Teaching is considered the mother of all professions because teachers tutor all other experts. Teachers are responsible for the intellectual training of children. However, because students spend most of their time in schools, teachers are also tasked with teaching these children values and culture as part of their profession. This is why upon graduation, the average student is announced to be found “worthy in character and in learning”.
Unfortunately, with the recent downward trend in the growth track of the educational system in Nigeria, fewer people are interested in getting into the profession. In fact, with the current rate of online tutors who effectively impact knowledge via prerecorded videos with no prior qualifications, teaching now starts to seem like an entry-level job.
Do you think teaching in Nigeria is still a noble profession as it was hailed to be in the times of our heroes past? Some teachers who have been actively practicing the profession for years will argue that regardless of recent development, it still is. Here are a few of their reasons.
1. Teaching is the reason for every other profession
This claim is as old as time itself, and it still stands true. Every other professional was taught by a teacher. Whether it was a tutor in a skill acquisition training camp, a lecturer in the university, or a mentor. Teaching is greatly undervalued because it is limited to the practice that is done within the four walls of a classroom. However, teachers are people who impact knowledge to others. Hence, if life coaches, sports coaches, driving teachers, mentors, and so on, are considered to be practicing a profession, then teaching is still a profession.
2. Proper training and experience are still required to be a teacher
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a profession is a paid occupation that requires prolonged training and formal qualifications. In Nigeria, a degree from a higher institution is still required before one can be employed as a teacher.
Depending on the kind of establishment it is, applicants for the role of a teacher for any course or subject must possess at least an OND certificate and some level of experience teaching that subject. The required level of experience differs based on the age group of the students and the kind of learning establishment. Hi
They are also vetted thoroughly and made to write screening examinations before they are selected and appointed. In some schools, the candidates for a teaching role are made to teach a select group of students and evaluated by seasoned teachers already delivering knowledge in a similar subject. Even after employment, most schools keep the new hire on a week of probation to evaluate his capability.
With more screening done in the recruitment process than in most professions, you cannot argue that teaching is still considered a profession.
3. As a teacher, you never stop learning
Like in every other profession where upskilling is essential to remain relevant, for the typical teacher, learning never ends. The average teacher is constantly on the hunt for more knowledge, to add to what he knows. He strives to stay updated on recent development about things he already knew. He is always willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Although a teacher is human and cannot know everything, he is looked up to as an authority in his field. He is expected to have all the answers to his students’ inquiries. This keeps the teacher on his toes, always registering for workshops, conferences, and seminars, to ensure that his fountain of knowledge never runs dry. A career that demands so much effort for excellence cannot be regarded as anything short of a noble profession.
4. Qualifications are still criteria for promotion and career growth
In every industry and career path, the size of the professional’s paycheck, and the position he can occupy are influenced by his qualifications. The same goes for the education industry. A typical learning institution requires that teachers possess specific qualifications before they can be promoted to a higher position of service.
For the post of a professor, for example, you will be required to have a Doctorate in the particular department you are applying to teach students of, and have published a written work. In the same vein, senior lecturers must have a Master’s degree. To move from one position to a higher one, teachers are required to apply and ace a screening test before they are eligible – especially those in government service.
This level of professionalism exhibited in the industry reinforces the belief that teaching is still a profession that is valued and respected.
5. Teaching is an indispensable service
Teachers are needed in every industry and not just the education industry. They are the ones who organize staff training in a corporate establishment and aid the onboarding of new employees. In careers regarded as unconventional like sports management and creative arts and design, for example, it is the coaches and teachers that show newbies the ropes and share tips and tricks that can accelerate their success.
Knowledge cannot be passed on from one generation to another without this community of people who stay committed to sharing it, called teachers. In all ramifications, it is evident that teaching is an indispensable service, the world cannot do without it. We would not thrive in our chosen career paths if we didn’t have mentors that we could run back to when the going gets tough. Such a valued practice deserves to be hailed as a profession doesn’t it?
6. A blend of soft skills and technical skills is required for excellence
Teaching is beyond knowing a subject, the delivery is important. Teachers need a wide variety of soft skills and technical skills to transfer their knowledge excellently. These skills include communication skills, emotional intelligence, computer literacy, PowerPoint presentation skills, interpersonal relations skills, data entry skills, and so on. In theory, a teacher only needs to be well versed in his subject of specialization, but teachers in the field are constantly honing their skills because that is not enough.
Teaching requires qualifications, training, and the acquisition of soft and hard skills – isn’t that all you need to succeed in other professions? I hope you catch my drift.
I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you, that teaching is in fact, still a profession. Although the circumstances in Nigeria may make it seem less than desirable or honorable, they have not worsened enough to make it lose its prestige – and hopefully, they never will. This article is dedicated to all the coaches, mentors, and tutors who are committed to helping others grow and optimize their careers – teaching is a profession and we celebrate you!