lead need not be located in the person of the leader but can be dispersed within the school between and among people. There is a growing understanding that leadership is embedded in various organizational contexts within school communities, not centrally vested in a person or an office. The real challenge facing most schools is no longer how to improve but, more importantly, how to sustain improvement. Sustainability will depend upon the school’s internal capacity to maintain and support developmental work and sustaining improvement requires the leadership capability of the many rather than the few. Many so called leaders in the school lacks leadership quality hence they may hurt the feelings of the teachers in the name of quality improvement.
                                                                                                        --Prof. Madhusoodan Sunnambala 

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