Personal observations on life

The ‘low’ social status of teachers

School teaching is considered a ‘low’ status profession in many parts of the world. Teaching is the last resort for a person, who would much rather take up a job that pays better and is viewed as a ‘high status’ job in society, like an engineer or a doctor, or at least a university professor. There are many reasons for this being the case:

Low remuneration

It is undeniable that no matter how many years of experience a person has put in, the salary of a teacher in many parts of the world is not substantial. In many cases, it is a pittance. In a world where money equates status, teaching as a profession fares poorly.

‘Anyone can teach’

Teaching is a profession that everyone feels they can dabble in, if they feel like it. There is no special knowledge or skill required to teach primary school Mathematics or secondary school Social Studies, as long as you have a bachelor degree and have reasonable grades.

Personal observations on life

Your worth

What is your worth?

Is it the money you have earned?

Or the house that you have built?

Is it the places you go

Or the applause you get?

Is it the admiring glance

Of the crowds cheering,

Or the many accolades

You have earned?

We love to quantify people’s worth

In terms of money, or marks in exams.

But I wonder

What is really a person’s worth.

A hand extended,

A soothing word,

A loving smile

A shoulder to lean on.

I believe

a person’s worth

is how much of a human being he is.

Personal observations on life

Whither goes our values?

When I was growing up, my heroes were people who stood up for a cause, or did extra ordinary work for the betterment of the human race. People like Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Who are the heroes of the young generations in the modern world. Billionaires and tech geniuses such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Amassing large amounts of money has become the worthies purpose of life.

Is our civilization on the right path?

Personal observations on life

Andrew’s smile

Andrew is a student of mine. he is one of those students who have fallen by the wayside on his journey towards academic success. He does not do well in studies; cannot write more than a few sentences. He is a very, very slow learner.

Andrew is one of those children whom our education system has failed.

His life revolves around his grandmother, who is his guard against bullies. His father does not know what to do with him, and he does not talk about his mother.

Recently, I saw Andrew dancing on his own in the empty hall as students were leaving after assembly. It was an incredible sight. He was dancing with abandon to the music that was being played. His steps were fast and rhythmic. He was not the slow learner I knew.

I went up to him, extended my hand and said, ‘You are dancing very well.”

Andrew’s face broke into a glorious smile, I saw such joy that it brought tears to my eyes. It struck me that this might have been the only compliment that Andrew had received in a long, very long time.

Andrew’s smile filled me too with joy. I knew I had touched some soft spot of his soul.