Coordination, Innovation, Celebration

WHY I CHOSE TEACHING AS MY PROFESSION?

WHY I CHOSE TEACHING AS MY PROFESSION?
- Samita Magar, ELT Professional 
This article speaks personal experience of an English language teacher. The reflective journal tries to disseminate why the teacher has chosen teaching profession and how someone can be benefited by being a teacher. Beside various challenges in this profession, there are significant positions of a teacher in the society that encourages growing generation to choose teaching profession. 
When I was studying in secondary school, there was my English teacher, by whose teaching, most of the students were happy. The students used to respect him since he inspired us for better performance besides only course book teaching. As I saw him being respected by all, I used to wish myself to be such a teacher and be surrounded by many children. He never judged the students negatively and always encouraged for better attempt in all activities. He was simple in living but always happy. Mostly we could see him much happier when we succeed on small matters too. Encouraged by his intelligence and passion for the students’ good achievements, I had decided to be a great teacher: role model teacher and assist learners for their better future.

At the beginning of the session, we can hear the news that terrifying number of students run for the subjects such as Science, Management, Hotel management etcetera. But I am the one who only saw better future in teaching: as the most prestigious profession. Although most of the youths follow those professions, I elected to be a “TEACHER”. It means I decided to be the one who leads the terrifying numbers of students running in search of so called higher and advanced professions, whose job is to facilitate and guide those professionals for their better future. In this sense I feel great in opting the teaching profession and feel proud of myself and my profession despite of the labour and hard works the teachers have to do daily.

Teaching does not refer to only teaching course book and explaining the same matter to learners. It is more than transmitting skills, there should be the living act, hard work, commitment, dedication, trust and care. (Ayers, 1994). It supports that teaching is very risky, challenging job in which common people cannot be involved and spend long duration of time since to be a teacher a person should not possess any kind of jealousy, procrastination and flattery. The people who can accept risk or who dare to face every challenge as opportunities, only they are supposed to be the right candidates for this profession. So I really feel pleased that I am involved in such a challenging and difficult profession.

In my perspective, the teacher is one who listens to the 7th grader girl, complaining about her overprotecting mother and how she wishes she could wear, what clothes they want, she could show whatever she wants. Though the teacher has to listen the child, he /she calmly tells the child that her mother is being a good mother and taking care of her. A teacher is one who sits next to a boy even though his clothes and he smells bad, sits by his sides and helps him. A teacher is one, who devotes his/her time until midnight in order to change next day’s lesson plan as preferred by his learners. A good teacher is one, who thanks the parents for their support even he/she doesn’t get. So teachers are really great and I’d like to acknowledge them from my heart.

The other professionals may feel very proud in their professions but the reality is that it is almost impossible to be those professionals without the help of teacher. In every person’s life, the role of teacher is immeasurable. So I accept the teaching profession as the base for all other professions. There is significant number of reasons behind choosing the teaching profession. However, the most prevailing and compassionate reasons are discussed in details which are as follows:

Teaching: Respectable profession 

When I was just studying in fourth standard, there was a school in my village. There were three teachers to whom every person of the village used to greet and respect them as they are educated and having the concept that they know everything. If there is any event in the village like marriage ceremony, pooja or any other, they used to be called in the particular house with great respect and offer especial dishes for them. Furthermore, if there is any dispute among villagers they used to be called for the judgment. At that time I used to pray to the God to make me a teacher like them who used to be respected by all. By seeing such respect to the teachers while playing with the friends also I used to desire to play the role of teacher which I had observed intimately. And if anybody asked the aim in my life I used to say “teacher” without hesitation. From very beginning I had this concept that teacher is respectable profession which is not changed till now.

