How do you describe teaching? Is just a profession?
I feel teaching is way beyond just a profession. Teaching is the art of moulding young lives. Teaching is not just about giving knowledge but the skill of transforming that knowledge into a lifelong learning experience.
Teaching is an adventure for real! It is like a roller-coaster ride where you encounter unexpected turns and drops coupled with unbelievable excitement. A teacher’s day is never predictable; each day is different, each group of students have its own temperament, and each lesson is unique.
Teaching is the craft of sailing smoothly, even when the winds are rough! It is the skill of displaying balance and calm amidst chaos. Teaching is not just about training others but also about training ourselves throughout the journey. Yes, it is indeed a journey to self-discovery!
STUDENTS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM!
One of the perks of teaching is that we are privileged to learn almost as much as our students. Every day brings opportunities to increase our knowledge and understanding of the real world—to get a deeper appreciation of the lives of children and a greater sense of our own purpose in life.
This is what I call “METAMORPHOSIS OF AN EDUCATOR.”
We progress through a series of developmental stages, increasing our abilities and skills by facing unique challenges every day. As in any developmental model, the stages are somewhat fluid and barely distinct; it is totally possible to skip a stage, just as it is likely some teachers never move beyond a certain level.
EGG – ‘The Would-Be Teacher‘
Who wants to be a teacher in the first place? I never wanted to be one!
Nowadays, the teaching profession is somehow unappreciated and not as rewarding as before. Parents long to see their children as doctors and engineers, and children look for even more fancy careers.
However, some rare species of young people are passionate about taking teaching as their career. Their teachers so profoundly influence them that they admire teaching and live their entire lives as teachers. Moreover, these kids display teachers’ attributes and show great interest in sharing their knowledge with friends and family.
At school, they are a big help to their teachers. They support teachers in writing notes and sometimes, even checking if peers are on task or not. In addition, they like to be engaged in activities such as peer teaching, reading, and class management.
They closely observe their teachers and try to act like them. They are the teachers in the making!
THEY ALL WANT TO BECOME TEACHERS IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
CATERPILLAR – ‘The Energetic Teacher‘
The caterpillar has come out of the egg and entered the massive teaching world.
THEY HAVE A SERIOUS APPETITE TO GAIN AND LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
Such teachers are highly energetic and willing to take new responsibilities and challenges. They often tend to display signs of impulsivity in their work. This stage is about trial and error and learning from those errors.
Teachers wonder how they can possibly learn all the school rules and remember each student’s faces with names. It feels like you are in “survival mode,” trying to overcome the challenge each day presents.
A common characteristic of caterpillars is that they have a strong foundation of subject knowledge but often struggle to convey it to pupils. They are new to pedagogy and teaching strategies, thus showing a high enthusiasm for learning. They are keen to learn everything about school policies, teaching practices, and assessments.
However, if teachers don’t know how to channel their energy at this stage, they tend to feel overwhelmed and lose some of their initial passion and enthusiasm.
PUPA – ‘The Storing Teacher‘
At this stage, teachers have learnt to overcome their hasty habits and have started storing their energy for productive outcomes. They began to learn from self-reflection and utilize it to broaden their horizons.
IT MAY LOOK LIKE NOTHING IS GOING ON, BUT BIG CHANGES ARE HAPPENING INSIDE!
They are in an incubation phase where they learn and grow through silent observations. Since will and determination are at their peak, most teachers tend to develop their best in this stage. This phase is the mid-career, where most teachers strive to polish their competencies and continuously reflect on their learning. They precisely notice the progress students are making and gain increasing confidence in their role as a teacher. These teachers’ most effective survival skills are the ability to go with the flow and learn to modify plans according to the moment’s need. If their first plan to deal with a student’s crisis, discipline problem, or classroom teaching doesn’t work out; they are ready with plans B, C, or D.
Teachers in this phase take various professional development sessions to gain first-hand experience with innovative teaching strategies and apply them to their students. They keep trying to change classroom dynamics by spending time and effort planning, preparing, implementing, and reflecting on their teaching and learning.
