Despite the pandemic, it was a record-setting year for the world’s wealthiest–with a $5 trillion surge in wealth and an unprecedented number of new billionaires”. This was the first statement of Forbes magazine that highlighted the world’s billionaires’ current financial assets.
Teachers are always in horrendous conditions. Although there are vast anomalies amid the status of a teacher and a tycoon, why can’t teachers come in the headline of any magazines or newspapers worldwide as well-off human beings? It shows that teachers can’t be wealthy despite tireless efforts they make whilst educating their students. What makes a teacher come to the spotlight as a mirthful and jubilant human being who always strives for making his/her pupils greater than s/he is? Should teachers always live in penury and destitution? Is there any swathe where teachers/ lecturers/ professors are pledged financial comforts for their perseverance amid threats of rampant and belligerent pupils?
A teacher is undoubtedly a catalyst who always seeks exciting ways to educate students and bring holistic transformation in them. In other words, a teacher creates bedrock that underpins the career foundation of his/her pupils; however, s/he is always undermined, undervalued and catapulted by both parents and students. When a child succeeds in or ruins his career, there are always teachers who get rewarded or abused.
As educators and investors, we don’t talk about the disruptive progress of teachers, neither do we discuss how we can diminish teachers’ grievances being undervalued, underrated and underappreciated. Common norms of education don’t allow teachers to be driven by depressions or anxieties whilst being the drivers of enhanced creativity. The existing staggering conditions of teachers worldwide will have lasting repercussions on students’ overall development, and we could hardly envisage that it would be much worse amid such existing chagrin.
When comparing between government teachers and private teachers, we can see vast anomalies in their modus operandi and mojo, which play a pivotal role in either underpinning their students’ learning abilities or disparaging their pre-existing cognition. It’s a universal truth that students’ elevate their enhanced creativity when teachers share wisdom with full of enthusiasm and vigor. When the teachers are economical with truth amid financial crises, it’s children who will ultimately suffer, and the repercussions will be highly deteriorating. Therefore, teachers will show their optimum level of caliber only when they are treated well in their workplace. Otherwise, their professional insecurities will take their career pursuits on the brisk of collapse, and eventually, the students will be obliged to live in perplexity and dilemma losing their quest for rewarding careers.
Insecure teachers’ lives are definitely indecisive. Some teachers can live comfortably, but it depends on serendipity that may not be in favour of most teachers. A vast majority of teachers believe in their own ability and perseverance envisaging a rewarding future, but only a few aspirants can earn a fortune as it’s very hard to resist life’s force-majeure, and only the stalwart teachers can sustain fiascos. These ‘only a few’ are likely to embrace acclamation amid unprecedented predicaments.
First reason for teachers’ career indecisiveness is concerned with their low monthly income which terribly affects their working caliber. In the context of Nepal, most teachers’ salaries are less in comparison to their regular activities: preparing lesson plan, exercise book correction, feedback to students, acceptance of setbacks, parents’ complaints and so on. Second, students’ attitudes have been one of the frustrating factors for teachers to quit the job as soon as they make safe landing in other professions. Parents’ complaints, on the other hand, disparage teachers’ motives for teaching. Most parents believe that it’s teachers and institution’s responsibility to teach their child(ren) all possible good things, such as good demeanour, practicability, respectful behaviour and aspiration ignoring their own responsibilities for making their child(ren) responsible citizen(s) of the nation. Students are accommodated in school only for limited number of hours, but most time students spend their time with their parents. Therefore, the parents’ responsibility is higher and more important in many respects that determine career pursuits of their child(ren). Third, poor leadership triggers anxiety level of teachers, too. Some institutions have such mediocre leaders that they are oblivious about their own role as a mentor and motivator for teachers which results in creating a stressful working environment for teachers where they cannot sustain longer. Therefore, leaders’ leading capacity, stewardship, and easing working environment make lasting impacts on teachers’ stability, motivation and modus operandi.
