Friday, June 17, 2016
Teaching is a passion, not a profession
If you are a teacher, have you ever asked yourself, whether, you are a teacher by chance or by choice? In case you have introspected on the aforesaid lines and the response from within indicated towards the latter, you would accept the fact that teaching is a passion and not a profession. While pursuing my Masters in Business Management, like many of my senior pros, I visualized being in the corporate with leading Blue Chip companies and reach the epitome of success one day. My sincere efforts and planned approach enabled me to become the right kind of guy, corporate India needed in those days. Not surprisingly, even after completing my MBA with no so good grades (a mere first class to boot), but with loads of projects from different industries, hordes of awards in various national and regional student level competitions, publications in symposiums and a chapter in an edited book, I landed up with two wonderful job offers, from Asian Paints and Colgate Palmolive. I decided to join the former and the attractive package, along with the advantage of working with one of the best employer across industries, gave some sort of solace. However, that was short lived, as I started to realize that I am an odd man out in the consumer goods industry, in the sales and marketing domain. I was developing the penchant to teach and quite frequently used to visit my alma-mater and speak to some of teachers, who were instrumental in shaping up my latent interest to be a teaching-learning professional, hitherto lying dormant within my persona. I started part time teaching and that started to egg me on to take it more seriously than my full time corporate job. My teachers however used to recommend me to continue in the corporate and that, along with my wish to leverage my interest in human physiology, microorganisms, diseases motivated me to change my industry. I then joined Cipla, the leading pharmaceutical company in India, and soon I was realizing that pharmaceutical was a better option for me, as I was liking the knowledge based concept marketing in the Super Specialty Division, encompassing anti-retrovirals and other high end pharma products. Both the assignments, however, took my personality to a different pedestal by harnessing my abilities, I had during my masters and I looked to be a complete professional thereafter. After putting in half a decade, I realized, corporate is indeed not my cup of tea and therefore switched loyalties and joined the Higher Education Sector in India. I was realizing a new found happiness within, even though, I did not get a pay packet equivalent to that of the corporate job. I was working almost 15-16 hours a day, at my workplace and at home and I still had the appetite to put in more. Reading, writing became an addiction, and I was realizing that whatever I used to like during my masters like presentations, case analysis, training stints were gradually being related with my present job and that gave me ample job satisfaction, missing in my earlier organizations.. I could thereby find the right connect with the profession and my personality fabric. The interaction of the students were two way traffic of learning on the basis of a symbiotic relationship and that made me ecstatic. After putting in stints with a leading Pan India Private University-ICFAI and my alma-mater in Nagpur, TIME, I started to expand my horizon in teaching, training and consulting and therefore, joined the Dubai headquartered Knowledge Transfer Company, where I was the senior subject matter expert, managing a team of subject matter experts. Although, the job was lucrative and had many ingredients matching my interest areas, like content development, authoring of case studies, training corporate clients, I was still missing the challenges of being a teacher. This took me to Oman, where I taught for seven years with the Higher Educational Institutes of the Ministry of Manpower. In order to keep my growth momentum going, I decided to move on and joined the leading Higher Educational Institution in the United Arab Emirates, which has a regional and global credibility. In all these 15 plus years of my experience, I have realized the fact that, teachers are rarely born, they are made, on the basis of the passion a candidate has towards the profession. The professional high for teachers are not derived from pay cheques, but from the satisfaction culminating in grooming youngsters into responsible professionals, and from the happiness generated from research and publications and also from the fact that, teachers are part of a dynamic profession, which shapes up the society at large. The fact that it is the only profession, where learning is the only constant, only adds to the growth of an individual holistically, as every moment a teacher needs to keep his/her learning radar open so as to observe, analyze, think, criticize, decipher and present experiences to their pupils. Rightly so, I admit, teaching is a passion and not a profession and therefore, the industry needs professional by choice, not by chance!