Monday, September 05, 2011

Teachers Day

Forget about teachers in 80s and 90s. That was a different world. Think about who would want to be a *primary/secondary school* teacher now. I see tomorrow's school teachers broadly falling into 2 categories (a) people who could not be engineers or doctors and pretty much failed in every single attempt to get a corporate job that paid more (b) women who would have otherwise been housewives. Teaching would have been their only shot at an 9-5 relatively low-pressure employment that did not interfere with child/family rearing.

The closest analogy to asking people to take up teaching because its a noble profession would be Anna Hazare supporters asking the corrupt to stop taking bribes because it is the ethically right thing to do.

Sure. Why not?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Soka sonna ba

Anonymous said...

It's been the case for a while now. Hence the mad rush for admissions at the few "posh" schools that pay for star teachers. Still I wonder how much PSBB/ VM / Lady Andal etc. pay their teachers.

PS: Do you know that in Tamil Nadu, an entry-level govt school teacher makes as much as a police inspector or a tashildar? (granted the latter have plenty of side-income)
- Idling

karthick r said...

My Grandma insisted that my sister should take up teaching as a profession so that she would reach home early and can prepare snacks for her yet to be born kids with her yet to be married hubby :)
In a way, it made sense as far as spending quality time with kids and family is concerned.

MaySan said...

Very very well said. Punithamaana thanmai of teaching profession is gone....

elegantstroke said...

hawkeye,

have you seen this?

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

I know you like to generalize ;), but I think education as we know it, is out-dated because the goal of it (which resembles a production assembly line these days) has become 'producing university professors'. There is a revolution that can happen in the field of education and teachers (who understand the need for creating an environment where a child's creativity can flourish) have a major role to play in that :).

SathyaRam said...

If you walk past any 'convent' in Chennai, you could see that Teacher's Day is just another medium for parents to 'bribe' teachers in the hope that their kid is given better attention.

You should see the reminders parents (generally ladies) do to the kids outside the school gate on wishing the teachers and giving card/gift/flowers etc.


The whole business is commercialized and what is difference between Vijayadasami and Teachers day? Even on Vijayadasami we are expected to take blessings of teachers. So not sure whether every event makes any sense in modern India....

Chatterbox said...

Probably convent school and actors' schools teachers get a decent pay. Most othe private schools have extremely pathetic payscales for teachers..

Nikanth Karthikesan said...

Agree.
But IMHO "people who could not be engineers or doctors and pretty much failed in every single attempt to get a corporate job that paid more" are not idiots. And most women who would have otherwise been housewives do an excellent job as teachers.

aparna said...

I was an undergrad Biology teacher in the U.S for a short while. I guess I know what you mean, in terms of the dearth for real teachers. But in the U.S and India I was surprised to find out that some people do this for mere passion. But I think its the most satisfying job that I have ever done. If only they would pay more with better incentives. Money is important!

Anonymous said...

Dunno about school teachers, but university professors who make 5 figure salaries have actually seriously optimized their life in terms of risk-reward. For my 100k salary, I have to be at my desk between 8am to 5pm, work on usually boring soul-sucking tasks, sometimes super-boring. I can be laid off in a heartbeat, whether you call it recession or cutbacks or anything else. Whereas my math professor makes half my salary, puts in atmost 3 hours a day of actual work, out of which 2 hours are teaching the same multivariable calculus, abstract algebra class he has taught for past 20 years, cannot be laid off even if the entire state, federal govt, or president of usa tried to lay him off ( unless he does something genuinely criminal) , never published anything ( yes, in most US universities you are not mandatory required to publish, just optionally ), gets 4 full MONTHS of vacation per year (!!!!), gets to go to foreign countries on sabbaticals for free, and gets respected by society - afterall he is a professor! Even the grading is done by TAs, so exactly what is the downside ?

If you divide the measly salary a prof makes by the meager number of hours he actually works, it is a nice 2 digit number upwards of 50. Whereas the rest of us 6-figure tech/mgmt/other folk are actually working pathetic 1-digit/hour walmart wages by that metric.

So much for nobility.

aparna said...

The downside is there is continuous pressure of grants and publishing unless you are in a small time oor per theriyatha college. The three hour work that you think of works only for community colleges. So its literally double the work for half the money.

Anonymous said...

It simply says, primary education is overrated. Millions of students need not be trained to be professors. All they need is just the required knowledge to go through their vocations. The rest can be picked up, if interested.

Educating a child is the most natural thing for humans and as a species we are doing a wonderful job at it.

So, even if part-time-mommies and many-time-failures do it, it need not be assumed to be bad.

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