Thursday, 7 March 2013

Teacher – by Choice or by Chance?
I vividly recollect to this day how I stammered and stuttered while delivering a speech on this same topic as a final year trainee in the exalted Paro College of Education. My talk, then, centered on the behaviours of the trainees (including myself) juxtaposed to the expected behaviorism of a would-be-teacher. Now, five years into the service, the same question confronts me.
Situation has changed considerably since the time we last attended the lectures at the Colleges of Education. New times bring forth new challenges. The syllabus has changed, the classrooms have changed, the class strengths have changed and so are the customs of the schools but have we changed to meet the challenges of the changing times? Are we who we have been many years before? Or have we undergone some amount of transformation in making ourselves congruent to the changed times?
Do we judge a student’s performance by his/her academic transcripts? Do we take their cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains into consideration while measuring a child’s performance? Do we just deliver the bookish knowledge or endeavour to infuse personal attributes and values of a good human being? Are we just taking into account his/her physical growth and relegating their mental growth? Are we? Are we not?
A child is the mirror of a teacher. What became of your students is what we made them become. How he/she is, mirrors how we are. A teacher, who, fuelled by his intrinsic motivation, utilizes his environment positively in favour of his students, is destined to produce a productive member of the nation. It is wise to produce a good servant than to produce a bad leader.
A teacher by choice has an intrinsic motivation to motivate the unmotivated, wake the un-awakened and educate the uneducated. These attributes are mirrored in the success or the failure of his/her students. “Children today do not study and the parents are not bothered about the performance of their children” are but lame excuses. It is the duty of the teacher to illuminate the darkness of not only the students but also their parents and make them equally accountable for their children’s performance. A good teacher must not circumscribe his/her reach within the four corners of the classroom but should, on the other hand, strive to make the whole wide world his/her classroom. After all, service to humanity is service to god.
A teacher must free himself from the social and racial bindings. Teaching is never limited to certain privileged groups. A child rummaging through the piles of garbage and a child languishing in the comfort of his extravagant luxuries equally deserve the attention of a teacher. A teacher’s heart, which many feel never grows old, must not be swayed in favour of any student. It must never be subjected to such impurities of mind. Teaching should be a prayer from the heart and not just a word from the mouth.