Teachers do not work in the business of saving lives nor is there any threat of loss of life. The job has no manual labour or physical risks of safety. Teachers are never called in the middle of the night for an emergency. The profession does not involve the risk of huge financial losses, nor does it demand hours and hours of your personal life. So, it is fairly easy for us to assume that teaching is an easy job!
We assume that it is easy to get a class full of teenagers excited about algorithms. It is a piece of cake to take responsibility for the result of hundreds of students. There is absolutely no stress in calming down anxious parents and dealing with piles of administrative paperwork.
It is simply a walk in the park to prepare lessons, deliver lessons, solve doubts about those lessons, conduct extra classes for the lessons, grade those lessons, and ensure everyone understands those lessons! Phew–Easy Peasy, Right?
Well there is more to the story of a teacher. It's a herculean task to achieve all of the above and ensure that each student's learning needs are met. A teacher must be able to inquire sensitively, listen carefully, and consider each student's growth in a thoughtful way.
As a teacher, you are more than just teaching. You are a nurse, a psychologist, a monitor, a social worker, a counsellor, an adviser, and almost literally parents, in some instances.
Yes, you are not called in the middle of the night, but it surely is a tough, comprehensive job that requires skills, creativity, qualification, and qualities as much as any other job out there.
Our teachers have never had a more significant impact on the success of our children and the prosperity of our nation than they do today when teachers are consistently raising the bar for student achievement higher than ever. The Race to the Top is not only for the child but also for the teacher that works day and night behind the student.
Quoting Dr APJ Abdul Kalam,
"Teachers are the pillars upon which all aspirations convert into realities"
It is a fact that teaching is much more difficult than most people realise. Despite popular belief, teachers don't really have summers and winters off. This time is spent on professional development activities and preparing for the following year. It’s in no way a 9-5 job (nor a 7-3 job). The job starts way before the students enter the classroom, and it starts again when the students leave the classroom.
Teachers have to tackle recession’s massive teacher layoffs and other school cuts, plus the challenges of trying to compensate for classroom supplies, field trips, etc.
From ever-changing guidelines to bringing joy and engagement into the classroom, Teaching has never been easy, and it never will be. It takes all heart, commitment, and passion.
But as difficult as the job may be, it is also unimaginably rewarding, and good days can feel almost magical. Further, the world needs more well-qualified and skilled teachers, and we, at Suraasa, are constantly working towards this goal. Suraasa, from its foundation, has been honest about the challenges teachers face and hopes to effectively address them at the grassroots. And most importantly, we aim to remove the label of “Easy Job” from the teaching profession!
Simran is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher. She is passionate about learning and making a difference through her words.