Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Passion and affection

A little conversation I had with a friend today made me think about those two nouns in the title above. These two are commodities very important in the teaching profession. Let me explain .....
In order to be a good staff / worker in any institution or company, one has to have passion for the work one does. Without passion, it is just work, and a means to gain a salary. And as a teacher, one cannot be a good teacher without the passion for the duty of nurturing and moulding young minds. It cannot be just a job. It has to be done with passion. One has to treat the job as more than a job, much more than a means to earn money. And affection is the other thing needed. Not affection for the job but affection (dare I say LOVE?) for the students. If a teacher has no affection for the students, then their clients are just that - clients. Not people who need their attention. Not people whose lives they can change.
I feel a tinge of sadness these days (okay more than a tinge). I am sad to see some people losing that passion for the noble job. I am sad seeing some people who have fallen out of love with their students. I don't really blame them when circumstances have caused them to be so bogged down with work, or if their promos have been sidelined, or if they have been discouraged by those around them. But I feel sad. Because the students will lose a good teacher. I am sad, because I am seeing it happen among those who used to be so gung-ho about what they do. And I am sad because there ARE those who have never loved their students. And these people are in positions that can make or break the students, positions that can affect those students and even other teachers. Perhaps all they think about is process / procedure / what works or not / numbers and figures .... and not the human beings - the students themselves. How sad indeed, for a teacher or anyone in the education sector, to lose that passion and affection, or has never had them in the first place.