CONGRATULATIONS for choosing teaching as a profession – this is the profession which an authority in education, Erasmus called “the noblest of occupations.”
By Afunugo Amaechi
The teacher helps to lay foundations of tomorrow. The future leaders of a community and perhaps the world sit at his feet. What he does may affect the future home life – the morality, the voting behaviour, the civil participation, the political decisions of his students.
Waldo Emerson pointed out that “efficient universal education is the mother of national prosperity.”
Chester Benard, further buttressed this fact and said “the basic process by which the productive capacity of society is maintained or increased is by education.”
From the ongoing arguments, one would discover that a teacher has a lot to contribute to the development of the society for a better tomorrow.
From the research conducted and information available to me, people teach because of fondness of working with young people, challenge of an important service to the community – intellectual interest and stimulation, job security and other favourable working conditions and professional preparation at a minimal cost.
The career of a teacher is one which there is a constant challenge, excitement and satisfaction in two spheres of living – in a world of learning of books and in a world of youths striving for higher goals.
A world where youths strive for higher goals is challenging and even more, it is rewarding in deep personal satisfactions to the teacher.
What greater satisfaction can come than seeing the happiness in a child when he reads his first sentence or when he writes his own name? Can anything be more important than discovering talents latent in a young man and encouraging him to move on towards their fulfillment? What greater thrill come when observing a young adult in graduate study give fresh interpretation of knowledge which can improve the society in which he lives? These are only some of the satisfactions that are part of the existing world in which a teacher lives. No other profession can offer so much.
Moreover, a teacher can help to strengthen citizenship education in schools which will help the people to appreciate noble ideas of democracy fully. If we are to behave intelligently in the world, we must educate our people to higher level of international understanding.
Again, the greatest educational challenge of our time is to determine how our schools and colleges can truly produce resourceful, world-minded citizens capable of assuming unprecedented international responsibilities – surely, the importance of the teacher looms in the years ahead!
Teachers have become mothers, fathers, policemen, judges, and jury to more than two dozen youngsters for the long hours every day, when kids are in their most squirmy, wiggly and energetic behavior – they have led strange lives, ever keeping themselves as ambassadors, as persistent as insurance agents, as enthusiastic as used car salesman, as cheerful as comedians, as well groomed as models, and as long as suffering as school teachers.
Many teachers whose knowledge of their field was obviously so vast and rich have singularly brought their subjects alive in the classroom. They have a way of trickling pupils curiority so that learning becomes a compulsion –making learning easy to be read, explored, contemplated, and argued with a passion!
Also, few of them were genius at making science a vibrant, practical and exciting adventure and others have also filled pupils with inquisitiveness about the physical world that has sustained their learning ever after.
Research, revealed that teaching offers persons a lifelong opportunity to participate in the discovery of knowledge and the march or invention.
Consider, for example, some of the great discoveries that have been made by teachers: Theory of relativity, Prof Albert Einstein, University of Zurich, Nature of learning, Professor Edward Thornbike, teachers college Columbia – child Growth and development, Dr Arnold Gessele-Yalle University.
Pollio vaccine, Dr Jonas Saint University of Pittsbury. All these proved rightly that a teacher is really the “builder of a better tomorrow.”
Great teachers love all children. This is the paramount reason we should honour them, especially various government of Nigeria. They have something beyond industry, beyond ability, beyond professional techniques – they have a truly priceless human quality – a creative love that children recognise and under which they bloom!
One community leader rightly pointed out and exemplified a teacher who served in his community. He said “through him students come to understand the scientific method, the procedures of scientific method, the procedures of scientific research, the endless search for the truth. His students rated him high in college achievement. Many went on to careers in science through his personal and professional inspiration. He taught outside school as he died within. What he taught was truth as he understood it. He gave his service to the community and his going has left each of us with rich memories and deep loss!
“As man invented tools, weapons, clothing and language, the need for training became an essential ingredients in the march of civilisation.”
It is important that we look at the definition of the “term” “training” so we can differentiate between it and “education” because we mix the two together. It is good we look at the character as a concept in order to adequately understand it.
According to research conducted, Boydell said “when there is need for something, it is an indication that something is lacking, missing or not present. He suggested that such need might be taken care of by “training”.
Within an organisation “training” is defined more specifically by Otto Glasser as “teaching or learning activities carried on for the primary purpose of helping members of an organisation to acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes needed by that organisation to carry out its mission.”
Training, like education is the process by which the individual acquires skills, abilities, attitudes and knowledge.
According to Crawford and the concept of System or an organisation, he defined training as “that process by which individuals learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes, not previously in their repertories, which will fit them to function as human components in a system”.
There, we should ask ourselves, especially those handling policies regarding the education sector convincing questions as the training needs of our teachers – were we have been? Where we are now? And where we want to be in the future?
Training, according to research conducted is to “serve the needs of a particular system of society, while education aims to fit persons to take their places in the many systems of society”.
One may rightly ask – what does the future hold” for our teachers. This question is a critical one as it relates to the role teachers can play in shaping of our children’s future.
In this area, relating to the nature of manpower and implications of teaching manpower planning and implementation between now and about 2030. Therefore, the question of the future remains a serious concern to government, scientists, as well as the whole society.
The importance of futurology – yes the future can hold for man either doom or progress. It can lead to utopia or oblivion. Hence, an accurate prediction of the future should only result from careful analysis of the past. The question however, is in gazing into the next three years or by 2030, which of the two is most likely – utopia or oblivion? In a country like Nigeria, where in the past, according to research, much of the national efforts has been based on a series of five year development plans; the tendency has been that nationally cherished “dreams” have become quite unlikely, with mixed emotions heralding the end of each epochal future”.
Therefore, there is need for adequate on-the-job training for teachers in the state to enable them impact the right knowledge in children who are supposed to be future leaders of state and country at large.
Efforts should be intensified in the training needs of teachers as well as conducive environment to enable them perform creditably well in their professional endeavour.
Finally, productivity is one of the critical issues companies; organisations and government establishments face today.
Rewards are given with publicity among staff, so that those doing a job well are recognised and praised.
Teachers should therefore be motivated to perform assigned tasks to meet or surpass – pre-determined standard – motivation is that energizing force that induces and maintains behaviour.
Motivation will enable them to inspire our children to dream great dreams! Teachers should aspire to be like that individual soaring to new heights. What is that “elusive factor”?
When you chose teaching as a career, you answered the call to duty to serve your state and your country, your experience is the tool you will need to serve as an ambassador of your community. You are responsible for adding the enthusiasm factor. Just do it!