I think a lot about this profession called teaching. Most of the present herds of teachers are in this profession, not by choice. Imagine, if most of us were provided with choices of being an engineer, doctor, software professional, a corporate yuppie or a mere teacher, what would be our choice? You don’t have to be very creative to visualize the respect an engineer, a doctor, a software professional…get from family, society, future in-laws and current and ex – would be-s and could be-s.
I had to carry out a survey among the various schoolteachers for a project. I was busy preparing the questionnaire. Suddenly I thought of this question. ‘If you were given a chance to choose your profession again, what would be your choice?’ I had to show the questionnaire and subsequent result to my project leader. I was secretly very happy with the list of questions I had on my register. This particular question was my favorite. I was eager to see the response. And more than that how my Project leader would sum up my findings.
Ok, the due date was coming nearer. All of us behaved like schoolchildren with our project leader. If he was about to take class, and we tried to squeeze in some drops of water down our throat in scorching heat of Rajasthan, and he entered the class a few minutes earlier, we happily forgot our thirst. Quenching thrist was not worth it. Our parched throats could wait. We ran back to class.
Well the due date had arrived. I was armed with my findings. He started to discuss the final results. It seemed a long wait. What the heck! My name starts with “A”. Why was he taking so much time? Suspense was building up inside me. For the first time I was experiencing the feeling ‘butterflies in my stomach’. Finally it seemed that my name was being spoken.
He asked the whole class, “can you figure out how many persons one would meet in his / her teaching career, if it covers a period of mere 20 years?”
The class was busy finding statistics. One stood up.
“Sir we need more data.”
“ Ok if a teacher takes 5 classes everyday. And each class consists of at least 50 children?”
“Sir, 250 persons everyday!”
“In which job, you think a person comes in contact with so many impressionable minds?”
“ See, a teacher really has the power to leave impression on so many young minds. Nobody, in any profession, comes across a large number of unadulterated minds for prolong period. ”
For the first time I realized, in this profession you are not dealing with text files, documents or machines. You are not coming in contact with any damn inanimate object! You are getting the opportunity to write on a blank slate. Just imagine, how many lives you are going to deal with? You are entering in a frail world. The echo of every careless action will be heard till eternity! Tread on this path delicately.