Teaching is undeniably a worthy profession, and yet it suffers greatly from a lack of trained professionals. Just as with any other profession, teaching too should be done by trained professionals.
An untrained teacher dreams of a school where all students are fast learners; are able to soak in information; are equal in their interests and abilities; and are high achievers in tests. The classroom is silent with well-behaved students. Even if there are students who are ill mannered or who under-perform, the teacher is in no way responsible.
On the other hand, a trained teacher views the teaching profession in a completely different perspective. His perspective is broad, lively and dynamic. He sees teaching as a challenging task.
A trained teacher considers teaching as a means of adding value to the lives of students and a service to the nation. He takes full ownership of the performance of his students. He sees his own success in the success of his students and his own failure in the failure of his students. He takes a problem-solving approach to deal with the learning issues of his students. He does not hesitate to go to the root of the problems faced by his students. He recognizes the different abilities and interests of his students. He makes the learning sessions interesting and engaging for them.
The responsibility of a trained teacher does not end with simply passing on knowledge to his students. Rather, he helps his students grow intellectually, physically, aesthetically, morally and socially. He values the participation of students in co-curricular activities. He encourages them to leverage their skills in all the dimensions. He acknowledges the diverse backgrounds of his students.
A trained teacher does not limit himself to a single way of instruction. Rather, he considers different instructional techniques and tailors them to suit the specific needs of his students and the learning circumstances. He keeps the door of feedback open and warmly welcomes the suggestions coming from his students, parents and peers. He is convinced that ideas improve when they are challenged.
‘Always optimistic’ is the slogan of a trained teacher. He believes in change and does not stand still. He keeps an eagle eye on the changing dynamics in the profession to keep himself at pace with the contemporary world.
Teaching is considered to be the mother of all professions. Let us treat it with the reverence it deserves.
The author is Chief Operations Officer at Spectrum Professional Development Centre, Karachi. He has been conducting professional development workshops for teachers for several years. He holds a masters degree in Education and a masters degree in Islamic Studies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.