Being a teacher comprises of several ups and downs that are usually absent in other professions.
The chance to leave a mark on future generations, the fun of interacting with younger people, the intellectual fulfillment of a given subject area - are just some of the good sides of this job. Yet, every now and then, almost every teacher finds herself/himself a little disillusioned and constrained by questions, doubts, and challenges.
On the surface, this profession does seem very one-dimensional. You pick a subject, get some expertise in it, pursue some eligibility tests, get your first job, then the second one and the rut continues.
But a lot has changed over the last few years. Teaching is not the monotonous, one-track, flat career it was perceived to be.
It is quite possible that a very well-established teacher is stuck in a spot and needs to get out of the dull end as fast as possible.
1. Are you teaching subjects that have lost relevance or currency?This need not be only in terms of monetary growth or market needs. This can also be related to your own personality, preferences, taste and inclination. It may so happen that a subject that you never paid attention to earlier is suddenly interesting, hot, in demand or in need of teachers like you. This is the time to lap onto some brushing-up tools and take advantage of the ripe situation. This will get you out of a dead spot and push you towards something more fresh and dynamic in the long run.
2. Outdated skills?Teaching, like every other profession, needs constant evolution. Whether it is the question of some latest pedagogy trend, the most-talked about classroom approaches or teaching tools; it never harms anyone to seek out what’s going on right now. It is easy to fall in a comfort zone but you never know when the ‘next’ thing would displace the ‘current’ one. Be prepared and keep hitting the refresh button.
3. Lack of Professional DevelopmentThis is no fault of teachers. Often due to lack of budget, intent, and even fairness; teachers are sidelined when it comes to training and development needs. Corporates eke out enough funds and time for training their employees in various functions but that is an unlikely case even with the best of educational institutions. This is a hint for you to get out of reactive mode and play the proactive mode. Developing yourself is the first and foremost of your prerogative. So enlist for good online courses and tutorials and enhance your overall competence level. Still better, prepare for exams like CTET, that will help open up new opportunities in the field of teaching. Expert trainers and professional coaching Institutes like TalentSprint offer both classroom and online courses for teachers. CTET can help you grow professionally across Institutions, both private and Govt. aided.
4. Lack of InnovationMany institutes find comfort and predictability in curriculum, approaches and assessment methods that were set a zillion years ago. You may find yourself completely out of tune with what’s been going on. You have a new idea or a new constituent that can revitalize the curriculum or the subject’s attractiveness for students. You have to take some initiative here and try out new angles. Experiment with small steps. Volunteer for both inside and outside opportunities. Join good online communities and participate in the innovative direction. Be an active participant in your own Institute to bring about these small changes.
5. Wrap the PackageTeaching is as much about one’s communication skills, ability to discipline a group, evaluation strengths, management skills, counseling, parent-interaction, community participation and even leadership roles, as it is about a given subject matter. You could find yourself in a flat zone if you are not working on your overall personality package as a teacher. Hone those other sides and become a well-rounded professional.
Other issues can also keep you stuck in a wrong corner. Your personality and overall chemistry may not be fitting well with the age/subject bracket of students that you are currently teaching. Reconsider your current focus area and try to see if you would better work in a different category or subject area.
This is not a one-time assessment routine. A good teacher, like every other good professional, keeps taking a frank, fair and agile look at what’s happening around and inside and continues to adapt and sharpen oneself with ease.