A Teacher can not be great. A teacher can neither be good nor successful. The reason is that "TEACHER" is the best version of oneself and there is no further ambition after taking up this task. The best is going to occur in the 'disciples' who are in your hands and you give them the foundation to shape their lives. Once a teacher is always a teacher.
Teaching is a profession and an occupation to support education and in the process, one gets to earn the bread-butter as well. However, the pandemic has somehow conveyed a harsh truth to us. Like all other 'essential' services, education did not appear in the list of things to be retrieved. The governments and industries worked had to lobby against any complete lockdown in the business of manufacturing and selling. See, education does not manufacture or sell anything. If it would have been doing this business, the education 'industry' would have been able to open the campuses and buildings soon. The positive side of this scenario is that we can see education as a 'human' thing. All else is just materialistic and can afford to be open with life-threats as well as other corrupt questions.
Education needs a safe ground to open and if even one student or teacher gets sick of anything, it impacts the whole structure of learning in that class. It is unfortunate that there are goons in education who have been empowered to open universities and schools to make money. They could have made money by offering sincere education, as education should be. But, then we would have failed to distinguish between the money-morons and the ones who know what education is. Teachers are the recipients of this loss though. The money-makers are not able to grant the "teaching for Education' ecosystem to the teachers. Making money, surviving in the market is something that leads this world of education now.
The total absence of compassion and empathy towards teachers is what signals the red for the times to come. We are not talking about the salary paid or the funds meant for education. It is the dignity of work which is absent and is deliberately killed. Normalising Power (read this concept) is what is in working around here. Less salary, no salaries or delayed salaries or even the way they paid them in COVID is what shows the system is bit rotten. The COVID did not happen to people, it happened to those who were in leadership. The Leadership Deficit that has been there for ages has brought the one more terrible thing in education, i.e. Trust Deficit. The dystopian version here might be too dark but that is not false at all.
Students have lost faith in learning and education. The moment you see a graduate concerned about a job right on the first day of appearance at the classes understand that utilitarianism has captured education. The teaching that happens in classes is a monotonous task now. The curriculum of the paper is what is the target. However, we know we are not preparing them for exams but for life. Life-skills are not part of the way we teachers are teaching. The reason is in the picture we shared above about HOW Teachers are Treated. If you treat the medicine in a bad way; the medicine is not going to able potent enough to cure.
Teachers wish to strive hard and give meaning to the quest they are in with all their will and determination. But the presence of those who never wanted to be teachers but had the power to get in, have discouraged them. If good teaching does not get appreciated, what use the determination shall be. We can say that one should not lose heart and should carry on - but in the absence of a policy and support to teach well, none can deliver.
The lockdown has brought a lot to light. The fall of the great edifice of education from being sacred to a mundane business has become reality. "Sometimes it takes a natural disaster to reveal a social disaster,” Jim Wallis said this and we can see how our world has been falling education by letting it go down the hill. It is in a serious state irrespective of the talk we hear on TED or in the policy documents. The actual reality is quite grim when we see them a handful are the ones seen and the majority of people are not even known. There are personal as well as observed things here as the reason for writing this blog. I do see there is a lack of good teachers and I do insist that the lack is not because there are no good teachers - rather the ones who can be good are not allowed to be. They seem to be seen as a threat.
There has been a lack of willingness in youngsters to join the defence forces. That is quite clear when we see 'placement drives'. The forces are to secure the borders and the teachers are to secure the ones who reside within those lines of the maps. There need to be some sincere efforts to restore trust and faith.
Till then, the teachers shall keep on working and the ones who want to be teachers should toil hard to be brave and bold to ensure they recover their lost power to change things for the good.