Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Salute to All Teachers

I start the academic year with a salute to all teachers!
Another academic sessions starts and a new challenge begins. Schools are geared up and students are ready, most of all the teachers are battle –ready! I believe that the schools may have a mission or vision but it is the teachers who make it all realize with their influence on children. It is their ability to relate to the children that makes or mar the entire purpose of education.
And as always, a new session will have a mix of old and new teachers, with or without suitable qualifications, experienced or a novice and in some cases qualified and experienced but not suitable! A strange mix of ages, socio-economic backgrounds, genders yet a strong team of teachers are ready for the new session, I am sure!


The adaptability that ‘teachers’ as professionals, exhibit, I wonder if there are any other professionals who can don such multi-dimensional roles. Dealing with different subjects at different class levels is one thing, adapting to the Boards the schools are following, working in strange countries with wilder challenges from nature, racial discrimination or xenophobia is entirely another thing.

The other day I was interviewing candidates for teaching posts. I remembered my days as a teacher when I would appear for interviews almost after every 2 years. My husband’s career in the Air Force made me travel from place to place every 2 to 3 years. Each time it is a new beginning and a new role. Considering different requirements of schools I donned the role of kindergarten teacher to academic head to In-Charge Senior Secondary School or teach the Senior Secondary students. Thank God my teaching varied only between Science in junior classes and English & Social studies in all classes up to 12th. I met some of my colleagues who taught science in 12th and English in 4th. Math in 4th and social studies in 9th! One of them is good at teaching social but qualified to be a Sanskrit teacher.
This teacher I was interviewing has an interesting experience. She taught social studies in a typical conservative SSC school in Hyderabad before she left for Maldives to work as an English teacher in IGCSE school there, that too for Grades 9 & 10. The fear of monthly cyclones did not deter her from adapting to the new school. Her mettle has been recognised by the IGCSE team and she was sent to teach in UK for Grades 4 & 5 for one year. Once the contract is over she opted to come back to India rather than returning to Maldives. Back home, her passion for work began to wane due to the lack-lustre school that she joined. All sails set, like Sinbad, she restarted her voyage in search of new islands of hope.
When I was working in Delhi I remember a friend of mine who was offered a job in Modern School. While her qualifications are suitable to teach English and math their requirement was for a science teacher in grade 7. She had no choice but to burn the midnight oil and learn the concepts of science before she entered the classroom. She is a good learner.
Facing racial discrimination is another tormenting experience to teachers. An Indian friend of mine who worked in more than 8 countries in International schools for the last 16 years has one thing to say that she will never head a school in spite of her ability or experience as she is not fair skinned. She is indefatigable and so she continues to do what she loves most, teach!
I met this Afro-American teacher who is teaching in an African town where people from her own race want their children to be taught by a fair skinned teacher. She still does justice to her students.
I have interviewed people who started their own schools but closed down due to financial constraints, headed schools but resigned due to differences with the management and now they are working as teachers.
Teachers who taught in CBSE SSC or ICSE schools, each school with different objectives & priorities, new Systems & new Heads. Some schools give priorities to lesson plans while some feel every word a teacher says in the class has to be first approved by the principal. I have met some heads of school who spend a lot of time in reading the ‘script’ written by the teacher to be screen played in the class.
I have seen schools that take a record from the teachers for the transactions done in the classes at the end of the day.
Notes to be given for the students, the teachers have to write in a register and get it corrected by the subject coordinator and only then they can write it on the board.
Trust factor is not very evident in many schools, yet the teachers carry on!
Experience, ability and talent may be there in the teachers, but the schools do not want to deviate from their established system. More time is invested in checking the teachers than empowering. At times, parents and students are obliged at the cost of the teacher’s self-respect. Empowerment of teachers is not at all a priority.
Yet the teacher walks on relentlessly, uncomplaining with all her personal and professional woes along with her.
Walking encyclopaedias, some of them may be called or stalwarts in their own way. But for their dynamism, education sector would not have taken off in this progressive direction. Meeting the increasing needs in educational field and unlearning all the conservative teaching patterns only to re-learn new student centred methods which some International schools follow, is another feather in the teachers’ caps. Mastering different subjects for varying classes is one thing, writing the entire curriculum with guidelines from International organizations is another thing.

But in all this I salute the resilience of teachers and the ability to adapt into any environment. We teach adaptability in living things to Grade 4 & 5 but the ‘adaptability in teachers’ is a lesson that all professionals should learn.
Moulding themselves to suit the institution’s needs and rising to new challenges all the time with forbearing nature and sagacious approach, teachers are the best examples for adaptability in work areas.
In their multiple roles, they become students, textbook writers, mothers, Public Relation Executives (with parents), actors, dancers, adventurers, script writers, trainers, sportspersons, curriculum experts, consultants (for neighbours and friends), personal tutors and finally role-models. Who else gets the privilege of assuming such a multi-dimensional role ?
Computers in classrooms or out-sourced curricular experts, readymade notes or online teaching sessions, nothing can replace you teachers..you are the most wanted professional ‘human beings’ for all times to come.
I salute to all teachers across the world that are silently but assertively grooming the citizens for a better world and wish them all the best for another academic year.