The great philosopher has also said that “those who educate children well are to be honored than those who produce them’. For instance; the parents of Helen Keller gave her birth but if the teacher had not inspired and guided her she could not be able to a famous writer and lecturer. The credit goes to the teachers who encouraged, guided and taught the beautiful art of living a life despite her disabilities. An American historian, journalist and novelist, Adams (1907) has said that “Teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” (Episode1). It is reality in the sense that what a teacher writes on the board of students’ life can never be erased. In other profession, the professional may be provided car, quarter for staying and many other facilities, but when they are retired they don’t get any belongings and not greeted by the people too because they greeted to the post not to the person. Whereas the teachers whether they are in job or retired, they always remain respectable and get assistance where ever they go. They teach to numerous students throughout their life and their students reach in many different places and posts. So where ever they go, they get respect and assistance by the students. It is because, what post the students got that is by the encouragement and the guidance of teacher. So they remain respected in each and every moment throughout his life.

Highly Creative 

Teaching is such a profession where rigorous study is mandatory. When we study, obviously our mind processes, ponder about some matters and keep on getting creative solutions and plans too. Teaching is highly creative in the sense that while dealing with the children having wide range of interest, teachers have to be creative enough to tackle their curiosities, and make them take part in learning in creative manner. If one plan does not work, B plan should always be ready. This is how, teachers’ mind never get fully rest, and it needs to be mobilized each and every moment. As a result, creativity increases in multiplying way.

When we talk about the creativeness, nowadays the learners are becoming very much clever due to the development of technology. They can be quicker than teachers too. So teaching has become very challenging job. So at this context, the teachers need to be more up to date and have to be creative so that they can be respected by the learners. If the students find the teacher, weak in subject matter then they are supposed not to obey the teachers. That’s why it’s up to the teacher how they want to handle their profession. So C.S. Lewis has said that “The task of modern teacher is not to cut down the jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” It means the teachers need to be much creative in today’s context.

About the creativeness of the teacher an American historian, journalist and novelist (2013) has stated that “Teachers are the lifeblood of schools, but teaching is creative profession. Great teachers mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage.” (Episode1). I agree with it because if creativity is not there, that person cannot be a good teacher now days. In order to guide the students who are very clever by nature the teachers need to have creativeness in everything like; thinking, dealing, teaching and so on. So only the person having these qualities is teacher. And this is the reason why I chose the teaching profession behind many difficulties too.

Teacher: Role Model 

Everyone in life, has his/ her role model by whom they really get impressed. How I really got inspired by my English teacher was that he was a role model for me and I used to imitate him. Now days, the students are very clever, they follow whatever their teachers do rather than they preach or deliver in the classroom. So Towne (2012) has said that “A good teacher is like a candle, it consumed itself to light the way for others.” So in the name of becoming a teacher they really become moralistic character so that their students may take them as a role model. Teachers do not care about their desires but always devote their time to their learners.

As we generally call teacher as a role model; a teacher has to fulfil so many responsibilities. So Dey (2013) has mentioned that “the teachers need to be models for their learners, so that they can develop into disciplined, hardworking and successful person.” They always have to choose the right path and guide the learners towards that as in the systemic rules. If they fail to implement that then they are not good teacher. The teachers who really do good things and inspire learners do the similar can be the role model for many learners. Otherwise there can be seen only pseudo role model which should not be in teaching profession and let’s hope that won’t be. For example the teacher has to teach about ‘Good manner’ in the class then at first the teacher must know what is good manner and whether that is implemented by self or not.

Conclusion 

Although, teaching is very challenging job, it is the base of every child’s future. If the child has got good education, it can ensure the child’s life, if not the life of child may be spoiled. For teaching, the teacher has to be the multifunctional professional. Teaching is not only delivering what we have rather it is an art which is supposed to bring effective learning in students (Mursell, 2013). Although there are many challenges and obstacles in teaching profession, I feel really proud to be a teacher and choosing this unique profession Since teaching creates all other professions, to be a teacher and involve in this profession is not an easy job. Therefore I chose teaching as my profession and I do not have repentance in it, rather I am proud to be a teacher.

References

Dey, S.K.(2013).Teaching of English.India:Dorling Kindersley.

Mursell, L.J.(2013).Successful teaching. Delhi: Surjeet Publication.

