Challenges for a teacher


                                             Education Officer, VES

There is an unprecedented need in our society today which calls for a revolutionary change in our system of education. One of the most important change required is a shift from teaching to learning. This is the shift from the passive acquisition of facts and routines to the active application of ideas to problems.

Teaching is to facilitate the performance, learning and development of the student to his full potential. But learning is a creative process, making information relevant and linking the new knowledge with his prior knowledge. It is an ability to help the students to see new relationships and meanings. It is to foster creativity which helps the student to learn all the time and to act independently to attain critical judgement on matters.

Teacher is the kingpin in any educational system since he plays a vital role in the teaching-learning process. A teacher has many challenges to face in his process of teaching and he should expect them ever and should be ready to accept them. The first challenge in his career is to understand his students. The teacher needs to know the gap between where the student is and where he intend to take him. It is also necessary for a teacher to know the gap between the potential of a student and his performance. It is easier said than done. It requires a conscious and persistent effort by the teachers to release the potentials of the children, especially the creative potential. To accomplish this, each teacher should have a strong content knowledge, curricular knowledge and pedagogical knowledge.

“To be able to survive as a teacher in the changing world, one should be more creative in his teaching. Creativity in Education aims at creative thinking abilities in curriculum, methodology and in evaluation. Creativity contains six major components, namely, intelligence, knowledge, thinking styles, personality, motivation and environment. Creative teaching is different from the teaching that is normally seen in our classrooms. The difference is in terms of aims and objectives, strategies, and methodology. All about creative teaching is using creativity in the content transaction, the teacher-student interaction, the classroom environment and management, and in the outcome of teaching and learning process. Being very creative all the time is another challenge for a teacher.

It is often said, ‘as are the teachers, so is the standard of education’. To attain desirable educational outcome, we need competent teachers. There is no substitute for a competent teacher. The competency and commitment in a teacher can reconstruct the educational system. The teacher’s personal qualities, his educational qualification, his professional training, his attitude towards his profession and the place he occupies in the school as well as in the community influence the quality of the education and the standard of his learners. A good teacher is loved by his students. He is the role model, a friend and guide to his students; he is tolerant and understanding, has mastery over the subject content and makes learning a joyful experience.

A good teacher is kind, trusting and understands the feelings, aspirations and moods of every student. He not only teaches the students, but also learns from them. He helps the students to think on their own, to be autonomous and to develop into adults. He guides them through the right way to achieve their goals. Being good in nature and competent in teaching are other challenges for a teacher.

The teaching profession passes through an exciting and challenging period today. At one hand the changes in the society and the transformation in the family has over loaded the teachers. On the other, they have to play many roles at a time as it is expected by the society because of its traditional convention. They have to be parents, counsellors, nurses and even police in the classroom.

A teacher’s role is that of the mother or father. A teacher has to nurture the student, live with him and bring him to the level of greater maturity. The children do not know that their teacher is a humble servant of the authorities. For them he is the man with all the power in the world to force them to do what he wants. Due to these conflicting roles he performs, there is a psychological stress in the minds of the teacher. The teacher finds it a difficult challenge to establish a channel of communication with his students.

A classroom in a school is a meeting place of a group of students for instruction and learning. In the process of educational management, the school principal does the institutional management and the teacher is in-charge of the classroom management. He has to organise the environment in the classroom, manage the learning process and student behaviour. Classroom management is about translating the instructional goals into learning experiences. Classroom management involves many things like maintaining the classroom climate, communication, learning the content, discipline, teaching strategies, etc. Teaching requires good management of rules and procedures more than good instructions. Learning cannot occur in an environment where student behaviour is out of control. This is certainly a challenge for a teacher.

Evaluation is a part of life. It has become the integral part of any teaching and learning situation. The basic purpose of evaluation has been to bring about quality improvement in education. It provides a feedback about the students learning and classroom teaching that are appropriate to the curriculum and course content. Evaluation need not be based on measurement alone but it should go beyond the simple quantitative scores. The system of evaluation must restore the faith and trust of the masses and should ensure transparency in the procedure. To formulate and execute such an evaluation system is also a challenge for a teacher.

School learning depends upon the time a child spends in an organised teaching-learning activity. These activities depend on the teachers. A teacher has many challenges in his profession like behaviour management, planning and programming, communication with parents, use of Technology in teaching, time management etc. What has been discussed so far are only a few. A lot more wait for a teacher. A competent, organised, committed teacher can face these challenges with courage and happiness. Any challenge in a classroom shall be under the control of an efficient teacher and he alone could develop quality citizens out of his student.

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