Teaching is a process of learning which involves a teacher and a learner and knowledge-based facts and information. It is a mixture of art and science. On the one hand, it is a creative field of expressing knowledge whereas on the other hand, it is an applicability of scientific methods to provide knowledge to a vast variety of people.
From schools, colleges, institutions, spiritual temples, holy places, homes, everywhere teaching is done in some way or the other. Today many career opportunities are available in this field due to its popularity. A teacher can opt for a lecturer in various institutions. They can also opt for a manager and a psychologist profession. To opt for teaching, a candidate must own specified professional qualifications from the specified universities. They should also have the necessary knowledge and competencies. It also requires the various specialized skills, training and a lot of hard work.
This topic has been chosen for letting people know “the true value of teaching” and to explore recent advances in teaching learning styles (pedagogy) as well as recent technologies used nowadays for making classrooms lectures interesting for students and the various programs available for improving the skills of the teacher. A lot of differences occurred in teaching styles from ancient to modern era. Nowadays, teaching by conducting role plays is helpful in developing confidence and communication skills within the students. Cooperative learning as teaching learning style is also a very successful teaching strategy. Critical pedagogy is another teaching method that provides children with adequate opportunities to express their viewpoint and interact to solve problems.
Experiential learning, narration or storytelling, joke telling, brainstorming, concept formation, discussion method, map-based learning, dramatization etc. make learning fun for them. These teaching learning styles ultimately lead to transformation of oneself and that of society. Apart from this, a teacher should recognize the special talent, a student possesses and enrich it. Research has shown that effective teachers invite student participation in the classroom.
In addition to pedagogy, various teaching techniques are developed for fetching knowledge easily through flipped classroom technique in comparison to traditional classrooms today. In flipped classrooms, lectures occur outside the classroom while different activities such as problem solving, interactions between students and teachers occurs within the classroom thus students are engaged in active learning just the opposite of traditional learning where teaching is passive. Thus, for making teaching easier and interesting two tools of flipped classrooms i.e. Bodhi Tree and SAFE tools were recently developed at IIT. Bodhi tree consists of two parts i.e. Bodhi book and Bodhi class which are used for conducting flipped classrooms effectively whereas SAFE i.e. Smart, Authenticated, Fast Exams is for evaluating students and for conducting exams at various levels including continuous evaluation. Apart from this, many different techniques such as ERP (Enterprise resource planning), SIMS software, TATA Classrooms, Interactive Whiteboard etc. are widely used nowadays.
Because of the vast advancement in technologies, teachers need to update themselves using pre and in-service professional development programs. Competent teachers getting trained professionally through direct classroom teaching by using strategies such as lecture, demonstration, discussion, project work, etc. Apart from it, distance education training is also provided to the teachers using printed material, audio, images, video materials. With the technology improving at a very fast pace video conferencing along with the social networking sites are also used in connecting the trainees and the trainer together. Undoubtedly, teacher training is essential as it exemplifies that “only a lighted lamp can light another lamp” who themselves is learning can make others learn properly. Therefore, the teacher must inculcate the fundamental professional ethics and values within them before entering into teaching profession. Therefore, for successful teaching, the knowledge of professional ethics and its implementation is very essential for teachers. Teacher having the sense of professional ethics will treat their learners with love, care, affection, commitment- needs, interests, requirements of the learners.
Nowadays, teacher is considered as a role model, leader, motivator who inspire students for learning. A mediator that links school and community together. A guide for the students for inculcating good behaviour and attitude within them. Moulds children’s character and provides a basic but essential moral education. Apart from imparting formal education in the classrooms, teachers take their students on field trips, supervise study halls, act as supervisors for extra curriculum activities. They should possess good behaviour and positive attitude towards the students for changing children’s behaviour and develops competition among peers.
Recent research has indicated that academic achievement as well as personal achievement of the students is mostly dependent on teacher’s – student relationship. Stronger self-confidence and greater personal and academic success can be achieved by students who develops a cordial relation with their teachers. Recent research has also indicated that there is direct correlation between teacher enthusiasm and student’s intrinsic motivation to learn. Students becomes more self-determined while learning by enthusiastic teachers. Demonstrative gesturing, dramatic movements as well as emotional facial expressions also have a large impact on the student’s motivation. Thus, the main role of teacher is not limited within the four walls of the classrooms; it is beyond that: it’s the overall development of the child inheriting spiritual, human and the divine education with many ethical values and developing the right amount of skills in student which transforms them into responsible citizen of the country.
Apart from the different roles which a teacher performs, there are various different qualities which a teacher must possess for becoming an expert in this field such as T: Talented, E: Effective, A: Ambitious, C: Cheerful, H: Highly motivated, E: Enthusiastic, R: Reliable. A teacher should also be friendly and supportive to their students to make them feel secure. There are many teachers but all the teachers are not the same, they are different because of their perspective, their moral ethics, in terms of spirituality, cognition power, IQ, EQ etc. But a true teacher is somebody who can guide a student in the right direction, heal a sick, unprivileged, poor, save people by his or her good deeds, bright someone’s life, make people feel happy about themselves and satisfied with themselves. Thus, teacher is just like a candle spreading love, happiness, brightness among students.
While interviewing, some teachers shared their experiences of teaching. According to some, teaching is marvellous. It is a rewarding profession with excellent potential for growth and advancement. Teaching as a profession is growing as new knowledge is continuously created through research activities. In some societies, teaching is a reputed profession equal to physicians, lawyers, engineers, accountants. In other, the status of profession is considered very low. Some teachers also experienced some mental health issues because of constant stress, noise and seldom threaten. Sometimes a teacher has to behave calmly even in the adverse situation. Though, good cooperation from students, parents, school administrators can help them to overcome it. In spite of these there are many more challenges they have to face such as lack of teamwork, minimal personal time, working towards long term goals, arguments and student excuses. Lack of time for planning, lot of paperwork, performance pressure from school administrators, balancing diverse learning needs, handle too many masters, lack of proper funding, limitations of standardized testing, lack of parental support, changing educational trends, limitations of disciplining students.
To sum up, teaching profession has many advantages although there are a lot of challenges they have to face too. Many of the teachers in practical situations face the problem of adjustment in schools because of various factors such as Interest, aptitude, values, ethics, discipline which eventually makes them uncomfortable at the work place. Many teachers think that it’s a low fetching salary profession and very tiring and hardworking task as it involves a vast variety of pupils of different cultural background. So, to handle them together in a single classroom daily is not an easy task. Therefore, most of them are quitting this profession as they are also not getting sufficient opportunities for promotions. This led to some stagnancy for the newer generations to enter the profession. So, an organization known as (CENTA): Centre for teacher Accreditation is working for solving this problem, by trying to open opportunities for teachers in India. Some assistant teachers are also hired to assist the primary teachers.
Author: Shubhi Khurana, Lucknow