Ms Ritu is a middle school teacher, the class teacher for a classroom of forty-two students and a Maths teacher for five different classes.
In the exam season, she also grades papers for classes she didn’t teach because there aren’t enough teachers in the school.
She spends her whole day teaching one class to another, her days go by standing the whole time until her feet ache and even takes up doubts from the students during the fifteen minutes break she gets for eating her lunch.
You would think her day ends there. Yet, that is far from reality. She carries the innumerable homework copies, the class curriculum and academic schedules home as well.
While her family complains that she barely spends any time with them, she spends the rest of her evening trying to complete the task of grading the homework so that she can reach the deadline for the completion of the academic syllabus on time.
The only time her school provided her with a leave was when she had been down with the terrible flu. Paid leaves and leaves for a vacation are only some unreachable dreams.
There is always pressure from the authority to make sure every student is doing well, and if the class average declines even slightly, it calls for another authoritative intervention for the class teacher.
There is immense stress in the environment she works in, she is constantly juggling responsibilities and does not receive the love, acknowledgement or appreciation for the efforts and work she puts in each day.
A lot of our educators are working in such an environment and are stressed each day. Their jobs, which were once rewarding are gradually becoming nothing more than meeting deadlines where in the strive to get done with the academia, not a great relationship is formed between them and their students.
There is pressure, not just from their responsibility, but some extra from the parents and the school authorities as well.
It makes one question, how are they supposed to create an environment of Joy when their environment is offering them none?
Research by UNESCO called “State of the Education Report for India-2021” found that stress-related problems in teachers are on the rise and that most instructors are overworked and have more students and work than they are intended to. The pupil-to-teacher ratio in the country is deteriorating and demands our immediate attention.
With pressure, the Emotional Well-being of our educators is put into a harmful place where they are vulnerable to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Such pressure and stress, when reflective in an educator, will also come to reflect on their students.
We do not want to let this go on. The teachers are suffering and so are the students. Let them have their breaks, let them breathe, bring Mindfulness to the forefront and watch as it brings a stress-free environment for all.