30 comments:

srinivasa rao kondamuri said...

Your timing of the post is apt at the beginning of new academic year and hope you write another for 5th september. There is no doubt about the influence of "Teachers" in our lives ,sometimes above par to even parents in moulding "Good Citizens". Yet teachers are not rewarded from socio economic angles. Professionals like Doctors, Engineers,Managers,Lawyers enjoy the "status" and teachers are not getting their due in society , thus discouraging many talented people to take up this profession.

But the way teachers are judged by students in right perspective gives teachers immense pleasure, motivation to carry on and excel in their profession.

I suggest to have "quantified feed back system " in order to get feedback from the students for every teacher as students are the best judges . This feedback may be used to improve and motivate the teachers. Hats off to "Teachers"

K Ranga Suman said...

Nice post on teaching community.The Teachers are hailed as "Guru Brahma, Vishnum, Parameswara"- Create , sustain and maintain the Students. But now the reasons for decrease in fame of teachers can be attributed to changing values in society.

Basanti CS said...

I wish every teacher across the world reads this message and feel great about their choice of Profession.
Most of the time,specially ladies, get into teaching profession as they feel it suits best.They can balance home and work perfectly.But what they forget is that teaching is not about just fulfilling your desire of being a working women or just earning some money. It is much more than this.
In my experience, people who join teaching profession because of timings and the number of holidays teachers get in schools suffer most.( They always sulk and that impacts everything around them)
Being a teachers means touching lives and making a difference.And if try to cut corners then you loose the fun.
Otherwise...it is fun every day.This is the only profession where there is never a dull moment...because you can't afford it!

SANDEEP said...

yeah,exactly....
you are right again maam...no profession or a device can replace teachers.and what ever you have poated 2day is a fact that should be recognised by all the parents of students,students, and the school managements...
this is something every individual has 2 read and understand their teachers importance....

Meera sanyal said...

I remember the day I was asked to teach pre-primary. I am qualified and experienced to be a chemistry teacher for 9th and 10th classes.
initially it was a pressure, but now I wont do anything else in the world.the purity and innocence i see in their faces, makes me feel that world is still beautiful.

Usha Kannuri said...

The energy that passes to me from their vibrant age, I am so glad that I am a teacher! I teach and i learn! I learn to be alive and optimistic I learn to be energetic and vibrant all because of the young kids I teach.I love my choice of my work.I teach although I am a software engineer.And I am proud of my decision.

Amita said...

Seetha why didnt you talk about that Australian lady you keep refering to? A corpoorate lawyer who filled her mother's absence for a few days and permanently remained there in the school with the kids. amazing profession this is.I remember how you called her the 'monk who sold' her ferrari'.

Ramakrishna S said...

As a parent I have always imagined a teacher to be trained and ready amde for teaching a certain subject in a certain class. never thought that so many permutations and combinations work behind a teacher taking up her assignment. Hats off teachers! My respects for you have gone up a few more metres.

Chaiti said...

I apprciate your concern for the proper recognition of the efforts put by the teachers.

Tirelessly with the same enthusiasm, year after year teachers focus their efforts on shaping the future of tomorrow's global civilians.

I just want to salute you too.

The teachers who fully internalise the significance of their assignments and are committed to make a good job of the same, deserve to be treated as the most respectable professionals of the nation.

In today's world, the students and parents have become more demanding and expect a more professional and acceptable educational course which will make them fit to survive in the era of globalisation. This challanging demand can be fulfilled by the teachers who are prepared to accept the challenge and deliver what is required.

The important role player here is the head of the institute who challenges them to focus on the goal and think win-win.

The positive heads develop a vision consistent with sound educational philpsophy, culture and a strong moral leadership. In this atmosphere of self imposed attitude it is easy for the teachers to unify and bind responsibility with actions.

Chaiti Aniruddha

your Manager Admissions said...

Right posting at the right time. The finest, wisest, decentand the greatest profession in the world, no other profession has that type of hero-worship. They will be the rolemodels for their set of students.They need not go for any Art of Living classes b'caz they already enjoy their lives to the deepest of their hearts. The encouragement they get from their students and Principals like you inspires them to teach anything.

Mahendra Kumar said...

When I was in school i had a teacher who was the most wonderful person on the earth.she taught us english and music.I always sat in the first row and admired her.Only when i went back to school for the alumni meet did i realize that she was actually a doctor who left her profession of treating patients to preventing people from becoming patients.

Mahendra Kumar said...

