Friday, 25 July 2014

Worship your Profession

"If I were lucky enough, there wouldn't be these nasty pieces of chalk and a duster in my hands," one of my colleagues sadly complained once. Not only my friend, I have found many other teachers who also curse their fate for choosing the teaching profession. They think it is their obligation and a great tragedy to stick to it, as there are no other options to switch to.

My teacher's persona feels hurt every time I hear of teachers expressing negative comments and making fun of this sacred profession. For me, teaching is the most dignified profession. A teacher educates thousands of students during her/his lifetime. Is it really bad to help people come out from dark to light? Teachers are symbols of knowledge and intellect. It is them who produce successful candidates for all other professions.

Sometimes, students make such hearty compliments that teachers can never forget them. For instance, once I told my students unenthusiastically that I was going to leave them to join another institution. This piece of information definitely made them sad as they expressed their views likewise, but what one girl said touched my heart. She said innocently, "Mam, those students are going to be luckier than us, then." There is no reason to be disappointed being a teacher, at least for me.

If teachers themselves disrespect their profession, who on earth cares to respect it? If we are sure of not leaving this job and we know it is only the source of our bread and butter, is it fair to hate own work at all? If we do so it feels like disdaining our mother or God.

It is human nature that we desire for a thing which we do not have an access to. In the same vein, the teachers may  also think all other people, except for them, are entirely satisfied with their jobs, so they wish they could be in other professions but not in teaching. Perhaps, they do not consider it seriously that every field is equally challenging, and is with limitations.

Nevertheless, all teachers are not complaining. There are many gifted teachers who believe they are born to teach. They enter the teaching profession not by compulsion but by choice. They never remorse for being teachers. Instead, they enjoy working with students. Their satisfaction lies on students' success.

Teaching can be taken as one of the most fertile working fields where teachers have to update their knowledge every day. We all know things keep changing in this world, so teachers must always be aware of the changes in their area of teaching. They, otherwise, cannot survive professionally.

If we do not love and respect our profession we cannot work honestly. In this situation professionalism
cannot be developed within us. We can contribute nothing to our working field. There is no shame to be a teacher. Teaching is free from corruption and other dirty tricks. Therefore, teachers must be proud of themselves. In our culture they are compared to gods. Every teacher should realize and reevaluate the meaning of the following mantra:

                                    Gurur Bhramha Gurur Vishnu
                                    Gurur Dewo Maheshwara:
                                    Gurur Sakhaat Param Bhramha
                                    Tasmai Shree Gurawe Nama:

[Literal translation: The meaning of Guru is one who dispels ignorance. "Gu" means " ignorance" and "Ru" means "one who removes the ignorance". In Hinduism, guru resembles the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva or Maheshwara.  As Brahma, the creator of the universe,  guru inculcates knowledge in the minds of the students. Similarly, guru is like Vishnu who maintains the creation; guru helps preserve the knowledge.  Guru is also like Shiva, the god of destruction. Guru helps get rid of the ignorance from the students' minds.]

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Saturday, September 2004)

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).