Teaching is not a profession. It is a vocation…a calling…a mission. The most admired teachers are not those who fill up the empty minds, but those who stimulate thinking, inspire and ignite a spark for learning.
The core, the base, the substratum of all transformation and progress is unquestionably education , which empowers and liberates an individual. And, teachers are the most important factor in this process. A great teacher can make the life of a child and a bad one can mar it.
Imagine 50 faces looking at you, some intelligent, alert and inquisitive and others with mischief writ large on their faces, some giggling, a few indifferent, some feeling drowsy while others are thinking of the final day of Indian Idol or otherwise day-dreaming. Your attention is a little diverted and a paper missile flies across the classroom. At times Mrs Chips becomes a counsellor and at other times a crime investigator, without any clue. Why have you, Mrs Chips, then become a teacher, a job, with multiple roles, highly demanding and a strain on your time and energy?
Unlike other professionals, it is privilege to be a teacher. Mrs Chips can touch the lives of children who in turn make the nation, nay, the mankind and affect eternity. If she is a true teacher, she must have felt a tingling sensation on the progress and growth of her students. But this feeling is unlikely to be realized if she is a grumbler and is like those teachers who often say "This is a terrible place, I am stuck here, why have you joined this institution?" Such persons are in the wrong profession.
In reality, the accent should be on the examination of life. The role of a teacher demands from Mrs Chips, a certain code of conduct, certain attitudes towards children and their learning. A true teacher has a five-fold commitment to fulfill: (i) To the pupil: She should understand the psyche of each student. (ii)To her subject: She should be able to arouse interest and communicate it effectively. (iii) To the society: She should act in a manner which ensures the greater good of all. (iv) To the noble profession of teaching: To sustain the pre-eminent position of this calling. (v) To herself: Inspired teaching can come only from inspired persons. We teach who we are!
In fact, teaching is not a profession, it is a vocation, a calling, a mission. The most admired teachers are not those who fill up the empty minds but those who stimulate thinking, mould attitude and behaviour, quicken and quench the thirst for knowledge, inspire and ignite a spark for learning. One school teacher is worth a thousand priests! Her inner core inevitably impinges on the personality of the child. It is our duty as teachers to make the students understand that human beings can change their programming which other species cannot. A teacher should gradually engrave in the mind of a child that ultimately he is responsible for his own life.
Students should get a feeling that the man or woman at the blackboard is their partner in possibilities. A good teacher etches in the mind of the child that he should not be deterred by temporary setbacks. Resilience, the ability to bounce back when unfavourable things happen, is what separates the kids who flourish from those who flounder any stressful situation whether it is dealing with a bad grade or rejection in an interview or denial of promotion in favour of a less competent person.
Children with teachers who set fair rules, give clear reasons for those rules and consistently enforce them, end up with higher motivation, better social skills and great self reliance. An inspiring teacher makes the students realize that education metamorphoses the very personality of human beings. Through it they will understand better the wider ramifications of their own relationships to people and the world around them. It will enlarge their mental horizon and sharpen the comprehension of their own goal.
If you, Mrs Chips, want more freedom to work, more creativity, higher position, then be more responsible, more helpful and act with more initiative and be a more contributing employee. If you want to be trusted, be trustworthy, your attitude should be "why not me?" Instead of "why me?" If all the time you are looking for external incentives like money and praise then after sometime you will be motivated only by more money and greater praise.
If you are working with fear of authority, you will need a bigger whip for continuing the work. Therefore, the best thing is to be internally driven towards the welfare of students with commitment to the pursuit of excellence. You cannot find happiness if you are doing your job as drudgery, a painful duty expected of you. You find happiness, like a misplaced key, when you are not looking for it. You get it when you are engaged in the challenging task of moulding the lives of students as an exemplar. To enable Mrs Chips to take on this daunting work, the management should give her fair amount of autonomy to act and experiment with freedom. She, in turn, should allow the child a lot of independence to think, reflect and be creative. If the teacher has enabled the child to arrange the atoms properly he becomes a diamond, which is sought after not for its glitter but for its inner toughness. Mrs Chips, a sea of possibilities lies ahead - the achievement lies in the will !