Armed with a blackboard and chalk, the minds which work to shape the next generation are trapped in a box of pressure. Considered a noble profession, the revered guru-shishya relationship is quite hard to find nowadays. Today, the teacher is no more looked upon in awe or respected like before - their sternness is instead misconstrued as punishment and frowned upon.
Teaching is an art of attending to people's needs, experiences and feelings. But in modern usage, the words 'teaching' and 'teacher' are synonymous with school and classroom culture. Today the job description of a teacher encompasses roles that may have little to do with what we can sensibly call teaching.
Adding to the pressure on students, are those parents who want their children to be the star of the class. As a result the teacher also gets pressurised to be able to get the best output from the students.
"One must be patient enough to deal and cope up with today's parents complaints and pressure to bring their children as a top scorer", says Bharat Kumar P, teacher and motivator. "Today, a teacher is required to listen to all sorts of complaints and be patient enough to listen to the words of parents just as a tele-caller receives a call".
Gone are the days when the teacher's cane would scare the daylights out of the kids or kneeling outside the class was the most demeaning thing. Today's generation is unable to face even the slightest correction or reprimand from the teachers. The children today are sensitive and fragile and are not used to being spoken to in a rough manner as it affects them mentally.
"It is a challenging profession; it needs a lot of commitment and dedication. The government rules also support the students and not the teachers. We are not allowed to give any kind of punishment to the students," says Fr. Maria Ashok, principal of a popular city school.
Fearing the 'no corporal punishment' rule, teachers sometimes fail to maintain disciple in schools as they overlook the child's misbehaviour and many teachers are unable to set a control over the children. The standard of education and discipline has been reduced in this new era.
"Only teacher with a commanding personality can handle arrogant students and shape them to be good citizens. We can't expect all students to respect us but we can make them earn respect by bringing out their inner potential and showing them the right track," says Sai Sree R, a teacher.
Josephine, a retired teacher feels, "Teachers should be given the freedom to explore a subject with different ideas and approaches to help motivate the students to learn", hinting at methods like art and practical learning....