“As a kid, I remember telling everyone that I wanted to become a driver or a teacher. Though I didn't become a driver, I definitely ended up becoming the latter," said Kanchan giggling. She teaches at a leading International School in Bangalore. Though she is a Commerce graduate, who had plans of doing her MBA abroad and then work as an investment banker, it was sometime around the end of her college she realised that she might actually like teaching.
She adds, “I was very good in academics. Everyone thought that I was nuts, but teaching was a natural choice for me.”
And then there is 23-year Apurva HP who is a computer engineer by qualification and is currently employed with a software company. She attends coaching classes during the weekends, not for CAT or GRE, but for Mtech.
“I am inspired by my dad, who is a professor at the Bangalore University. I find the IT life hectic and I think I will enjoy teaching much more. I also feel that a teacher can touch people's live like no other and it is a noble profession,” Apurva says adding, “Another reason I want to become a teacher is because I feel there is a lot of intellectual growth in this profession.”
Gone are the days when teaching was considered a 'boring' profession or a lowpaying job. These days teaching is becoming increasingly popular as a career choice. Other than the job security which teaching offers, the salary packages are hefty, thanks to the Sixth Pay Commission in 2006.
Fifty-year-old Bandana Thakur, who has been a teacher for the last 25 years, isn't really happy with the trend of youngsters joining the profession. She says, “There is absolutely no commitment on part of the youngsters who enter this profession. I am afraid that money plays a big role as their starting salaries are high these days. One needs to understand that you need to have a real passion for teaching because you are affecting hundreds of lives. And you also need oodles of patience which I feel is lacking in the generation today.”
Shruti Rai begs to differ. "If money is a priority, I would have never left my job in an MNC where I enjoyed a lot of employee benefits. I started off teaching my maid's children, who would have otherwise ended up as domestic servant themselves. Over time, I realised that I was receiving more than what I was giving and that was the kind of job satisfaction I would be looking for in any career. I want to pursue my M.Tech and then I will start applying for a teacher's job." In a city like Bangalore, many youngsters who haven't even finished their college have been joining call centres in hordes not realising that they couldn't continue there for the rest of their lives. Graveyard shifts takes its toll and there is no job security in a industry hit by economic recession.
24-year-old Susmita says, "I worked in a call centre for over a year and then realised that I was leading a very mechanical life. I think you need to have a lot of patience if you have decided to opt for teaching as a career and I don't want to jump into it. But to fulfill my desire in the meanwhile, I plan to apply for the 'teachforindia' programme."