Friday, 4 November 2016

Responsibility. Growth. Self-Actualisation: Teaching is not just another job

CTET exam
Most people are content with jobs. They are satisfied or perhaps tolerant of the 9 to 5 routine they are supposed to observe every month. They can handle walking on the same treadmill every year with no increase or decrease in speed whatsoever. The direction is the same and so is the journey. That’s what characterises most jobs even in the 21st century. People in these jobs are not complaining about the monotony, the bland dimensions and the run-of-the-mill flavours at all.

Chances are that you too belong to this category – satisfied, complacent or whichever label you want to give it. Chances are that you do not ‘at all’ belong to this category and if put in one, you would definitely suffocate. Or burn out.

It’s not about how much pressure or repeated aspects a job has. It is about what a particular work means to you. For someone who is a disinterested carpenter, nails and axe seem to be just another set of tools to be survived for the next few hours. For someone who is passionate about wood, it’s an art that is so much worth sweating for.

Teaching is a unique profession that way. We repeat - a profession. This is not a loop where one can simply turn up for a few designated hours and come back with no contribution or value addition. Teaching is about knowledge. It’s about passing on something to someone else. That can be a legacy in some special cases. Teachers do not merely relay information. At least not anymore, in this DNA age of Big Data and information clutter. They make sense of information and help others do so. They develop judgement, nurture perspectives and carve opinions. They are influencers who impact lives beyond the premises of a given class.

Their imprints are manifold and often in ripples. Teachers and Doctors happen to be professions where respect and gratitude come instantaneously irrespective of the compensation paid for services. So, one cannot expect to be just another job-worker in a profession like this.

That also translates the other way. Teaching, apart from some exceptional cases like Science or Research or Creative fields, is one of the few professions where one just does not stop to grow. In other jobs, skills and knowledge gathered before the onset of a career suffice to carry one through for years altogether. But in teaching, one has to continuously add and refine one’s repository of knowledge. This is one field where personal growth, intellectual rigour, and the graph of skills have to be upward if one really wants to create a positive impact.

The respect that learners assign to teachers comes from this very distinction that teachers arrange for themselves by constant reading, research and application. The set of colleagues in this profession too are different in the way that they always inspire or trigger to further one’s skills and knowledge.

Whether it is for young students or for higher grades, teachers cultivate a special place in the society through influence, inspiration and intellect. They do not supply deliverables; they add value and that value is passed on across generations. They make sense of knowledge and help in directing its application or evolution in the right direction. It’s easy to be a fuel but it’s not easy, and hence more satisfying, to be a compass that gives direction.

The span of responsibility that teachers carry is wider than job descriptions can ever define. But so is the joy and contentment that comes with being someone who lasts beyond the treadmill.

So if you are one who is passionate about teaching to create a positive impact in the society, be sure to prepare yourself well with proper and professional coaching. A world of opportunities will open up for you to serve and rise.

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