We have often heard or read that “teaching is a profession that creates other professions”. Having read this, it compels one to think that teaching is above all other profession as it is the creator of other professions. The concept behind this saying could be that since teaching involves making one learn and think creatively the birth of all other channels start from here. There is also another punch line about teaching as said by Donald D. Quinn, that “if a doctor, lawyer or dentist had Fourty people in his office at one time, all of who had different needs and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer or dentist without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the class room teachers job.” Having read this one would definitely fall for a teacher and would have much consideration for the job performed by the teacher.
Combining the above two punch lines about teaching or teacher, one would definitely think teaching as being above all other tasks of the world and being a teacher means having the best job. Considering it a fact for a while, now if we look on to the rewards aspect of a teacher and that if teaching is a profession that creates all other profession than can we assume that the rewards to a teacher would be better than that of all other professionals? How far it is better to think like that and how far is it true? Are teachers being paid properly? Does a teacher earn substantially to cater to the daily needs of the family? Recently on 5th of September being a teachers day, there was an article in TOI, where in a bare fact were exposed about the meager salary the teachers are paid and the tasks to be performed. If one reads such article then that would compel them to think teaching as the least paid job and a job that one would not prefer to do.
The core question is, what rewards should I expect as a teacher? Again at this point I would like to post what one of my colleague regularly comments, “with the present salary how can one afford to affect and influence the students to be better?” . The question is not what amount of salary should a teacher be paid or What a teacher should be earning?, the question is “Being a teacher what rewards should I expect?”
A common question again argues the above logic that “is reward only monetary in nature?” can rewards be non monetary as well? And should one count on Non Monetary rewards of a profession? – especially a teaching profession.
Going through the internet for finding what rewards the teachers at other places in India and world are getting, I came across this wonderful article on www.teachercertification.org where the rewards of being a teacher are so nicely segregated. Every profession has monetary and non monetary rewards associated with it but teaching is such a profession where one would earn rewards that are non monetary in nature more that that of monetary nature. Let us understand what rewards should I expect as a teacher?:
Earning for time contribution
One should definitely negotiate for the right salary that one deserves but the salary earned such will only be a remuneration against the time contributed by the candidate and the work put in during such time. One cannot and should not expect emoluments like commission if x number of students pass out with 90% or if y number of students are retained in the school.
A teachers job is to teach and not to sell, so one should not expect commission like a salesman does, however if one does think on that ground than yes you are earning your commission but inform of respect and recognition of the tasks done by you.
Being with Children, one of the purest elements in the world:
Unlike other professions and jobs where one deals with dead stock and materials, a teacher is with live stock and that too innocent children that are one of the finest and purest elements of the world blessed with beauty and creativity. It is only the privilege of a teacher to be with one of the finest creations of Mother Nature, the kids. How lovely it is to be in the company of kids and observe them learn their basic skills step by step. This one of the finest rewards of being a teacher that is to be in the company of kids, innocence and purity which is like being next to God. No ill speaking, no competition, no stressful conditions or deadlines as they have in every other task. It’s worth enjoying every moment of being with them and observing them grow with your cooperation and support.
Observing children learning what is taught, in a way seeing your efforts realized
One of the other finest rewards of being a teacher is seeing knowledge and skill being implemented from day one that it is taught to them. It is really a wonderful experience observing kids talking in recess and while going home that today we are taught this topic in the class and the teacher wonderfully made us learn that topic. No other field or job gives such a real time experience for the efforts put in by the candidate. One should really feel proud of this element of being a teacher that where the parents fail to make their own children learn basic skills of life a teacher on the contrary succeeds in making them learn even to honour the parents and their instructions. Observing kids instilling complete confidence and faith in you being their teacher is one of the best rewards that can be expected by any other professional or task doer. As a teacher you must enjoy this privilege and make the right use of it in forming and cultivating better habits in the children the future citizen of the nation.
Command over the class and group
As a teacher one would definitely enjoy the privilege of having complete command over the class. The teacher is the Master / Mentor / Commander of the class, the class will not only peacefully take the commands but will make their best possible efforts to fulfill the command with necessary skill and willingness. Where in the world would one enjoy such a blissful state of honor and respect towards the spoken instruction of a teacher? A thoughtful teacher is always at the center of the class’s attraction, the teacher like a commander of the ship drives the class through the ocean of knowledge, safely maneuvering the stake holders to better pastures or land. Being in charge of the class or the group is one of the finest achievements of being a teacher and one should take the maximum advantage to deliver the best of the knowledge and thinking to the class.
Respect for being a teacher
One would surely agree to this. Coming across a student in the market or any place other than the class is such a welcoming experience where in the midst of the crowd the teacher is blissfully respected and greeted and this is all out of having respect towards the teacher. I do remember having come across students who have settled with their job or profession happy to welcome their teacher and not only warmly greeting but also offering whatever services they could offer as a respect towards the teacher. It’s really a blissful experience having such recognition of human values.
Recognition as a teacher throughout the life
No matter how long you have taught a student i.e. for what ever time duration but you will always be a teacher in their eyes and you will always earn that respect and gratitude throughout your life. Once you are introduced as a teacher in a class you almost start enjoying supremacy over the class the moment you are introduced as teacher, now it’s your onus to earn respect out of the introduction and through your lively inputs in the class. A teacher enjoys a perennial recognition throughout the life. A teacher will always be respected by the student no matter how old he or she becomes. Not only this, but you will always be treated in priority if you happen to require their service. Also, its not only the student that honors you with such respect and salutations but the entire family of the student shows deep gratitude towards the teacher as it is the teacher that has handled their most precious and valuable belonging just like her own and has returned back a more better and refined individual than that was originally handed over. Thus a teacher will always enjoy a perennial recognition through out the life.
Self esteem – Self – Satisfaction
More than any other reward is the reward of self satisfaction and esteem that one would collectively enjoy at the later years of ones job or profession as a teacher. It feels better and counts more having contributed in the development of a skilled and developed mind to the society and the families. No other reward comes near to the reward of having self satisfaction of being a teacher. A true teacher by heart will always try to bring the best in her students and this art and hard work of the teacher has priceless contribution to the society and the family. A teacher will feel proud when she finds her students excelling in the examination of their life. A teacher will feel proud when she finds her students performing the best in their profession and generating the best in their work. A teacher will feel proud when she finds her students achieve better results in all the tasks that they perform.
This feeling of pride is the self esteem and self satisfaction that no other job can provide and one must work with holistic approach and all round development of the child in mind to achieve this self esteem.
Thus, we can very well understand from the above paragraphs that a teacher earns more of non monetary rewards as compared to monetary accumulation of wealth. The children are the true wealth of the society and the nation and who can be wealthier than a teacher that is always surrounded by such a wealth that grows by itself. Indeed a teacher is wealthier than any other person as it is a teacher that is offered the most priceless element of the world ‘The child’.
I would really suggest, all the prospective teachers with this article that please consider you blessed by having yourself in the teaching field or rather a teacher. Do not work for the rewards but rather work for the holistic approach and over all development of the child and believe me your rewards will follow you anywhere you go.
Congratulations! For being a teacher, a creator or wealth, a creator or skilled power, a creator disciplined citizens, a creator of the nation.