Skill Enhancement is an important part of teaching and learning. We have heard for ages that Learning never stops. The same is applicable for teachers when they feel they will stay in this domain for a lifetime. The moment a teacher stops being a student, the teaching process becomes ineffective. A teacher has to keep professional development alive.
Each time a lesson is taught, a formula is given or an experiment is performed, the Teacher has to live it afresh. There is a beautiful irony in the life of a teacher that he gets younger with each completed batch. Students keep him young. There have been various thoughts and philosophies given about teaching aptitude. Here, we are talking about the presence of Attitude and Aptitude among aspiring teachers. We shall also discuss those who are in the teaching occupation for a long and are permanently settled as Master Ji and Madam Ji.
On this light note that a teacher is more powerful than a mother! HOW? Because a mother can only make her one child sleep at one time; a teacher can make the whole class sleep through his lecture! :-) This has been witnessed many times by many of us. We might have dozed off in the classroom ourselves as well. But the reason was not that the topics were boring or we were tired. It happened due to the absence of 'Presentation Skills' in the teacher. This has been an ongoing challenge for all teachers that the 'educational organisations' have neglected the 'Professional Development' aspect. Teachers are hired, not selected, and then they are thrown into the bewilderment of excessive workload. We have few teachers and more students causing poor learning. Even in premier institutions like IITs, there has been a lack of a sufficient number of faculty members.
The education sector has become a support staff provider. Teachers have been engaged in administrative jobs and they are left with a minimum for the enhancement of their learning. With no time left for self-development, most of the 'potential' educators are 'repeating' their experience and have not been able to add any innovation to their classroom delivery. If teachers are not professionally developed, then learning outcomes can never be praiseworthy.
Teachers are not aliens and their Training & Development will not cost much to the organisation. Thanks to the modern-day smart education and entry of some sincere educationists into school & higher education, we have some good institutions working, especially in higher education. From school to higher education, the need to train the teacher is apparent and urgent. Apart from the subject areas, there are many other aspects of teachers' incompetence. They lack multiple things at one time and there is no remedy for that. To sustain oneself in the teaching profession, one has to add that extra edge of being trained and skilled.
Where do the teachers lack:
- Communication Skills
- Educational Technology Evangelism
- Functional Knowledge of the Concepts
- Workplace Communication
- Industry/Job Domain Exposure
- Decision Making & Management Skills
- Motivation and Behaviour Management
- Public Relation Skills
- Empathy and Patience
Out of the above 'pre-requisite of a good teacher, there are a few that come with the passage of time. Sometimes, life teaches you and sometimes you behave like sensible humans and learn from the experiences of others. One has to possess good Communication Skills, Educational Technology Activism and Management Skills. Seldom we find such a divine self who has control over the students and can also direct everyone. This is a bit difficult, but going by the professional ways of imparting skills, we can see millions of teachers who are capable of making Learning a real thing.
In the 21st century, PD for Teachers is a big domain in itself. It is much talked about and one shall never feel alien to the forwarding steps taken. The reluctance needs to be shunned and readiness must come to the thoughts.
The difference that a teacher aims to bring into the life of the students can be a reality once the incremental changes happen in the teacher himself. In Eklavyaism we see Teachers as Superheroes, indeed they are.