Towne, D. (2012).Home thoughts. Mustafa Kemal (Atatuk Trans.) Home thoughts.(originally published in 1991)
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Hiking with 3rd Graders



“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk” Raymond Inmon
We were getting ready for Balthali hike. It was the years first hiking for students at Aksharaa School Kandaghari, Grade 4 & 5 had already left for Bandipur & Chitlang and today it was for grade 3’s turn. As I reached Aksharaa, Parents started to come to drop their children; we were supposed to move at 9 from the school. Well I was excited as hiking has always been a part of my interest and happiness; it’s simply a reason to get closer to the nature. However a bit confused & overwhelmed as it was the first time with such younger children, so I had kind of a mixed feeling.
 Parents seemed very worried and it was obvious being a parent to an eight/nine year old and sending them for an overnight trip. They even showed concern towards the weight of the bag that they carried as it was 2 hours uphill and downhill hike. I was in doubt myself but I tried to convince them as deep down I had trust that children are stronger than adults , here I remember a quote from Lady Bird Johnson “Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them” and I could see it true there! But then, it was their first time, very first time!
The bus stopped at khopasi, children were so excited to get down, I can’t explain in words! Then the journey started, we walked and walked. While on the way I observed the children and their behavior. It was difficult for some of them but then I had to motivate them, sometimes showing the little boys and girls for whom the travel seemed everyday task and sometimes old man & women who carried huge luggage on their back while walking. The amazing thing was that they didn’t give up, what they knew was yes the bag is heavy and I’m tired, but I have to make it to the top! Though for me, inside I was very scared for the kids as the walkway was very narrow and one wrong step would lead something serious! I had been telling and shouting throughout the way, on your left, on your right, please walk through the corners! Some of them were very scared of the suspension bridge (we had to cross 3) which they enjoyed the most while returning.
The good thing about Balthali hike we could view our destination from the base , though it would take a great deal to make it to the top, the top view from the bottom was a great inspiration thinking that we’re a step closer. And finally after 2 hours hike we made it. Personally it wasn’t much of as compared to the hikes I have been earlier; this was an easy one full of fun with natural beauties. However, could be difficult for the ones having first time though.
I was thinking the kids must be so tired but alas! I was so wrong; as I could see them running and playing all around when we reached at the top of Balthali Eco Hill Resort. I was with the last group as I wanted to assure that no one is left behind or to check if everything was alright. We divided them in groups of 3, 4 and 5 numbers among 4 teachers and 4 parents including myself making sure that we give them proper attention while they have fun. They enjoyed the lunch and dinner, we did too! The food was really good, so was the room, very neat and clean!!
I kept on checking time and again through the rooms to make sure that kids are safe and having good times. We made sure that we took the attendance regularly while and after the hike. They told stories, fun jokes and danced a lot. It was a very good chance to observe the children, how they felt being away from home. But to my surprise none of them even talked about home, they were so happy being away and to have been able to spend night with their friends. Teachers and parents (who accompanied) were enjoying with the kids talking and sharing. I could see it as a strong rapport build up opportunity. Also I observed some different sides in some of the students like I had never seen them being so responsible, taking care of themselves ( changing pajama’s, inners, brushing teeth, putting lotions on their own, looking for their belongings, keeping snacks thinking that they might need while returning back). Students along with teachers were very happy and excited to share the bed with their friends. But for me, I wasn’t sleep which generally happens when I leave home, I woke almost 5-6 times in midnight to check whether the kids had their blankets on or if anybody wanted to go washroom.
The next day we woke up and got ready for returning, returning trip was very easy compared to that of going and took less time as well. Some of the students also collected stones, leaves and pines. When I asked why they were doing so? They replied, it was a gift/souvenir for their parents, how sweet was that!
As most of the school these days take their students on trips, I would like to suggest must checklist and to-do’s prior the trip; Pre-Trip ActivitiesSet Learning Objective , Involving & Including ParentsSet Expectation & Discuss Possible Risk Factors & Post Trip Activity.
A well planned and well organized trip develops various skills in children such as working in collaboration, problem solving ability, leadership, also increases their socio-cognition, develops research habit, gives them ability to compare and contrast, observation skill, generates curiosity, love nature and most importantly makes them independent raising their self confidence. They also develop travelling habits using map skills; explore their own country with various culture and lifestyles which develops respect feeling in them.

Neha K.C
School Coordinator, Aksharaa School


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