Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teaching at a Glance

A teacher’s responsibility towards a child is probably more than that of the parents. This is primarily because the child just doesn’t receive education from the school where he or she studies, but also learns the value systems from the same people.

For taking up teaching as a career, you require a passion for exchanging ideas, whether it is teaching at a school or in a college. While as a school teacher you are to educate delicate minds, in a college environment, the exchanges are at an intellectual level with students who are your friends.

In India, the available opportunities for teachers are in a variety of subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, etc. The demand for good teachers is definitely high considering that today’s children are exposed to the internet and the information overflow. Moreover, virtual classroom teaching has been introduced by some schools, which increases the overall opportunities for teachers.

By pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education after or along with your graduation, you would be able to secure a position as a teacher in a good school. Usually, jobs as teachers in government schools are considered prestigious. However, if you are interested in new methodologies of teaching, you may try for a job in private schools as well.
To start a career as a lecturer in colleges, you may however need to take entrance examinations along with completing your Master’s degree and Ph.D.

The course content of a B.Ed course aims at equipping teachers with the right theoretical, practical, and analytical skills. A typical B.Ed course would include the following topics, overall:

1. Education Theories
2. Psychology of learning and development
3. Principles and Best Practices of School Management
4. Information Communication Technology and Instructional Systems
5. Electives and evaluating education
6. Subject education
7. Practical examinations
8. Team discussions
9. Live Presentations
10. Interaction with students
Thus, through training teachers on the above-mentioned skills, colleges equip teachers with the skill and knowledge to handle learners. Several colleges also provide placements to students. as well.
Some of the best B.Ed colleges in India include JSS Institute of Education, Bangalore, College of Teacher Education, Agartala; Indira Gandhi B Ed College, Karnataka; A G Teachers College, Ahmedabad; and National Council of Teacher Education, New Delhi. Besides, there are universities such as IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) which have a standard curriculum.
To get admission into these colleges, you will have to successfully appear for entrance exams and interviews.

Start early

As a student, if you are aiming at a career in teaching, you must be aware of the colleges that offer Bachelor’s in Education courses in the country. Besides this, you must be willing to learn and upgrade your knowledge along with teaching students as well. You may follow these steps and start preparing for a teaching career, after school or during college:
1. Collect information about colleges that offer B.Ed courses. For instance, start from the university in your respective city. If you are in Delhi, look for information on University of Delhi website. Similarly search for information on other universities. Come up with four to five choices.
2. Check which are the colleges that ask you to take an entrance exam. Take down the topics that you would be tested on so that you can prepare for the same. If not, check the minimum score in twelfth standard that you must have scored.
3. Be updated with information on schools or colleges you may apply to, after completing the course. This is so that you are ready to take the plunge once you are out of college.

Teaching should be chosen as a career by individuals who love sharing information and knowledge with others. At the same time, there are benefits of this career as working hours are usually not too long.. In a day, a teacher takes about 8 to 9 teaching sessions and can be back home for personal chores. This is the reason women usually prefer this career. However, these days, even dedicated men join as teachers. Besides the conventional subjects, Physical Training & Sports, Yoga and Art and Craft teaching are some preferred areas of teachers.

The job prospects for teachers are quite good. Work timings are comfortable and a teacher usually takes classes between 8 AM and  3 PM. For colleges, the lecturers can choose their class timings, which again ends maximum by 4 to 5 PM in popular universities.

The opportunities in significant universities and schools may be low, however there are several private schools and colleges where an individual may join after completing the education degree.

• Teaching offers an individual the opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge Teaching is an enjoyable experience especially if the classroom is a bubbly lot with proactive students and learners. There are less chances of getting bored in the profession.
• Teaching is considered a very respected profession in all countries. The time schedules are convenient for an individual.
• Teaching is considered a low paying job when compared with other corporate jobs.
• Pay packages of teachers are very low in a few schools and colleges and very high in several others. As a result, the standard of education gets badly affected.
• Syllabus rather than subject of interest in India binds teachers. As a result, the practical methodologies of teaching difficult subjects such as Maths are ignored. When these subjects are taught theoretically, the students may not grasp the subject very easily.

Different roles, different names

Teachers are called Learning and Development professionals, coaches, or mentors within organization. Counselors who have completed their psychology courses also teach a lot of important things to others about life and personal management skills. Thus, while the same person is called by different names, the role played is more or less the same. The responsibility is to educate others and enhance their development, technically and personally.

Tips for getting hired

When you appear for an interview for the job of a teacher, be prepared on the following counts:
1. Prepare some points on why you like teaching and what is the significance of this profession in today’s India. State the points in the form of your interest for the subject, profession, and teacher and student life in general.
2. As teaching is considered a noble profession, do not lay stress on getting more money, especially if you are applying for a government school or college.
3. Research about the institution that you are applying to, well before the interview.
4. If the school or university is a private one, you can emphasise that you have wide exposure to people management skills and you keep upgrading your skills with the help of magazines and internet. This is because private institutions desire more global exposure as compared to government institutions.
5. List some learning theories of interest and state them as examples during the interview.
6. You may carry information about any awards or certificates that you had won as a student or during your previous employment.