Teaching as a career option
India since ancient times has been a place of learning. Teachers of gurukul were the most respected section of the society. They often spearheaded the society and their words of wisdom were keenly followed. Though in present times teachers do not command the same degree of respect, they certainly are the embodiments of passion and zeal to work for society for its betterment. A significant growth in the number of educational institutions will see an increase in the demand for teachers in the future.
Teaching is a noble profession. The civil administrators, doctors, scientists, engineers and other professionals are the products of a sound teaching order. The job of teaching is self-rewarding in so far as experience, knowledge and emotional satisfaction is concerned.
At the school level the teaching community includes -- pre-primary, primary and secondary school teachers, in branches as varied as physical education, science and commerce. At the college and university level, subjects that teachers teach are as varied as medicine, engineering and technology, and languages to name a few.
Coherent speech, above average intelligence, liking for study and learning, self-discipline, sense of humour and fair play, adaptability and thorough knowledge of the teaching subject are required for becoming a teacher. The profession demands cheerful, cool and friendly temperament and immense patience and energy, since working with students - whether children or youth can cause considerable strain.
For becoming a primary or nursery teacher, one has to undergo specialized training of one or two years' duration. In Delhi , the State Council of Education Research and Training, conducts two years' diploma in early childhood care and education for 10+2 candidates with 45 per cent marks in the age group of 17 years to 30 years. The admission is through a written test followed by an interview.
For teaching high school classes, graduates may undergo one year B Ed course available in the Delhi University , New Delhi ; Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi ; HP University, Shimla; MD University, Rohtak; Punjab University , Patiala and Kurukshetra University , Kurukshetra. These universities offer regular as well as correspondence B Ed courses for in service teachers who have two years' experience.
One may study M Ed, which is a one-year course after B Ed. Ph D and M Phil courses in education are also available in some universities. Those who aspire to be physical education instructors, B. Ed. is a must. It is a three- year course after 10+2 or a one-year course after graduation. The school counsellors are generally postgraduates in psychology or education. PG Diploma in guidance and counselling of one-year duration is available in various institutes.
For becoming a lecturer, one should possess an excellent academic record and a doctorate degree. Some universities recruit lecturers through press advertisements while others through the National Entrance Test (NET) conducted by the University Grants Commission twice a year. For lecturers in science, the NET is conducted jointly by UGC-CSIR. Most of the states conduct SLET examination for inducting lecturers in the colleges located in the respective states.
Regional Institutes of Education at Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar and Mysore; Barkatuallah University, Bhopal; Devi Ahilya University, Indore, MD Saraswati University, Ajmer; Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar; Shivaji University, Kolhapur; University of Mysore, Mysore among others offer BA, B Ed; B Sc, B Ed course of four years' duration with eligibility being 10 plus two. The Delhi University offers Bachelor Elementary Education of four years' duration for girls with minimum eligibility being 10 plus two.
Institutes that offer B Ed or M Ed courses in special education are BHU, Varanasi ; Kurukshetra University , Kurukshetra; MJP, Rohilkhand University , Bareilly ; University of Mumbai , Mumbai; Osmania University , Hyderabad and SNDT Women's University, Mumbai.
Institutes that offer PG Diploma in guidance and counselling are Ravi Shankar University, Raipur; MS University, Baroda; University of Mumbai, Mumbai; Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur; Punjab University, Chandigarh; Barkatullah University, Bhopal and NCERT Bhopal and Mysore.
In recent years, there has been a great demand for teachers not only in the country but abroad too, particularly in the UK and the US . Well-known teachers may find suitable job opportunities in international organisations such as WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF. Some may join well-known research institutes or may even become visiting professors in foreign universities.
Teaching is especially suitable for those who prefer flexible schedules. The profession welcomes late entries and those who are changing careers. Many married women find it suitable as it allows them to work again after they have started a family. It should be noted that teachers who do return after a break are entitled to nothing less than their old salary. In most professions, once a person leaves, it is difficult to catch up since new things are always being learned and discovered, but teaching is one of those professions where someone is always needed.
Another avenue for teachers is giving tutorial classes. With the increase in classroom size and lack of sufficient attention given to the students, most students and parents feel the need for extra classes. As the school is unable to provide such classes, tutorial batches have become fairly common in big cities and towns. Tutors can provide coaching for not only the class subjects but also for competitive examinations, such as the Civil Services entrance exams, MBA, TOEFL etc.
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