But also my personal belief is that women are intuitively better at teaching as they are more empathetic towards children and their needs. They also have the natural tolerance that comes with raising their own if they happen to be mums.
Teaching is after all a very noble profession involving interaction with little children and not computers or robots. It requires a great deal of patience, perseverance, understanding and also experience in order to mould these bubbling Einsteins into great leaders
Let me give you an example - here is something that happened one morning when I entered the classroom for the second period of the day. I found one of my fifth graders playfully draping a Rs 20 note over her eyes. "Don't do that" I said. "Money is full of germs". "It is?" she asked with wide eyes. "Yes, it is very dirty" I replied. She thought about it for a moment. "Is that why they call people who have a lot of it 'filthy rich?". In her innocence this child my day. Now that's a perk, isn't it? Kids say (and do) the darndest things which in turn is one reason that teaching is a very interesting job as well as an amusing and entertaining one.
My friend's four years old pre-school student became excited and also curious when her mother was expecting her second child. Among the many questions she asked her teacher (my friend), one hilarious one was:
"When mummy drinks water, would the baby get wet?" I still find myself laughing when I think about it.
So the long and short of what I'm trying to say is that the job of a teacher is not to sit at a computer by themselves all day long as in the case of some other jobs. In fact, they do a very little 'sitting' throughout the day. On the contrary, they deal with innovative young minds that are bubbling with creativity and enthusiasm as well as a lot of humor of course.
While being on active mode all day and constantly moving around can be a little exhausting, it also means that you are not sitting and watching the clock tick. How many jobs allow you to relive your favorite childhood memories? Teaching actually turns the clock back into the past-to your own student days.
In the fast moving world that we live in, filled with adult stress, allowing yourself to indulge in making paper dolls is unheard of. It makes you feel like a kid all over again. (Mothers feel the same I suppose?) and that feeling is priceless I must say. It helps you to stay young at heart.
Children unknowingly teach adults some of the most valuable lessons in life. Moreover, there is a lot of variety in the job of teaching because it is not only restricted to the books and the board. There is so much more to it and that is why you never get bored as a teacher. Every day is different and holds unique and unpredicted challenges. You may have your lesson plans for the day ready but you might have to flex it at times and put the course curriculum on hold to help a child with his or her problems. Basically you will have to switch roles from a teacher to a mother or counsellor. That's part of the job and one of the things that sets apart great, compassionate, motherly teachers from the rest.
In addition to this, the diverse and rich experience that teachers gather from handing kids is certainly a boost to their parenting career as well (parenting is a whole career in its own way).
"Teaching is for those who are not capable of doing anything better"? What do you think of that? Just imagine if everyone abandoned teaching on the false grounds of it being a job for "unambitious" and "not so capable" who would we send our kids to?
And if we hold that opinion of teaching, then why not hire a robot to do the teaching? Taking into consideration the important of what teachers do, the number of roles they play and the amount of education and training it takes to prepare them for their career, I would say that it is one of the highest professions. In their hands lie the ability to handle all kind of children including the disruptive ones.
A mother will know how drained out she feels in handling her one or two or three kids. If a teacher can masterfully tackle a hundred odd children and instill sound values into them what a talented person she must be. And it also makes me wonder what a great mom she would make. Need I say about what teachers accomplish then?
Most teachers love their job because of the satisfaction it brings along when they accomplish their goals. They get to be a positive influence in the lives of the children (something parents strive hard to achieve). All of us have had that one inspirational teacher whom we used to ape because of his or her influence in our life. So by being an inspiration to the students, it obviously makes one euphoric to see them develop over the school years and beyond.
As a matter of fact, teaching is the job that creates doctors, lawyers, engineers and all other professionals (and good humans) in the world. Teachers create the next generation leaders. Nothing equals the feeling you get from a child that needs your love and the simple way that they love you back purely and unconditionally. When they break down or are in need of an adult's reassurance, you get to be the one who makes them feel safe and loved. And this love gravitates right back you with every hug, every handmade card carefully adorned with your name. This is the perk above all else.
This reminds me of a little girl who wanted to give her favorite teacher miss Meana a card on teacher's day. She had most elaborately decorated her teacher's name in large, flourishing letters that she didn't have enough space to write the whole name in the same line. This is how it read I LOVE YOU MISS MEAN. The teacher's reaction was priceless!
A common belief most people have is that teachers earn very little. And subsequently they have labelled teaching as an 'underpaid job'. Those who say so may be right in one sense but are also wrong in another. Monetarily, teachers may not be receiving their full worth but the personal reward teaching brings is, in terms of self-satisfaction and self-achievement makes it a job 'paid in full'
Written for Mums in Colombo y Hajar Salam