Teachers are human beings like all of us! Similar to people of other professions, teachers make mistakes, lose interest and get demotivated. However, they are unfairly stereotyped by individuals, society and students alike. Teachers sometimes are even blamed for the shortcoming of students. Some critics even cast aspersions on the personal life of teachers.
Some have accused teachers of being spoiled by the daily stress-free work routine, number of holidays and a highly paid salary. None of these claims are true. Teachers are extremely overloaded with many tasks and administrative responsibilities. Number of leaves and off days are almost similar to all other government employees and they are similarly paid like others. Perhaps, their salaries are not even enough to compensate for their big responsibility at school and providing quality education to students.
What a pity to see this stereotype is passed through generations over the years! However, it is certainly an unhealthy practice, which could cheapen the value of teachers, who were making all of us and paving our ways to the future! Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host and actor, was right to say, “For everyone of us that succeeds, it is because there is somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and schools.”
Reflecting on seeing is believing, would anybody like to step into the shoes of a teacher even for a day? Teaching over 100 students with different individual learning challenges and undisciplined behaviours is not something that everyone can withstand?! Think of a teacher who handles 4-5 classes a day.
All those who are casting stones will realise how hard is teaching and how difficult it is to be a teacher. The list of accountabilities gets even longer every day, taking into account educational, social and disciplinary tasks in addition to the extra-curricular activities that teachers handle within and outside schools.
Teaching is the core of every other profession. Without teachers in all educational institutions, there will be no other professions. All those pilots, engineers, doctors and others were students one day and had been taught by teachers at schools, colleges and universities. Without teachers’ encouragement and support, students would never have realised their dreams.
As the teacher is the heart of the educational system, s/he is like a candle that burns out to show the way for students, and never give up on them, no matter how challenging it might be. All of us are here because, at some point, somebody did that for us. A teacher to some people may be just a teacher, but to many a teacher is a real hero.
Dear teachers, in teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years or more. Some students may have forgotten what you said, but many will never forget how you made their dreams come true. Never give up on your noble mission.