Teaching is not a profession but a vocation

Nikhil Gomes

A Teacher is someone who acts as a guide and inspiration to people – both young and old. He/she is charged with the responsibility of creating awareness as well as opening the minds of people by instilling values, morals, and ethics. 

The teacher’s efforts are recognized during Teacher’s Day. We annually celebrate their contribution to the development of society.

Today is World Teachers’ Day. It is a day devoted “to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world.” 

This internationally recognized day commemorates teachers around the globe and their commitment to children and learning.

Celebrating World Teachers’ Day gives us all a chance to reflect on the incredible and crucial role that teachers play in the lives of children and the adults they become.

Its aim is to raise awareness about the role of teachers' in facilitating quality education at all levels and in improving the situation of teachers around the world.

On October 12, 1997, the 29th session of UNESCO's General Conference was opened. During this conference, on November 11, 1997, the "Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel" was adopted. 

On October 5, 1994, the first World Teachers' Day was held. It is also known as International Teachers' Day.

In 2020, World Teachers’ Day is celebrated teachers with the theme “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. 

The day is an occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind. 

Father Probash Pius Rozario, SJ, English lecturer and guidance counsellor at St. Joseph’s School and College, Bonpara, Natore, Bangladesh, shares with us his teaching experience on World Teacher’s Day.
 
“A teacher needs to realize that he/she is chosen for this profession to shape and mould the future generation. Thus, a teacher becomes a guide, mentor, spiritual and mental counselor to his/her students. 

“Teachers have a great responsibility not only to educate the mind of the students but also to educate the heart of the students to be men and women for others. 

“As a teacher I have responsibility to teach, however, teaching is also a vocation, therefore, a teacher simply cannot stop by teaching, he/she has to go beyond it. He/she has to build up a relationship with students. He/she has to impart knowledge and moral values with honesty and simplicity so that students can imitate their teacher and become good human beings in their life.
 
“I think the fundamental commitment of a teacher is to love his/her profession and obviously the students and be faithful to the responsibility handed over to him.   

“Being a Jesuit priest I definitely try to follow the Ignatian Pedagogy. In Ignatian Pedagogy there are 5 stages:

1) learning the context of the learners
2) learning the experiences, analyzing the situation and finding similarities
3) reflection
4) action
5) evaluation. 

“It is true that I am not always able to follow this method, yet I try my best. This method helps me a lot for knowing the students in a broader way. It also broadens the horizon of students of his/her surrounding. 

“As a teacher my experience is certainly good. When I see my students are growing in their life it gives me immense joy. I also feel happy to accompany them in their growing up period. During this time, many students come with their difficulties. 

“I have helped a number of students to overcome such difficult moments. It is absolutely joyful to witness such events. Sometimes I also feel sad when I see students could not reach their goal as expected. 

“I have also been disappointed seeing the educational system of our country. It is because the system looks more exam-oriented than pro-learning. Therefore, most of the students just study for passing their exams. In the process, they miss out the true value of education. Thus, they pass in exams but fail to learn in true sense. 

“In my teaching life personally, the biggest challenge I face is to educate the heart of students. It is truly difficult. I think it is due to the educational system and present social and family values. 

“For many, earning marks are the most important thing than being a good person. Therefore, students also hold the same understanding. They want to obtain good marks at any cost. At this point, honestly speaking it becomes quite difficult to educate the heart of students. I am not saying it is impossible but difficult. 

“There are some who try to be honest and good persons listening to the advice of teachers. However, they are few in number. 

“Teachers are the torch bearers. They are the ideals for students. They show the true path for students. My suggestion for these teachers would be to make teaching their love and create passion for it. It is obviously possible when we make ourselves available and open to reality.

“As teachers we need to be honest, neutral, and generous and loving while evaluating students’ progress. It is also essential that a teacher is free from corruptions. Nowadays, it is observed that many teachers get corrupt due to their selfish benefit. 

“I pay my respect to those teachers who truly serve and build the nation through their selfless services and pray for the teachers who are struggling to love their job so that they may be in love and do well in near future.” 

Teachers play an important role in the development of any country. This is why it is vital to set aside a day when the teachers are given the recognition they deserve. We celebrate Teachers’ Day to honor the contribution of teachers in our lives.

So, let’s keep in mind that teaching is not a profession but a vocation. We are chosen to build an honest, dedicated and faithful nation. 

Happy Teacher’s Day.