Teaching is an Exalted Profession #Teachers

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This week’s Indispire prompt raises question about credentials of a teaher. Should a teacher hanker after money?

In my mind, in Indian tradition a teacher is considered next to god. Given the exalted position of the profession in the society, only those interested in pursuit of truth and knowledge should join the profession. This is not a profession to make money. In Hindu barnashrama (the caste hierarchy) brahmins were traditionally entrusted with teaching profession. Brahmins were not expected to deal in money. There life and livlihood used to be taken care of estate of rulers who would set up schools. Brahmins used to practice of worship on auspicious occasions, the practice still continues, and whatever they got as offering to god would be their side income.

Post independence, India had created schools and needed teachers. In her idealism, the new nation hoped that teachers would fan out to distant corners of the vast country and help raising enlightened citizens. Our policy makers forgot that many remote areas wre not livable and salary offered to a teacher used to be paltry. As a result, government schools remained perennialy short on staff. Teachers came to school only at month’s end to collect their salaries. Many entrepreneurial minded initiated private tuition and group coaching classes to boost their incomes. As a result teaching in regular schooling hours got neglected.

To fulfill, insatiable desire of the society to get admission into engineering and medical schools, coaching centers specialsing in competitive examinations mushroomed. Today, a city is Rajasthan, Kota, in considered to be Mecca of all students interested in being coached for competitive examinations. Coaching centres in Kota pay salary to teachers based on their performance and experience. A competent teacher with close to two decades of experience may hope to earn as much as one crore (10 million) rupees per year.

I used to read debates and discussions in news papers about need to revise pay scale of teachers in universities and schools. At a time, when money is equal or more than god a teacher like any other citizen of the country needs money for a decent life. Afterall, a teacher also has to pay rent, send his kids to school and if needed fund their higer education, get their kids married and fulfill their social obligations.

No one can be stopped from making money by imparting coaching or tuitions. It is the right of an individual to adopt any legal means to create wealth. Nevertheless, unlike any other profession, teaching is a much exalted vocation. A teacher is equalted with god, because a teacher is expected to show the path of knowledge and path to god :

Gururbrahma gururvishnuh,gururdevo maheshwarah, Guruhsakshat parabrahma, tasmai shrigurave namah

I think teaching profession is not for everyone. Only those interested in the pursuit of truth and knowledge should become a teacher. A teacher must hold his life, his character, his honest and his integrity as a mirror to his students. Teaching is not a profession to make money and education is not for sale. Society and government must see to it that teachers are adequately compensated, so that a teacher can spend his time in the quest of truth.

This present post is written in response to Indispire Prompt at Indiblogger. More such posts may be found here.

24 thoughts on “Teaching is an Exalted Profession #Teachers

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  1. Ideals of past doesn’t work in present context. You expect to behave a teacher as a Brahmanas of ancient past at the same time you denounce the caste hierarchy, that’s not going to happen. Good remuneration and respect in the society what everyone seeks. Same goes with teaching profession.
    But since we as a society not offering that, we get teachers not god enough for teaching. Majority of those chose teaching as a profession because they don’t find other job opportunity. This is harsh and sad, but truth.

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    1. When did I say ideals of past has to implemented? If you read carefully, I said society must ensure teachers are paid well so that they can pursue the quest for truth. Teaching profession is not a business like that of a shoe shop or a sweet shop. Finally, nowhere did I justify or denounce caste system

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  2. I couldn’t agree more Abhijit, of all the jobs I have done so far, teaching is something I have enjoyed the most. It is a place where you can make tremendous influence on students and create an impact which will last. The amount of fulfilment and satisfaction in this profession is unparalleled.

    Although I do wonder sometimes that we would have better teachers if the financial gap was sufficiently addressed. There are such amazing talents out there who take up other jobs inspite of a teaching passion to feed the financial hunger. It could be brought back to the highest value if it is treated as a highly coveted job and it was not as easy to become a teacher as it is now.

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    1. Teaching profession is not exactly a money making profession. It is a profession of plain living and high thinking. I think government and society should raise enough salary to teachers such that they can fulfil their demands of life as per societal norms. But hardly a teacher will drive a high end car or live in a palatial bungalow. That is for business people. Business and teaching are poles apart.

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      1. I probably will differ on this Abhijit. I agree that there is a greater sense of good associated with teaching. But it is rather unfair that it is a poorly paid profession. Teachers do spend an awful lot of time and emotion just like any other vocation and there must be enough rewards – or atleast the basics should be kept right. I might come from a business background, but it does have a strong effect on treating it is a good job which can take care of the teacher. I have seen the best teachers do that and also inspire people to an amazing extent. I wouldn’t necessary treat them as mutually exclusive fields.

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  3. Teachers are humans and need money for daily existence and luxury. There is no harm if the teacher is making good money but those only interested in imparting education should enter this noble profession. Teaching is moulding raw tender minds and the best heads are required for this job. My son say that some professors are so good at teaching that they make the subject interesting and easy to understand.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.com/2019/04/ovary-parts-of-body.html

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  4. I am a teacher and I agree that money should not be the number one consideration to be a member of the profession. Yet, I believe it is the duty of governments to look after the financial needs of teachers. Otherwise, would-be excellent teachers would rather look for another job which is what actually is happening. As a result, society is poorer for lack of good teachers.

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    1. I agree, and I have said so, that it is the responsibility of society and government to pay teachers enough so that they can mind their business without having to worry about daily needs and societal pressures. Plain living and high thinking should be the motto of teaching profession. Those who want to earn a lot of money should join other professions.

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  5. Here in Kharghar teachers face another issue – the high demand for poor quality teaching! Those who provide quality often have to go convince parents they are doing things right. It can be pretty stressful until the teacher gets known by reputation.

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    1. I thin those teachers who ensure high pass percentage, by whatever means, are in high demand. Those teachers who work hard, try to teach students but don’t get have a high pass percentage are looked down upon. Students prefer ready made material that can be memorised and reproduced in examination. Our examination system kind of encourages that. There is little room for application of mind.

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  6. Very rightly said as teachers are the most important citizen to country after law and order but these days its difficult to find that soul who is ready to teach rather than making name and enjoying fame…. to me real teacher is who can transform any child into brilliance leaving his interest or background

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