Teaching in a fast and furious world
Teaching is one of the professions that play a heavy role in nation building and influencing the society to a large extent. This thought along with some others inspired me to try my hand into teaching. My run with education which I thought had ended with post graduation started once again. It took me 3 months to prepare for this preparation. I borrowed and studied the syllabus books and got few students to try my hands. The next year the batch grew and I started loving teaching.
In my teaching period, I found a lot of things familiar and the below points touch these points saliently:
It has not really changed much and this helped me catch up easily. The thought that we have not been able to move an inch ahead in the syllabus after all the noise over syllabus by politicians one keeps hearing about made me smile. The same topics covered in the same text with same examples.
They have been teaching the same stuff for so many years !!!!
This was an emotional part as we often place ourselves in their shoes and see with compassion and often frustration. It took me some months to realize and accept the fact the general characteristics of students have changed drastically. They get distracted very easily and to ask for their focus and attention is asking for a lot. Teaching such students became a real nightmare and I had to force them to switch off the phone in many cases. This behavioral pattern was observed in many students but fortunately came across some very good students as well. They studied for the love of education and not just clearing exams. They understood the role of a student perfectly and worked hard to achieve the goals.
The involvement of parents with the education of their kids was also felt to reduce drastically. Probably owing to the fast paced life and the urbanization of society and family. Parents earlier used to spend more time with kids and followed up with every action that happened in school. Some parents would resort to teaching themselves in evenings. Conversely they were also kept in tight loop by school authorities. In fact the surprise meeting between teachers and parents is well known in small towns. I always wondered, did my mother approach my teacher or the other way or it was just pure coincidence. This fear of regular meetings always kept me on tight lease from doing anything naughty ever.
In metros the link seems to be missing if not dead.
This is one part that really made me sad because I really believed in the idea that a school is temple of education. But just like the temples they too became heavily commercialized and the intention of their actions becomes clear. I felt that they are more interested in making money than providing education. The quality had taken a back seat making way for quantity and high fee rises.
Teachers: They are supposed to be the role models for students but something nice in them seems to have ended. The nicety which made them talk to parents and advice them on the weak spots they could observe in their students and provide a regular and honest feedback. As I said earlier the meetings between parents and teachers had really been broken allowing a lot of freedom to students.
Principal is supposed to be the one who maintains a tight lease over everything in the schools. Principals on routine rounds are well known and every one will be informed automatically before the round even started; such was the fear. Everything now seemed like a dream. The rounds lost their horror and the fear was overcome by comedy around it. In most cases the principals are now the owners of the school. Being run by trust is a cover up and their focus was obviously on revenues than education.
The holy temple of education has been brought down by all of us together and the role played by everyone was kept aside for either money or for the race to move ahead. The standard of teachings clearly visible in students that enter colleges or pass out from them. However, I still have faith on my tiny soldiers, the students. They will one day start demanding more explanations from teachers because of inputs from the digital medium. The short comings of every member of the system will be accepted and modified through them. The digitization of the world will act as an information platform from where students will be able to change the system once again.