Primary school educator

April 1, 2009 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Want to be involved with kids and teaching but just cannot handle kindergarten-age kids and their settling-in problems? You’re lucky! A great option for you to explore could be the area of teaching primary school.

Teaching in a Primary School

No more crying for mamma. No more susu puddles in class. No more rank indiscipline. Just a class full of toilet-trained, well-adjusted, more or less disciplined children at a lovely, receptive age, an age when ‘but my mummy said’ or ‘but my daddy said’ gets replaced with teacher-adoration and the magic words ‘but my teacher said’.

Just a class full of six- and seven-year-olds with long- term memories, who will remember you – hopefully, with fondness – years and years after they have forgotten their KG teachers. Sometimes, it seems as if the primary schoolteacher has the best deal of all.

The primary schoolteacher also has the advantage of being the ‘class teacher’ instead of just a ‘subject teacher’. She is as completely involved with her kids as the KG schoolteacher, but unlike her, she can enjoy the rewards of teaching children who understand what she is teaching and respond eagerly, asking intelligent and curious questions, and coming up with completely creative answers to her questions. Again, unlike the subject teacher of the middle and high schools who only interact with a particular class for one period a day and therefore do not have the opportunity to bond too closely with them, the primary schoolteacher has a fantastic rapport with her students. It is up to the primary schoolteacher to create an atmosphere that will encourage children to keep firing their questions, so that they grow up to be individuals who can think for themselves, and to use her rapport with her students to teach them not just their lessons but also other important values of life.

Learning and Earnings

Primary schools are almost never stand-alone, but part of schools that have students all the way up to class X or XII. There are many advantages to being part of a big school. There is a large and vibrant community of teachers to interact with. You don’t lose touch with ‘your’ kids the moment they leave your hands; in fact, you can watch them grow up before your very eyes to become prefects and head boys and girls. It can be a good feeling, especially when they drop in unexpectedly on their way to and from classes to say hello.

How can you become a primary schoolteacher?

To qualify as a primary teacher you need a Diploma in Education (DEd) after your 10+2. You should have an excellent command over English, and an ability to teach all subjects, except languages, for which special language teachers are usually hired .

How much can you expect to earn?

Salary varies from school to school. Government-aided schools pay as per state education board guidelines. Salaries range from Rs. 4,000-5,000 for entry-level teachers and can go up to Rs. 10,000 inclusive of benefits for those with experience. Private or unaided schools have a salary structure as decided by the Trust that runs it, but it is more or less on the same lines.

Employment Opportunities

Schools sometimes advertise staff vacancies in national dailies (if they are schools like the Kendriya Vidyalayas or the DPS [Delhi Public School] which have branches all over India) or in local dailies. But usually you can apply directly, and the school puts you on a database until a vacancy comes up. Once it does, “You have to appear before a panel of the school management, who may test your skills in a live class. If you are selected, you are kept on probation for some time,” says Indira Pillai, principal of the primary section of the SIES school in Mumbai. The probation period varies between 6 months and 2 years depending on the management. Once you are permanently employed, you are entitled to all benefits like Provident Fund and Medical Leave.

With governments showing less and less inclination towards permanent recruitment, however, teachers are increasingly being hired on contract for a certain period, after which their contract is renewed if they have done a good job and the position still exists.

Once you have some years of experience as a primary school- teacher, you could rise to become the Asst Principal and then the Principal of the primary section. Or, if you are a graduate in any subject, and do a BEd alongside your teaching, you could go on to become a subject teacher in the middle or secondary school classes.

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