Are teachers valued enough? Two years back, in 2019, when we were hit by a pandemic globally, little did we realize that our lives would change forever! Today, the adapting capacity and the strategic thinking abilities of humans have become questionable.
While the entire world was forced into a shut down, there were just three groups of people whose importance stood out in the forefront, compelling us to think about their strong impact on our daily lives. First – the home keepers, who struggled day and night to be able to fulfill the needs of the family members staying home; be it cooking, cleaning, washing, or just listening to their blabber. Second – the healthcare workers, who were in the forefront trying to keep everyone alive, in spite of knowing how risky it was for them to work in their hospitals, while all of us were staying safe home. Third – the teachers; we can’t thank them enough for rapidly jumping into the online teaching and learning process. This kept the kids busy for a major part of the day while the parents could get some work done peacefully. Not to forget that majority of them had been the chalk and duster kind conventional teachers all their life.
When the idea of a worldwide lockdown came into existence, a huge population rejoiced at the thought of being able to relax at home, work from home at their own pace, being able to be with the family watching movies, playing games or whatsoever, that their 9-5 jobs didn’t permit them to do otherwise. As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, we finally realized that it wasn’t easy to stay at home with our own family members. It became difficult to accept the differences throughout the day, forget staying calm and working from home in that environment. The biggest challenge was to be able to entertain the kids for the whole day without letting them go out. Creeping in came the fights between couples, where they started maintaining timers for each other as to who would be taking care of the kid and when, so that the other partner would be able to manage to get some work done! Not easy, right?
That is when we realized the role of teachers in our society. But it irks me, how it took a pandemic to help us come to this realization! Aren’t we supposed to express our appreciation to the teachers for whatever hard work – mentally and physically, they put in into shaping our kids, every passing day? Imagine you being put into a room full of 25 kids, and you’re the in charge of them all. You’re supposed to hold their attention, talk to them, listen to them and keep them busy; scary, no?! The truth is it takes a lot of energy and mental stability to be able to take care of our own one kid at home, forget those 25 we were supposed to handle in the above situation. And once in a while we shall be heard gasping – wonder how your teacher does this all day!
Teachers are trained people sent from the heavens, to be able to interact with children, blend in with them and nurture them with skills necessary for their growth. Mothers are teachers in their own way too, but they lose patience many times. When a child is at school, a teacher becomes their mother, the most easily approachable human for them during that period of 4 to 7 hours they are at the school. Toddlers especially form a close bond with their teachers while at play school. And when these toddlers stayed at home during the lockdown, it took a village to keep them entertained and busy. I’m sure almost every household has a story to tell.
Teenagers on the other hand are a different species. Again, it takes a lot of calculated mental energy to be able to tackle them, without hurting their budding egos. Seeing your kid, locked away in the room, with his only companion- the phone, is a real pain in the heart. During the time they are home, it takes a lot of effort to keep them off their phones. Teachers are able to achieve the same thing easily in the school, with just a few rules imposed and a little judicious monitoring. Moreover, kids of this age find it easy to connect with a teacher, rather than their parents. Maybe mostly because parents are focused on discipline and future plans and all that heavy stuff, which their children find boring and repetitive. Teachers, at this age, can become their buddies, their confidants, their guides, their parent, all in one. It is their age to have fun and discover themselves at the same time, while they are going through their first heart breaks, first periods, first discoveries of their sexualities, first taste to independence etc. There have been instances where a child’s future has been heavily influenced by the interactions he had with his school/college teacher.
So, circling back to the question – don’t we think we need to express gratitude to these teachers? Don’t we need to value them more? Don’t they deserve a pay comparable to the other positions in the society? Why do we undervalue them so much, when they are selflessly and tirelessly putting in their hours to mold the upcoming generations? Aren’t they taking the burden off our chest so that you can be peaceful and focused at work, being sure your kids taken good care of at the school?
The below link might help you answer these questions –