Guest blog by Dr. Deepti Gupta- A Siege Within

There was a time when teachers were considered akin to God. Yet, in today’s day and age, it is regrettable that this noble profession has been adversely affected by the growing capitalization of the education sector. Today, teachers feel sidelined. There is a disagreeable shift in attitude, especially as teachers are expected to take on various activities and administrative tasks apart from teaching. Moreover, the pressure of the job is so immense that educators do not have time to upskill themselves.  

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Parents of students who do not secure good grades often accost teachers on the grounds of lack of knowledge, carelessness, or favoritism. Our freedom and rights as  

teachers are clipped. As a result, teachers cannot develop the dwindling ‘teacher-pupil’ relationship, an essential part of  teaching & learning. The entry of a digital world into school has left traditions behind. New age students are more competent and sharper as they have access to hordes of information on the internet. Teaching is not the limit for them. A teacher’s lecture is not the last word for techno–savvy students. The pressure on teachers and accusations from parents, school management, and the public are insurmountable. Students expect friendly banter from their teachers and need to understand how to have good boundaries within their relationship. 

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Some teachers know how to command respect without raising their voices. Instead, they shape the personality of their students with care and compassion. Considering this responsibility, teachers need to be given their space and the right to make decisions on the spot.  

Lately, India has experienced an influx of international schools and the affiliation of foreign institutes. Cutthroat competition among schools to lure new admissions has been putting the onus on its teachers to be perfect at all times.

All these demands and expectations are leading to teacher burnout. Educators involve themselves in several workshops, online libraries, and forums to update their knowledge. A teacher who lags in the tech race is discarded. 

I feel that in the modern 21st century, the harmony, dignity, and trust of this noble profession is lost. Teaching has been commercialized like many other corporate institutions.

The shifts in the teaching world have infused negativity into the day-to-day lives of teachers. Degeneration, defamation, and deterioration – the three ‘Ds’ push teachers towards their downfall.

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The need of the hour is to redefine & re-establish the missing and ignored dignity of the teaching profession. Teachers should be given the regard and freedom to impart knowledge and values to their students with confidence and faith in themselves. Their jobs should not push them ruthlessly towards tasks that act as a burden on them. At present, most teachers feel frustrated by the system and experience a daily dose of suffocation.

I hope that this great profession will return to its previous roots of honor and harmony. Only then can the carriers of this profession provide trustworthy, responsible citizens from their classrooms to the nation. The teacher alone can help students understand the value of education and contribute to the students’ lives. In addition, they can help to teach students the values that they will abide by in the future. 

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An established writer, a former professor, and former educational advisor in the Ministry of HRD, Dr. Deepti Gupta is the recipient of the ‘Great Global Woman Award’ 2021 and 17 prestigious national and international awards. An author of 24 books (poetry & prose both), her stories and poems had the honor of becoming a part of the university and school syllabus in 25 states of India and in Dubai, Sharjah, Milan, and Abu Dhabi. Her poems have been published in national and international anthologies. Western poet Juan Tejas was so obsessed with her remarkable poem ‘Woman and the Willow Tree’ that he read it at a poetry event held in Spain in December 2019. She believes in bringing positive change in society globally with love and harmony. She is renowned for her honesty, humbleness, simplicity, and commendable literary work.

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