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What is professionalism in teaching?
“According to me, a professional teacher would mean someone who has the required qualifications and skill set to teach; the aptitude to work with different ability learners;who works with other stakeholders like the parents, other teachers, education institution, government and society at large for the betterment of the learners; who is constantly willing to learn and adapt to the changing social scenarios; who takes moral responsibility for shaping the lives of the learners and who maintains high ethical values” – As quoted by me in the reply for Discussion 1 for Module 2.
Teachers hold a very special position in the scheme of things in our world. Its the teachers who can make or mar the lives of the students that they touch. A teacher is not just the upholder of knowledge but s/he is also to one who teaches values, ethics and skills that make a good human being.
In this module, I learnt that a teacher’s position is greatly affected by the political, socio-economic factors of the concerned nation and in the present era of connectivity, the world. Since education is a priority for almost all the nations, various governments try to control and manage the education policy. So depending on the political party in power, there has been less or more autonomy for the teachers.
As compared to the past, there is more regulation on teaching.
I feel, the expectations that the parents, schools and the society has from the teachers has increased many folds.
I remember, during my school days (1980s), teachers’ primary job was to come and teach and prepare us for the tests. Other than the occasional chat with the teacher, the boundaries were clearly defined and the rarely did the world of the teacher and the student intermingled. One of the big reasons for this could have been the big class sizes (40 was considered a decent average). A teacher possibly couldn’t connect with with such a huge number. In those days, teaching with the text-books was a norm and project- based learning was just a newly coined term.
Now, the class sizes have shrunk (in my school, the average is 20). Textbooks are shunned down upon, teachers are expected to get more creative and engage in hands-on activities. Now-a-days, teachers are expected to not only follow the academic path of the learner but also be mindful of his socio-pshyco-emotional health. These days, the teachers get more opportunities to connect with their learners and this helps them in understanding their students better.
Overall, I would say that it is a challenging yet exciting time to be into this profession as times/technologies are changing very fast and it is up to us to prepare the learners for the future challenges.