When I was in school i had a teacher who was the most wonderful person on the earth.she taught us english and music.I always sat in the first row and admired her.Only when i went back to school for the alumni meet did i realize that she was actually a doctor who left her profession of treating patients to preventing people from becoming patients.

Ranjita Rao said...

Sita its a topic which is very close to my heart or rather i should say to any proud Indian who wants to make a difference in their small way.. but buddy you are doing it in a big way--- !! Looking forward to many more!

Love you

Ranjita Rao said...

Sita its a topic which is very close to my heart or rather i should say to any proud Indian who wants to make a difference in their small way.. but buddy you are doing it in a big way--- !! Looking forward to many more!

Love you

rachnas said...

'A salute to the teachers' calls for a salute to you....truly HATS OFF.....very well written blog coming straight from a teachers heart....bullseye...to another teachers heart, especially another Air Force Wife who shares the roller coaster ride while proving her mettle again and again, juggling between subjects and grade levels, just because her husband is required to move from place to place on the call of duty.
We the teachers truly are multi faceted professionals who are ever ready to face the challenges....of a new set of students and parents, changing responsibilities, different subjects....with greater enthusiasm, zeal and confidence which I must accept comes from inspirational leadership. Truly, it is a challenging task but it is the most rewarding and satisfying profession too.
No other profession in my opinion gives you the contentment when you see the sparkle in the students eyes with 'eureka' when he could associate a concept taught to life or the 'a ha' moment when while teaching you yourself understood something which was always vague as a student.....or when your students proudly graduate to the next grade level or when you meet them after many years and they still have the same or more respect for you.Which profession can be more rewarding than this.
Adaptability has to come very naturally in our profession as who else is expected to be more adaptable than the harbingers of change.
Great job..... leaves us waiting for encore ....

Anonymous said...

Teaching is a profession which gives importance to respect rather than the status. Doctors, Engineers, Scientists, Lawyers, etc...etc may or may not get respect from all the people, but it is only the teachers who get respect from people of all walks of life. The influence of the teacher on a student is eternal and the people who loves to get such eternal respect always choose teaching as a profession irrespective of their educational qualifications and experience. The pleasure of attaining the eternal respect will drive them to adapt all kinds of situations which their profession demands. That's the greatness of the teachers.
My salutations to you! You chose the right topic at the right time, motivating the teachers globally.

- Uma

Anonymous said...

Teaching is a profession which gives importance to respect rather than the status. Doctors, Engineers, Scientists, Lawyers, etc...etc may or may not get respect from all the people, but it is only the teachers who get respect from people of all walks of life. The influence of the teacher on a student is eternal and the people who loves to get such eternal respect always choose teaching as a profession irrespective of their educational qualifications and experience. The pleasure of attaining the eternal respect will drive them to adapt all kinds of situations which their profession demands. That's the greatness of the teachers. My salutations to you! You chose the right topic at the right time, motivating the teachers globally. - Uma

Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I am a Teacher! Working with a person who has the greatest value for the teacher profession makes me feel vibrant. Hope every teacher will read and know what their role is in this world of Gizmo jobs. Not only teachers, every person in this world has to discern the importance of the Teacher, The Guru.
I salute to all the TEACHERS - the pedestal of the World!!!

padma said...

By this artical you have empowered the teaching profession. Now a days respect for this profession is slowly comming down because most of the schools are giving importance for marks no one is thinking to develope good humanbeing and to develope good culture in the students. with the busy life, parents does not have time to discuss about their teachers hard work and with the love and affection on their child any failure of the child, the teacher is blamed. so the respect for the teacher is comming down. so by this artical it is a message for every one to read and follow it in the daily life.

kavya said...

A mediocre teacher tells, a gud teacher explains, a superior teacher demonstrates,a great teacher inspires but we hav all of them together ..."THE DYNAMIC TEACHERS" Who can tell,explain,demonstrate,inspire and all of that who can show pure luv for us........
I REALLY FEEL PROUD OF MY TEACHERS......
kavya,
student coordinator.

prithvi said...

yes maam, you are right. this is something every individual should read and know the importance of teacher.

Prithvi
V11 D

Silver oaks

Revathi said...

Teacher's ABC's
A is for the abundance of questions and yearning
B is for both inward and outward beauty
C is for creative learning
D is for doing it over 'til it's right
E is for the effort you pour into preparing each night
F is for watching how far we can go
G is for seeing us blossom and grow
H is for reaching for that star so high
I is for imagination, for the courage to try
j is for joy in touching a child's life in a meaningful way
K is for kindness you bring children each day
L is for the love of teaching we see
M is for the "me" you're helping me to be
N is for never being to busy to pray
O is for overcoming our desire to stray
P is for the positives you bring to each
Q is for the quintessential way to teach
R is for your willingness to give us a reason
S is for teaching us to appreciate each season
T is for touching those that sit before you
u is for understanding our fear of all that's so new
V is for the vitality you show each day
W is for every wonderment you bring our way
X is for the extra-special teacher we see
Y is for our sense of yearning to be, and
Z is for the big "yahoo" sent from your very own "zoo"!
2 teach is
+ 2 touch lives
---------------
4 ever
I considered teachers to be this way. They are my role models - my very inspiration.
Thank you ma'm for sharing your views with all of us.

ratna said...

