Since I am a school teacher myself, I may be biased in my analysis. Forgive me for that and please feel free to contradict my analysis and give me an insight of your perspective on the issue.
This issue has been haunting me and my colleagues for quite some time. Let me put it across, a little systematically.
TEACHERS बनाम STUDENTS: Never before the respect for teachers has been this low. The students treat the teachers as employees whose payments come from their parents (read ‘from them’). Now a days they are not only discourteous, but disrespectful also towards their teachers. As the teacher enters the class room, they dont even want to wish the teacher. Out of habit, the teachers wish them and then lazily some of them get up and wish. The others remain sitting and busy in their own conversations. While the teachers are teaching or say trying to teach, they are busy passing chits or writing mundane things. Then during revision they want the same lessons to be repeated. Again they wont pay attention. Sadly, homework can be given but will not be done. The teacher can not scold the child (gone are the days, when they could be given a slap). At best, a note can be written in their diaries, which will never be shown to the parents. Keeping names for teachers is an age-old practice. I dont want to take away this enjoyable right from them. But at least do not give them cheap/vulgar names.
TEACHERS बनाम STUDENTS’ PARENTS: They are the ones having the biggest stake in a student’s career. Understandably, they should be most concerned in a student’s progress and hence are most demanding. Unfortunately, they also happen to be most confused and cosequently confuse the teachers also. Agreed they want the best for their children. They are also right in expecting the teachers to help them. But they dont want the teachers to be strict. By being strict I dont mean that the teachers be given a free hand to hit the children. No way. The problem is, that if the teacher raises her voice or makes the child stand in the class, she is accused of humiliating the child. Although the parents do tell the teachers to be very strict with their children, they cant tolerate any teacher being slightly strict also. She is labelled as inhuman and insensitive towards children. If one writes a note on the errant conduct of the student, to the parents, they have no time to read it. Now, very few children want to show such a note to their parents. They will only show it, if the teacher reprimands them. Obviously, the parents resent it. Fine. But then, should they not take out time to check their children’s diary!!
I wish they were clear in their heads as to what do they want and how do they want the teachers to achieve their common goal. It will help all the parties concerned.
TEACHERS बनाम THE LAW: I understand that there are laws restricting a teacher’s rights viz a viz students. A good move from the law makers. It restricts those teachers who indulge in severe punishments. There have been so many cases where the child has suffered permanent physical/emotional injury courtesy their teachers. But what about teachers!! Will you not call it humiliation of teachers when the children indulge in cat calls, back answering, or even simply refusing to do class/home work. Now, who will make laws to help the teachers in performing their duties!! Interestingly, if it is brought to the notice of parents, they refuse to believe it. I know, every child is innocent in his/her parents’ eyes. But please listen to others also. Parents must believe that the teacher is concerned about their child and hence bringing his misconduct to their notice.
TEACHERS बनाम GENERAL PUBLIC: Whenever some one meets a teacher the reactions are predictable. How lucky! Half day work! So many holidays! etc. etc. What about half salary? My generation has seen a lot of male teachers. But the growing difference in the salary of teachers and other sectors has restricted the entry of male teachers in schools. No wonder, low salary is restricting good teachers too. The ones venturing into school teaching are either too passionate about it, or (sad, but true) the ones looking for ‘some’ job as they are qualified and have time on hand. In general public’s language, they are there for ‘time pass’. Yes, this is how we all are labelled as.
Having written all this, I would like to share a few more things. I came into teaching by default. But soon started enjoying it. At present I love every bit of it. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to influence and guide so many young ones. And the compensation is not my salary, but my students’ success. It gives immense pleasure when I see them succeeding in their respective fields.