The day started off on a slow note today. I have answer papers to correct from yesterday’s Unit Test. It is a subject that I teach besides my main subject. I also teach Value Education to a bunch of Sixth graders.
This particular subject is the most hated by teachers in the school. The amount of work that goes into making worksheets and test papers for this is not much. But then again, it is a bit too much when you are already loaded with so much work. Sometimes work other than the teaching part of the job.
Like in any job, in teaching too, it is the documentation or what we call as “Evidence” that matters. There is written or photographic proof of everything we do in class and for a class. This is so as to avoid issues later on in the session, when a particular task is questioned and explanations asked. Basically it is about being accountable.
Now in an office environment, this is an easy task. Every communication is documented. But how does one do that when you are imparting education in a class. Yes, of course there is the lesson plan to follow. There are worksheets set. There are textbooks and there are notebooks to mark the progress of a class. But is that really enough?
When a teacher is assessed, I have often wondered, what is it that they look for? Do they want someone who knows a lot about the subject? Or do they want someone who knows enough about the subject so as to be able to explain it well to middle school children?
Is it about the worksheets and notes? Is it about interactive classes or is it about being nice to the students to win their confidence? Or is it about being strict with them to make them regular in their work?
In my opinion, it is all about the balance. Just like we do with our own kids, the students in school need to be treated with respect and love. No harshness doesn’t mean being lenient. It just means that work can be done by being strict, but not by being mean.
During my previous stint as a teacher, I was so busy with the documentation work that I rarely got time to spend time chatting with the students. Even when I was a class teacher, the workload was so much that I used to barely get time to get the attendance done and circulars or cash collection done during the class teacher’s period. During my teaching periods, I had to complete the syllabus. So it was basically a rat race back then. I would come home to two young children who needed my undivided attention and the struggle would continue.
Now that my kids are bigger, I am not as tensed as before. I can plan and do my work on time. The result is that I can make time to converse with the students that I teach Value Education to. At least once a week, I spend time with them, I observe them and I learn from them.
My values are being added to with lesson I teach them. I wonder why then is this subject so hated by all…