Published: 05th September 2019
Is teaching a noble profession? Here's what our educators feel about what they do
We have always heard teaching is a noble profession. The students definitely think so too, but what do the educators who are a part of this, feel? We find out
Recently, I initiated a discussion on the topic of whether teaching is a noble profession. Teachers from different parts of the world took part in the discussion. Here are the views of some of the teachers.
Teaching is many things to many people, but to me, “noble” is laden with images of royalty, classism, and oppression. I prefer to think of teaching as an ethical profession in which the teacher makes choices for the betterment of their students.
When teaching students how to teach science in the elementary grades as I do it would be tempting to teach facts and formulas only, but it’s the poor teacher who merely restates what is in the textbook. The teacher’s responsibility is to understand the context and circumstance of their students’ lives and make the content relevant to the real world. If a student asks, “Why do we need to know this?” the teacher should have an answer or question why the material is in the syllabus in the first place.
Good teaching is ethical, analytic, and reflective. The best teacher will tell you that as they teach their mind is constantly analyzing content, response, and pedagogical method. This ensures the growth of the students as well as the growth of the teacher.
In my opinion, teaching is and should be a noble profession but the nobility lies in deriving our delight for having satisfyingly shared with others what we know, and in being recognized by our students even years after they benefited from our teaching. These two aspects - delight and recognition - are possible only if we are committed to our profession at a level which is beyond the influence of remuneration!
I couldn't resist feeling a great sense of pride in being a teacher (though not professionally) on occasions when 'unfamiliar' faces greeted me in public disclosing that I was their teacher, when they offered me their own seats (in buses) in deference to me saying that I was their teacher, when they volunteered to help me at hospitals reminding me that they were my students, when they telephoned me, regardless of the time, to confirm the correctness of grammar (and usage) telling me that they were my students, and when they invited me to handle free sessions for the benefit of the weaker section of their students introducing me as their teacher!
Teaching is a noble profession. Teachers are selfless, always ready to go to any extent to help their students. It gives a great feel of self-satisfaction to a teacher when they see their students achieve in life. But in today’s world, the word “noble” is misused. From a time when teachers used to stretch themselves to help their students without any expectation, now teachers are demanded to do it with no extra benefits because “they are doing a noble profession “. There is a big difference between doing something voluntarily and being forced to.
For any voluntary service, the beneficiary will definitely value it. The reward for the service is the happiness and satisfaction you get. However, if the same voluntary service is portrayed as your responsibility of the so-called “noble profession “, then it might not be valued.
When I think about ‘teaching as a noble profession’, I feel that all professions are noble and all should be ethical. But teaching is an important Job and teachers play an important role in any society. They should be treated well and only those who have good qualities should become teachers.
Teaching is a noble profession, indeed! I have a different understanding of the word noble. In my mind, noble means something to be proud of, a means of willingly giving something of yourself to others, a positive achievement in this life.
Not only teaching but every profession is noble. Teaching, in my view, is called a noble profession because those who taught on those days made this profession noble but nowadays it is a million-dollar question whether all teachers teach their students in noble way.