Being a teacher is one the most revered job on earth. But it can be equally demanding. Though there are expectations that you should deliver, and some stereotypes that you are bound to face with every now and then, the role of a teacher is crucial and has several dimensions across the field of education. Their place is essentially between a close-to-broken system of education and students.
What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.― Karl A. Menninge
Upon our interactions between many teachers from several states across India, we have been able to closely identify their problems and know their lives better.
To begin with, there is a good reason why a teacher is considered the most crucial element in education. A teacher is the link between what we can call the corporate aspects of the institution and the academic aspects. While contributing to the teaching-learning, he/she also needs to manage and manipulate data and metrics to generate various kinds of reports and bestow time and energy for extra-curricular activities in the institution.
The role of a teacher
Objectively, we can sum up the the role of a teacher into three main parts.
- Closely focusing on the academics and tutoring the students to help them achieve desired outcomes.
- Gathering knowledge about the subjects they teach and taking up researches.
- Acting as a link between the corporate aspects and the academics inside the institution.
These roles of a teacher is highly relevant in today’s atmosphere. Teachers have to manage these positions that coincides with one another and should never lose the grip. To better relate with these, we’ll dig deeper into each of these one by one.
1. Being an academic entity
Teachers also need to individually address and respond to each learners needs and constructively prepare the class for their assessments. Each student may be unique and may require attention to perform better. It is the job of a teacher to identify the pulse and nature of students, and plan the course accordingly.
Being a teacher, even if you can’t have influence in deciding the curriculum, the way you chose to deliver the course can make all the difference.
A teacher should essentially be aware of the tools that could help them. Suggesting a youtube video about the topic, or sharing a course materials via drive, or even being available online for the students to ask and clear doubts will go a long way in making your life easier. Technology has flipped almost every aspect of our lives, and why should education be any different?? Using technology can also be good motivators and you could assure more involvement in the classroom. Besides, such alternatives can also reduce your workload by huge amounts.
2. Being a research scholar
A teacher should be a scholar. Being able to channel the perception of your students to a better understanding of the subject needs research. A teacher has to study better and be aware of all the new forthcomings in their field. Being a successful teacher also means you have a keen interest in studies and is willing to act on it.
Also, pursuing research and publishing papers greatly influence your career trajectory over time. Academic merit metrics are being changed by the day, and a to successfully transition from being an associate to a senior post would mean you need PhDs and doctoral dissertations to show.
Accreditation parameters like the NBA, NAAC etc which are more and more stressed by the regulatory authorities also demands the teacher to publish certain research papers and needs the data to prove. This would mean a teacher’s further study and research plays a part in the quality assurance of the institution too. So besides being relevant and benefactory, a teacher being a research scholar is important for both themselves and for the sake of the institution.
3. Being an academician to support the corporate life of college.
As we have said earlier, a teacher is the essential link between the academic and corporate aspects of the institution. They handle all the data, metrics, and student management in regard of the institution. There are reports to be generated every now and then, assessments to be made for insights and decision making, spearhead and see through the various extra-curriculur activities of the college, and uphold the status of the institution by results and grabbing placements for their students.
The current system we follow sure lacks the edge when it comes to prepare the student for a life after college. Many industry experts are accusing our educational system to be substandard when it comes to preparing students for a job. Corporate leaders are holding back and being picky on placements, and students are going abroad where something greater awaits, or so we are told.
Besides, students are greatly misinformed about why they are entering higher education in the first place. The most common and obvious objective is to get a job. But though employment capabilities are ‘a’ goal, it’s definitely not the ‘only’ one- research, entrepreneurship, or even for the sake to learn and innovate!!
So ultimately, its the role of a teacher to better prepare their students for employment and/or further research.
As that’s how it is
Most teachers have the best intend of their student at heart. If we could somehow turn down the pressure and contribute, we may be able to bring out the best in them and see quality getting better and education being revived.
Moreover, you being a teacher should not mean that your students underperform everytime. Take a step back and evaluate. You’ll see how you could do things differently, and bring forth something positive about it. You should always be aware of the complexity of the classroom and be prepared to address it. There may be students who are not fluent in the language of instruction, mostly english. So you could also try explaining your class in other languages (regional ones maybe) so that everyone gets it.
You want to keep the classroom atmosphere positive and nurturing. Treating everyone equally, and attending to the needs of your students helps create a healthy relationship with them, and once they know that you are approachable, you will learn a lot about your students and a sense of connection arises.
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If you have anything to add to what we have discussed above, or have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.