Education: Not a Delivery System, but an Art

February 20, 2016

1. Teaching is a Relationship: Teaching is about relationships. Students need to know you care before they will care about what you know.

2. Teaching is a Vocation - Calling: Teaching is more than a noble profession. It is a vocation, a calling. The teacher is the most important person in any civilization, as on him depends the molding of the nation. There are not many born teachers, but there are those who love teaching, and there are those who enter it as an occupation. The chief qualification for a teacher is his or her love for children; from there can follow the training by good teachers and professors of techniques and principles.

3. Teaching is a Mission: Dictionary defines mission as “task assigned”. You are called to be a teacher and you are sent into the world to accomplish a mission. Teaching as your mission means the task entrusted to you. “Once a teacher, forever a student”. You are expected to contribute to the betterment of this world in your own unique way. To teach is to influence every child entrusted in your care to become better and happier. To teach is to help the child become more human.

4. Teaching is a Profession: The term professional is one of the most exalted in the English Language, denoting as it does, long and arduous years of preparation, a striving for excellence, a dedication to the public interest, and commitment to moral and ethical values. If you take teaching as your profession, you must be willing to go through a period of preparation and a continuing professional development. You must strive for excellence, commit yourself to moral, and ethical and religious values and dedicate yourself to public service.

5. Teaching is a Career: Teaching as a career is not made lightly; rather, it is the culmination of a process of reflection about what one wants to do with his life and his education. One choses education as a career because he believes that education is perhaps the most important function performed in our culture, or for that matter, any culture. He believes that teachers individually and collectively can not only change the world, but improve it, and in the process find personal and professional renewal. Teaching is an important and well regarded profession within our community and people from all walks of life find it a professionally and personally rewarding career choice. It is a unique profession because everyone has been in a school setting and seen teachers in action, even if just as a school student.

6. Teaching is Leadership: Teachers exhibit leadership in multiple, sometimes overlapping ways. Some leadership roles are formal with designated responsibilities. Other more informal roles emerge as teachers interact with their peers. The variety of roles ensures that teachers can find ways to lead that fit their talents and interests. Regardless of the roles they assume, teacher leaders shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.

7. Teaching is an Art: Considering teaching as an art implies not only a different understanding of teaching, but requires considering a different framework of knowledge as well. In the arts there are clearly ways of knowing and doing that cannot be represented within the measurable, objective domains of traditional science and education. The musician's refined sensitivity to nuances of tone, the actor's to voice and gesture, the clown's to the possibilities of improvisation, all represent dynamic forms of knowledge and expression which inherently resist fixation and standardization. The highly emergent qualities of artistry do not lend themselves easily to scientific research or discourse and thus do not reflect that type of knowledge which most educational theory has propagated as essential. At the same time such forms of knowledge incontrovertibly evidence precise ways of knowing and acting. Inherent in the concept of teaching as an art is the view that those capabilities and skills which excellent teaching demands are far closer to those required of artists, than of scientists.

8. Teaching is a Science: The concept of teaching as a science widely prevalent today became an increasingly accepted view in the course of the 20th century. Its origins can be found in educational thinking in the second half of the 19th century. From this point on, the practices of teaching and teacher education came to be seen as legitimate fields of scientific inquiry and knowledge, offering the underlying basis for ensuing educational theory and practice. This view is clearly evident, for instance, in most educational research in which the objective methods of the natural sciences have generally been accepted as a standard paradigm. Concurrently, it has also become the dominant perspective in the training of teachers, shaping the entire approach to pre-service and in-service training.

9. Teaching is a Subversive Activity: This concept puts forth ideas about education that are radical, controversial, bold and fresh. It suggests eliminating syllabi, formal curriculum and textbooks from education settings. It introduces ideas of student-centered learning over teacher-centered teaching, and leading students to learn by asking questions, not by teachers giving lectures.

10. Teaching is an Act of Love: Loving teachers, like loving parents, encourage students to do their best, engage them in active learning, praise children for their accomplishments, and help them learn from mistakes, set limits when needed and place a priority on nurturing self-confidence. Furthermore, loving teachers help their students to aim high, while creating an accepting atmosphere and emphasizing positive personal relationships and basic values of kindness, consideration, cooperation and thoughtfulness.Without an expression of this caring, loving feeling when working with kids, teachers and their students are all left lifeless and without much meaning at the end of the day. When all is said and done, teaching must be first and foremost an act of love!

11. Teaching is Not a Business: Business does have something to teach educators, but it’s neither the saving power of competition nor flashy ideas like disruptive innovation. Instead, what works is, time-tested strategies. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasn’t worked in reforming the schools — there is simply no substitute for the personal element.



Compiled by John D'Souza
John D'Souza is head of the department of English at Westminster School Dubai, UAE.
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Comment on this article

  • Prem., Mangalore.

    Sat, Feb 27 2016

    Good article,keep writing,best of luck.

  • Rima, Mumbai

    Fri, Feb 26 2016

    Very well written article. Teaching is one of the instantly rewarding profession.

  • Sunitha, Neermarga

    Thu, Feb 25 2016

    very beautiful article. keep writing not only in English, Konkani too.

  • ivan d costa, hirebyle/bangalore

    Wed, Feb 24 2016

    dear hasnmuki nice article..continue to write always...all the best.god bless

  • Rocky D'Souza, Mangaluru/Dubai

    Wed, Feb 24 2016

    Thank you Fr John Herry D'Souza. very nice article on teaching as vocation, mission profession and career etc.

  • mary, mangalore

    Tue, Feb 23 2016

    thanks for the good writing on teaching

  • CGS, Mangllur

    Mon, Feb 22 2016

    Congratulations John Harry D'Souza!
    Keep writing.All the Best!!

  • John DSouza, Mangaluru

    Sat, Feb 20 2016

    Teaching is an Art.
    It helps to survive in the momentary, dynamic and competitive life of this world and attainment of the permanent eternal life.

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