Counsellor Guidance, A Requisite For Every Teacher

We have heard about counsellor teachers but what about counselling them as teachers. Counsellor teachers or educators are those who provide counselling to students.  But there are counselling needs of a teacher as an individual which is left unattended or ignored. Teachers’ training is an important part of academic requirement which takes care of a lot of aspects related to teaching but a teacher as an individual face many personal or professional dilemma, uncertainty, stress, which need to be tackled to add to their personal and professional growth.

“The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters everyday.”
--   Todd Whitaker

Teaching as a profession in today’s times

Teachers are pillar of any educational institution.
Teaching is about attitude rather knowledge. This profession is responsible for building many other professions. A good teacher breeds many engineers, doctors, architects, chartered accountant etc. Today many people are getting attracted towards teaching as a career and this profession enjoys good salaries and payoffs now. But at the same time teaching jobs are getting early burnout signals like other professions. Today’s teachers are tired, overburdened, stressed, unlike earlier times. There is no instant gratification in terms of job satisfaction what a teacher sows takes time to reap and bears fruit when children earn a position in their life. More so if the teacher is a woman which they are in 80% cases, are increasing balancing their home and work life. The challenges of women are unlimited; they are continuously juggling and trying to maintain balance with personal, social and professional life. Teachers need to continuously rebuild themselves to be effective.

In the words of Maria Montessori, to make oneself interesting that is, interesting to those who have no interest in us, is indeed a very difficult task; and to arrest the attention hour after hour and year after year, not of one, but of a multitude of person who have nothing in common with us, not even years, is indeed a superhuman undertaking. Yet this is the task of the teacher, or, as one would say, her “art”: to make this assembly of children whom she has reduced to immobility by discipline follow her with their minds, understand what she says, and learn: an internal action, which she cannot govern, as she governs the position of their bodies, but which she must win by making herself interesting and by maintaining this interest.

Challenges a teacher's faces

  • Delayed gratification in terms of job satisfaction

  • Not an easy task to deal with children of diverse background

  • Overburdened with work

  • Tough to deal with management, parents, children altogether

  • Difficulty in balancing a personal, professional and social life

  • Continuous need to upgrade skill, knowledge and academics

When stress overtakes

“Too little money, too many tests.”
“I left because of bad politics and stressed kids.”
“Bland and joyless curriculum.”
“Our perfect school is just keeping up appearance.”

These above statements show environmental and internal factors affecting teachers and causing them dissatisfaction and at the same time growing the importance of teachers’ counselling.

The need of the hour

The term counselling means the provisions of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems. We many times in our life have slipped in to the role of counsellors but actual counselling is a scientific process of providing right guidance to people who are in need of it. Children, students, teachers, adults any role you play in life, need counsellors sometimes or other in their life. Counselling provide an opportunity to reflect on difficulties and look at ways of making them better.

  1. Counselling teaches problem-solving skills.

  2. Helps people learn to cope better and develop a more optimistic view.

  3. Solves conflicts in relationship management.

  4. Brings lifestyle change to achieve goals.

  5. Counselling helps you balance life in all walks of life overall improving psychological well being.

A happy teacher is a far better teacher

Very few schools understand that the students’ counselling would be more effective if teachers are also counselled on a regular basis. Teachers or educators are the most important resource of any school. A happy teacher will be a far better teacher.

Recently, a teacher of a school in Pune got suspended due to beating a class boy severely. There are verbal abuses of students as well. Verbal venom of teachers does more damage than physical punishment. It gives rise to depression, anxiety, low confidence, and disinterest among children.  The part of this problem lies in the root of teachers’ own stress which gets projected on children unnecessarily. Due to CBSE guidelines, the education institution has full time or part time counsellors at their campus but counselling teachers on a regular basis are somewhat missing.

Counselling offers practical solutions to deal with problems

A school like any other organisation can be home to an unmanaged level of stress which can lead teachers to look for employment elsewhere causing in loss of valuable skills and experiences. Counselling offers practical solutions to deal with problems through access to a specialist.

It is equally important that educational institutions have similar counselling facilities for teachers as well. Institutions can conduct a process laboratory for teachers as well as students to provide more student teacher interface. This would give them chance to know each other better. In today’s stressful scenario, dominated by stress, introducing a chapter on behavioral science would be better. Special sessions can be conducted for teachers apart from academics to answer their internal turmoil.

Educational institutions can also look to improve their facilities for teachers in terms of their health, family , commutations etc. sometimes teachers are most reluctant to seek help because of professional risk involved . But it would be completely justified if educational institution becomes a partner in maintaining emotional wellbeing of their valuable human resources.

Teachers’ satisfaction increases their effectiveness, which in turn improves quality of education thus by improving quality of citizen and finally making a great nation. Let’s add to our education, our strength.


Published on Today's Education Insights Magazine - Sep-2017 Edition