Unless teaching is considered an art

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Today’s teachers face a multitude of challenges, requiring a diverse skill set including soft skills like speaking, reading, reciting poetry, singing, playing music, acting, dancing, and painting, alongside digital literacy. ILLUSTRATION: REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE/PIXABAY

Strangely enough, some teachers do not believe that the teaching profession is an art. That is to say, they think as easy as anything that anyone would be able to go into teaching after they have done a degree in any specialized subject. That is not quite a false assumption, but it is rather difficult to say that all graduates can teach their majors very well. The reason is that subject mastery and teaching concepts can be apparently separated from each other even though these two interdependent parts go together on the road to education so often. No one but teaching practitioners will know that point for certain. And the teaching profession has become far too commercialized in recent years. Of course, teaching is more than the commercial industry. A teaching career is deemed the noblest job in the world and a finely useful art.
It can never be denied that the first step towards leading a teacher’s life is nothing but subject mastery. First, a teacher must have mastery and proficiency in the subject in his charge. In my opinion, subject mastery also means that a teacher enjoys his special subject and lusts to devote himself to his subject teaching. Only his love of subject and subject teaching will likely bring him to success as a teacher in the way that he dedicates his life to teaching the subject, not knowing that he will have exhausted himself doing it. As far as I am aware, most teachers tend to have a good command of the only subject. If they have more than one subject on their duty, it is certain that they will not be capable of learning and teaching all subject matters, great and small, to students. Thus, it would be better if a teacher has taken up a single subject from beginning to end together with as many of its related facts to hand as he can afford. Lastly, it is best if the teacher has had more mastery of the subject than his students by degree simply because only if so will he be able to guide his students to the brighter educational route in relation to a subject in the future.
After subject mastery, subject-related teaching concepts follow, as always. Educational literature regarding subject teaching involves three main branches, namely, educational theory (Ethe), educational psychology (Epsy), and methodology (Method). Educational Theory studies the past and present policies on education at home and abroad, the infrastructure system of a school, school programs, and the management or administration of a school head in particular. Together with tests and measurement, educational psychology primarily highlights the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, moral and social development of a student besides his learning styles and behaviours. Lastly, methodology demonstrates diverse approaches and teaching methods of a subject in accordance with the subject nature from different perspectives.
Educational Theory is, metaphorically speaking, the main root of an education system. A teacher who has not yet studied Educational Theory is unable to see the structure of the school, the leadership skills of a head teacher, the number of classrooms, subclasses, teaching staff, teaching partners or well-lit rooms, class size, and even a school garden whether these situations will affect his teaching. Quite curiously, teachers must have known the principal’s administrative qualifications as well as the exact number of classes that they take charge of and their teaching colleagues. If so, they can think about their potential teaching ability and competency skills to a certain degree by sharing their responsibility with others. The adequacy and safety of school buildings and suitable breadth of classrooms with bright light or good natural light and adequate ventilation enable subject teachers to carry out co-curricular or extracurricular or teaching-learning activities with students effectively and efficiently. The school garden plays an essential role in providing teaching aids, such as plants with scientific names for biological study. Also, the curriculum, which needs breadth and balance in the school timetable, is precisely prescribed by Educational Theory.
What would happen next if a teacher has not learnt Educational Psychology at all? Surely, there will be an undesirable increase in apparent tensions between teachers and students. Not knowing Educational Psychology, some teachers harshly blame or are sharply angry at or shortly get impatient with students for possibly negligible reasons. A teacher who knows educational psychology inside out should see that students are only of two types: slow learners or quick learners, studying with auditory or visual or note-taking or bodily-kinesthetic styles. He is strongly of the opinion that any student should first have cognitive readiness, physical readiness, emotional readiness, and psychological readiness before the whole teaching-learning process. They even understand that some students cannot follow their studies well very quickly due to their exhausting work, especially just after they have played football or helped with some housework. Other students are not able to conduct school studies regularly, keeping abreast of others, on account of ill health or home socio-economic conditions, they believe too. In addition to building up systematically organized classroom test formats, those who studied Educational Psychology have permanent class control over students, identify with their sexual orientation, and finally get loved by them.
Many teachers are given to imitate their teachers’ methods at the beginning of their instruction. This will be okay for both them and their pupils for some period of time. However, students are changing their interests and attitudes towards education from time to time. Strangely, some students even say that they are no longer interested in the subject matter that has been prescribed in textbooks, even if they used to enjoy it before. Nevertheless, there may be a number of reasons why students do not pay any attention to school subjects. These reasons ought to include the fact that the subject matter is no longer up to date. Whatever is said, a teacher has to be highly competent to handle the subject matter, whether or not it is out of date, in any circumstance. Never should teachers think that their conceptual knowledge and teaching methods are flawless. Worst of all, a teacher might be under the illusion that his teaching is perfect. On the day that the teacher does not continue to improve his concepts and methods of instruction, he will most definitely run into a failure as a teacher.
In fact, the demands and challenges of today’s teachers are enormous. They need to have so many soft skills, such as speaking, reading style, reciting poetry, singing, playing music, acting, dancing, and painting, apart from digital literacy and internet use. Unless they have achieved the mentioned skills yet, they will sometimes have difficulties while teaching students arts and sciences, especially languages. If they have, most students are envious of those teacher’s skills and will then try to be like them. There is still another important point on the art of earning a living as a teacher. Teachers need to be free from the complexity of personal cases and feelings with their instruction. Usually, this causes their instructional disturbance. Therefore, all teachers should never bring these cases and feelings into the class in any way. Above all, teachers had better not commit professional and ethical misconduct, mainly in financial and examination matters. By looking at the above-mentioned facts and figures, it will sooner or later become apparent that teaching can be considered as a colourful art.

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14 July 2024