However, most of the teachers tend to slow down at this stage and show less interest in learning further. They start creating that ‘COMFORT ZONE’ where they don’t challenge themselves with any new endeavour.
IT IS AN ALARMING SITUATION WHEN THEY GET ENCLOSED IN THAT COCOON AND CONTINUE STAYING THERE.
BUTTERFLY – ‘The Transformed Teacher‘
You have finally evolved and transformed into a beautiful butterfly!
FOR YOU, TEACHING IS NOT JUST A PROFESSION; IT IS YOUR AWAKENING!
You have learnt valuable lessons from past experiences that have transformed you into a great teacher ready to fly in the endless sky!
You have acquired a level of wisdom that others see you as a mentor. It is rewarding when people approach you often for advice or feedback.
You are an asset who can contribute a lot to your workplace and society. You can think creatively and critically, collaborate, and share your experiences with your colleagues to bring the desired outcomes to your organization. In addition, you believe to be incredibly resourceful and like to utilize your expertise by taking appropriate leadership roles.
You have reached great heights in your career, and it is wonderful to see how many lives you have touched so far! Your perspective now encourages you to see the big picture in education. You crave to bring changes to the world around you by transforming your experience into action and reflection.
You are no longer just tied to your institution; you feel committed to the global teaching fraternity. Consequently, you support them by sharing your unique ideas and perspectives in education. Positive energy and consciousness play a significant role in driving you constantly to evolve as an educator and progress within and beyond your profession.
You are enthusiastic about moving further and developing as a teacher who never stops learning. But, on the contrary, some veteran teachers at this stage appear so burned out with their jobs, waiting out the years until retirement. They have lost the passion that kept them moving forward all these years!
LET THE FIRE OF CURIOSITY BE THERE TO ALIGHT YOUR WORK LIFE!
When you pass through these developmental stages, there will be your best and worst times. Like any other adventure, a teacher’s journey is also filled with trials. Often, we feel lost, at the crossroads, without an accurate working map. There are obstacles to overcome and challenges to face, but simultaneously, you witness exciting new experiences.
The meaningful relationships we develop with many of our students, parents, and colleagues are the best.
In your journey, whether you are an egg, a caterpillar, or a pupa, learn from each milestone and enjoy the process. If you appreciate the change and learn from those experiences, your transformation into a Butterfly shall be as smooth as ever!
“To become a Butterfly, Metamorphosis is necessary. If the caterpillar never went through this process of change, it would never achieve its great destiny and become its most glorious self!”
What a superb….very impressive write up…..Can easily imagine how much deep thoughts, long visionary ideas, ups n downs of mind n heart while putting it infront of everyone.Its really amazing ” You” as a Teacher has gone through so many phases where you have to also learn like students in very much diffrent situations.While teaching children you have taken care of them by giving them opportunities to explore, to allow them to speak out their problems,querrirs and curiosities.You have adopted Super way to teach children AS PER THEIR MOOD,TREND …and CONVINIENCE…You have given them great confidence to open up on any topics.While doing all these educational activities you hv never forgotten to involve creativity, joyness and innovative ideas which really helped children to show their talent to explore their inner ideas. These children have achieved great success..new goals..different horizons..While having all these experiences in teaching field ,for everyone who were with you personally…or virtually Can’t forget you..or have never forgotten you because you are the best
MENTOR…TUTOR…and INSPIRATIONAL TEACHER…All the best for you in future
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for sharing your unique perspectives on how education should be! Great insights on student-centred approaches! Thank you
We, teachers, need to continuously self-reflect on our practices; whether we are moving forward in the right direction for the best student outcome?
I can always say you were the caterpillar teacher, you were actually encouraged me to love chemistry and the world of science with your fantastic techniques. thanks for leaving your fingerprint in my personality as it really changed the way i think and look through life . we love you miss abhi
LikeLiked by 1 person
What more could a teacher ask for!
This is the most rewarding comment I have got in these days!
I feel teachers have an excellent opportunity to learn from the students.
You keep inspiring us throughout our journey.