Reshma is a student in the 10th grade, who’s not quite sure about her career goals. She approaches her school counselor, Mrs Sana, who tries to guide her. Here’s the conservation between them:
- Reshma: Good morning, ma’am. Can you please help me decide what to “become” when I grow up?
- Mrs Sana: Good morning. Sure, dear. Please have a seat.Now, I’d like you to take this sheet of paper and write down all the things you “want” to be.
- Reshma: Okay ma’am. But, shall I write even those things that seem almost impossible for me to achieve? Because there’s a lot of things I want to do, but I know I should focus on just one thing.
- Mrs Sana: Yes, write them all down.
- Reshma: Here’s the list –
Doctor, Scientist, College Lecturer, School Teacher, Social Worker.
- Mrs Sana: Okay, so it seems you’ve decided which stream you want to pursue in 11th grade.
- Reshma: Yes ma’am, I’m more interested in science, so I’ll be choosing that stream.
- Mrs Sana: Okay Reshma. Now, tell me, all the professions that you’ve listed just now, why do you want to be each of those? It’s important to know the “WHY” of something before we choose it.
- Reshma: Oh, alright. Let me think… Well, I tell people I want to be a doctor, because everyone says I excel at biology so I should become a doctor. My mother wants me to be a doctor, but I’m not genuinely interested in that field. Scientist, because I am good at science, I’m interested in being up to date with all the latest discoveries & inventions, I like to think why the universe works the way it does; in fact, I have a passion for explaining science and how things work, and I know this because I’ve been tutoring my younger sister who’s in 4th, and she understands my teaching very well. So that’s why I want to be a teacher. But then, when I discuss my thoughts with my Dad, he says if you want to teach, then go for college-level teaching; it pays well. So that’s why I wrote ‘college lecturer’ in there. But somehow, that doesn’t sit right with me. I like working on the ground level, because from what I’ve heard from friends in my coaching who are from government schools, they say they don’t understand anything taught in school by their teachers. And I see a lot of people complaining about the quality of education in schools, but I feel instead of complaining, I should be the change. That’s why I prefer school teaching, because that’s the basic education every child gets.
- Mrs Sana: That’s right. And what about the last one on your list? Social Worker?
- Reshma: Yes ma’am, that’s for the same reason – I want to work for the welfare of the children who can’t afford high quality education.
- Mrs Sana: So, what I understand from the interests you mentioned, is that you’re passionate about teaching.
- Reshma: Yes ma’am, but which type of teaching should I pursue? College teaching or school teaching?
- Mrs Sana: Which one do you think you’ll be able to happily do, every day?
- Reshma: Hmm… I think school teaching will be more suitable for me.
- Mrs Sana: There you go!
- Reshma: Thank you for helping me realise that, ma’am. But can you tell me which course I need to pursue in college for that?
- Mrs Sana:There are different levels of school teaching. Each requires a certain Teachers’ Training Program. There are three popular teachers’ training programs in India: D.El.Ed., B.El.Ed. and B.Ed.
- Reshma: I have heard of B.Ed., but can you tell me about the other two?
- Mrs Sana: Well, in short, if you want to become an Elementary School Teacher / Primary Teacher (PRT) you will need to do either a D.El.Ed (Diploma in Elementary Education) or B.El.Ed. (Bachelors’ in Elementary Education) after your 12th grade. If you want to become a teacher for 6th-10th grades, you’ll need to complete your graduation (B.A. or B.Sc.) along with B.Ed.You can be eligible to teach till 8th grade also if you’ve done B.El.Ed along with graduation. Then you’ll be called a Trained Graduate Teacher (TGT).And if you want to teach 11th & 12th standards also, you’ll have to complete your post-graduation as well. Then, you’ll be called a PGT.
- Reshma: Oh I see.
- Mrs Sana: So, these are the popular teacher training programs. Apart from these, in order to be appointed as a teacher in any school, you need to clear a Teacher Eligibility Test (TET). Each state has its own TET, like UPTET, Rajasthan TET, and so on. On a central level, there’s CTET.
- Reshma: Ma’am this is so confusing.
- Mrs Sana: It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, Reshma. Let me make a chart to help you understand.Oh, and, if one wants to become a Nursery Teacher, there are separate programs for that (like B.Ed. Nursery, Nursery Teacher Education Program, NTT, etc.).
Reshma: Oh, this chart is really helpful ma’am. Can I take it home?
Mrs Sana: Sure.
Reshma: And ma’am, can you tell me what one learns in these Teachers’ Training courses? Like, if you’re a math teacher, do they teach you further mathematics?
Mrs Sana: Since these are teacher-training programs, they train you how to BE a teacher. There are subjects that help you understand the way a child learns & develops – that’s covered in child psychology. Then there are subjects like philosophy of education & sociology of education. There are two teaching subjects in case you’re doing B.Ed. In these subjects you don’t learn what you’ve already studied in your graduation. Instead, you learn the nature of your subject, the tools & techniques used to teach that subject, etc. Additionally, there are some activity-based subjects like crafts, etc. And since these are professional courses, they include an internship as well. You can find the detailed syllabus on the internet.
Reshma: Oh, alright. Thank you so much ma’am. I’ve gained clarity after talking to you.
Mrs Sana: Glad to hear that. Take care!
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