Let’s understand the big picture of education by connecting it with employment and economy. The moment we think of employment what comes to our mind is the lack of jobs for deserving candidates who graduate from different colleges and universities. When we go a bit deeper to understand how jobs get created and why they are such few in number, we will understand how jobs are connected with the growth of an economy and its impact on employment. Discussions around these topics can bring in lots of awareness about how curriculum should change or how examination and assessment systems should accommodate new pedagogic methods – provided the teaching community take the lead to create an impact at the community level.
The teacher is the key person who holds immense potential to bring in the changes to improve the relevance of education in colleges. He or she is instrumental in facilitating learning and through this process, keeps a tab on ground level reality and various other aspects of the profession. How do we inspire the teachers to become change agents? Particularly when the reality of teaching profession is that many of the faculty members find it difficult to take up any additional activity due to time and other constraints. They feel over-burdened with administrative work in addition to their regular responsibilities.
Nevertheless, in spite of these hurdles, we hear of many teachers who have accomplished projects, by taking personal initiatives. That’s very heartening to know and we should be celebrating their success and encouraging them to inspire other teachers too!
Well, it is not always an easy task to accomplish something beyond our routine job and teaching is no different. However, if you are determined to make a difference to your profession and empower yourself through impactful teaching, you need to create your own opportunities. This could mean taking up extra responsibilities in your college, starting an initiative that’s close to your heart and beliefs, participating in projects that leverage your skills or facilitating discussions and conversation through informal groups and communities. If this can help in getting started, you will definitely observe how your role getting a gradual makeover from discharging your regular duties to someone how can take a lead in energizing and invigorating the teaching – learning community. And, your students will be more than happy and eager to support and extend the required help!
Another important aspect is to use social media in the right way. You can initiate discussions by sharing interesting and relevant information on Facebook and LinkedIn and invite your colleagues, industry experts and friends to contribute. Your WhatsApp group can become the anchoring point to share information and updates. Next, you can start making recording and documenting your discussions and converting them into action points for bringing in small changes in your profession. It could mean tweaking the way you teach a topic or preparing for your class by referring to resources on the Web or by watching a YouTube video. This is definitely not new for most teachers. What needs to be stressed here is that, if all these activities can culminate in recommending desired changes to improve the education scenario at various levels, you are already playing the role of a change agent who can create deeper impact at the community level.
Madhuri Dubey, Ph.D
Founder – National Skills Network – NSN