A post which puts forward the role of a teacher in anyones life. Students look up for a role model in their teacher. A teacher is observed very keenly by the students. What she wears,speaks, walks, acts or anything she does is observed. So teachers should be most careful in every aspect.
Role modelship starts in the very tender age of 3 to 4 years. Almost every child, atleast once plays the game of teacher-teacher doing exactly how his/her teacher acts in the class. And it never ends.
Students start saying my teacher said....
So teacher plays a very important role in a persons life.Only an effective teacher is remembered through out. Only a teacher can cherish the pleasure of a student greeting her after a long time. This is because unlike any other profession this has a personal relationship two humans.
Teachers think of the impact u leave on u r students and act aptly.

ratna said...

A post which puts forward the role of a teacher in anyones life. Students look up for a role model in their teacher. A teacher is observed very keenly by the students. What she wears,speaks, walks, acts or anything she does is observed. So teachers should be most careful in every aspect.
Role modelship starts in the very tender age of 3 to 4 years. Almost every child, atleast once plays the game of teacher-teacher doing exactly how his/her teacher acts in the class. And it never ends.
Students start saying my teacher said....
So teacher plays a very important role in a persons life.Only an effective teacher is remembered through out. Only a teacher can cherish the pleasure of a student greeting her after a long time. This is because unlike any other profession this has a personal relationship two humans.
Teachers think of the impact u leave on u r students and act aptly.

ravalikareddy said...

yes ma'am a teacher is a greatest person in the world. he or she is a balanced person with all qualities and is an all rounder.. yes of course all my teachers are my role models... and ma'am now i want 2 tell about my dream. it is to become a teacher first and after opt for any other profession as i feel that the love and affection a student shows towards a teacher cannot be compared by any thing else...
i love all my teachers. a teacher never shows partiality towards any student...she treats every one equally...every one must read this article and understand the value of a true teacher..

i really liked your article very much...

ravalikareddy said...

ma'am u r right... a teacher is the greatest person in the world... all my teachers are my role models. she is a balanced person with all qualities and an all rounder..no other profession can over take a teacher.ma'am let me tell u about my dream.. it is to become a teacher first and ten opt for any other profession as i feel that the love and affection a student shows towards a teacher can never be tasted in any other profession.
i love all my teachers and i want to be loved the same by my students... teacher is a talented person gifted to us by GOD...

megha said...

Meghana
Hi maam,
I really loved the way you explained about teachers .There is no one who can be as great as a teacher nor this profession can be done by someone else!And the reward which we give them is our love affection and obviously our performances!!!!ONE MORE THING MAAM ,NOT ONLY SALUTE TO THE TEACHERS.
I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A SALUTE FROM ALL THE STUDENTS TO U ALSO FOR WRITING SUCH A GUD POST !
HATS OFF TO U MAAM.

jayaprada said...

Admirable.. Adaptable..Adoreble...My hearty congratulations and thanks alot for the vibrant wishes! Motivation, Possitive thinking,Pragmatism in you inspires me alot!The beliefs,Trust n Understanding surely will make purposeful education happen!I feel proud to be in noble profession who plays multidimensional roles in nurturing responsible citizens. Adoptability.... it comes with passion or because of the situtations in the personal life?I feel that it first comes with situations that they face and experiences they have in their personal life. Who wants to be checked by others? I priortise student learning is more important than the record but..... I feel planning is necessary this planning when we make it black and white automatically it becomes a record.Why should we take checking in negitive sense? Why can't we take it in possitive manner? let us not call it as checking call it as discussion. As we are walking encyclopedia's we should not led back ourselves in empowering and updating the knowledge.rather than the books we learn many things through our experiences and discussions.I believe trusting each other can happen with openmindedness and possitive thinking. I salute you for enforcing the trust factor among every one.

NAVYA said...

yea maam... no one or nothing can replace teachers....
and 1st of all hats off to you for writing such post..
Teachers be with us till the end 'UNSEEN' and 'UNHEARD'

'HATS OFF' to all the teachers...

lX 'A'

Shweta Reddy said...

hello madam
the article about teachers was very heart touching . a teacher is someone who doesn't just come to class and teach something and go she is the one who is building up the future.i just read out some parts of the article to my mother who is a teacher she was very proud of herself to have chosen this profession.i would like to salute you madam as you are one of the creators of the future.