Who Wants to Be a Teacher?

WHO WANTS TO BE A TEACHER?

Who wants to be a teacher? This is one question one would ask and be certain to receive a resounding and deafening NOBODY!!! Ofcourse, nobody wants to be a teacher; from the child who benefits directly from the teacher and through the society, nobody wants to become teachers.

Today, a simple ‘who wants to be a teacher?’ jokingly asked in the class would elicit negative responds from the student. As a guidance and counselling officer in the school I teach, I recall asking  newly admitted SS 1 students to write down their career choice. This was with a view to giving them appropriate guidance as regards choice of subjects to offer. When I collated the students’ choices only eight (8) students out of a class of fifty-two (52) indicated they want to be lecturers. But when I explained to these eight (8) students that a lecturer is a teacher, most of them requested to change their choices to something else. What perception of teaching as a career can be more unsavory, pathetic and uncomplimentary than this?

The view of the wider society is no different. Though one often hears complimentary remarks towards teachers and the role they play in the society, however such compliment end as mere compliments. The individual expressing such nicities about teachers would never make the delibrate choice to become teachers.

Today parents have been known to influence their children’s and wards’ career choices. Without assuming anything, I however wonder if any parent today would willingly advice their children or wards to delibrately choose teaching as a life time career. A worst case scenario in this respect is that even parents, who are themselves practicing teachers do not want their children and wards to become teachers. I recall asking my four years old daughter what she would become in future. If there was any career I expected she wouldn’t mention, I was sure it would be teaching. But when she, in a matter- of- fact manner, said she would like to be a teacher, I was thrown off balance. I felt like I was hit by a thunderbolt. To say I was suprised is to put my reactions mildly; I was simply dumbfounded and speechless.
Though she often converted our living room into a classroom with the cushions as imaginary pupils, I was in some ways shocked by her choice. 

The constenation I felt towards my daughter’s choice of teaching as preferred career opened my eyes. The truth dawned on me that even teachers don’t  want to be teachers anymore! It sure sounds exaggerating, but I doubt if there would be teachers who would out of their own volition advice their wards and children to take up teaching as career of choice.

Who then would want to be a teacher when even those who are teacher never want their wards and children become teachers?  And when teachers, students and the wider society begin to look at teaching as a job nobody should aspire to, then  something is fundamentally wrong.

So who really wants to be a teacher? NOBODY WANTS TO BE A TEACHER!!

…to be continued

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