When people discuss financial profits, they are surely involved in trade and business, which is completely a distinctive sphere from that of teacher’s teaching job. When teachers discuss money, it rather seems tinier than their life’s needs and promises but they have already learnt different strategies to survive with limitations. When people talk about investments, it’s always tycoons and traders who take the first step to acquire such priviledges because teachers could not presumably transform their status quo into the role of business investors. Teachers are honest harbingers that ensure award-winning future of the learners. However, it does not mean that teachers are totally destitute and living under poverty and scarcity. There are some rich teachers in the world who are accumulating wealth more than their business contemporaries and the data presented here are mouth-opening. The given account is a prototype of all those well-off teachers in the world; it’s a tribute to them:
Andrew Hallam became a millionaire at 36 years old. By 40, his savings had grown even more, granting him financial independence. To read his full story, click on the link: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/28/how-one-teacher-became-a-self-made-millionaire-by-age-36.html
Here, I am not going to talk about extra-ordinary business-driven professors or teachers, rather it’s all about teachers who earned a fortune from scratch, which millions of people fail to seize. Are you inspired? Are you shocked? Are you perplexed? Are you determined? Are you re-energised after reading such an inspirational story? Veraciously, this teacher has become a millionaire from zero level as he has not inherited any parental properties.
When we expect to embrace financial enrichment, first thought strikes our mind that is it only a high salary that can strengthen our financial well-being? Or are there other factors that ensure a complete surplus in our existing wealth? The reasons could be many, but it is believed that by knowing the art of saving, without showing others pompously as a hedonist, can also elevate our financial status, which contrarily does not indicate that being thrifty or parsimonious ensures our stratospheric financial exuberance. Inversely, living in penury and destitution in spite of having reasonable wealth can also create negative impressions among people, and the way they deal with us can be anomalous— completely embarrassing.
Most teachers are living in frustrations. The syllabi they follow and deliver in the classroom are completely different from the real circumstances they undergo after departing from the school. It really seems embarrassing to teach students that ‘a pen is mightier than a sword’ when the teachers themselves are struggling in their own life because of ‘that pen and marker’, which could not motivate them. Teachers feel more embarrassed to encounter the most vital reality that ‘an intelligent mind is better than a vigorous physique’ when they are completely paralysed because of excessive use of their brain for seeking a better career elsewhere amid extreme detestation and dissatisfaction in their current job. They always feel strangled by existing scarcity and destitution and are in pursuit of appealing careers beyond their current workplace. As a result, it’s futile to teach students that ‘education is more rewarding than wealth’ when teachers’ wisdom brings them mere anxieties and agonies resulting in sweeping their bliss and comfort miles away.
The teachers, who are living under financially-wrenched conditions, have not been able to discern what makes them economically comforted human beings. Teachers’ one way of struggling and striving for future without envisaging a fulfilling life has resulted in increasing anxieties since there are a plethora of actions and decisions to be taken and made by financially trodden teachers. First, they ought to look out for different ways of adding some wealth to their regular salaries. For this, they have to envision investing some of their income in different secure sectors; therefore, they can choose Share Market for this type of investment. A number of companies launch Initial Public Offering (IPO) for general public which does not require a huge investment. Teachers should be vigilant over such offerings and apply for some stocks allocating nominal money from their monthly salaries. In the context of Nepal, most companies’ initial stock is worth NRs. 100. Some large and financially strong companies’ stocks have a little higher value, but they are affordable. And when you have invested a small portion of your remuneration in such stocks, you should keep them for a longer period of time. A short-term investment cannot ascertain your exuberant financial comfort as well as it’s time consuming as you may need to meet the broker to collect the money, and at the same time, you are contributing your valuable time to school/ college where you work.
However, people wonder how the lifestyle of a rich teacher is. To state the reality, most teachers’ living standards are of average level: simple houses, not-so-expensive attires, less costly vehicles, rarely going outdoors for gatherings and ceremonies as such celebrations are costlier than their monthly paid remunerations. Even so-called rich teachers and professors feel hesitated to spend openly (by heart) as they always reckon their salaries before their spending which instills in them the importance of wise spending in most occasions. A majority of teachers don’t believe in sinecure since they are not entitled to get paid without physical and mental struggles in their workplace. In other words, they are workhorse. Therefore, it’s unwise to compare even rich teachers with those tycoons whose lifestyle is totally different from the world of intellectuals. Most tycoons are financially exuberant, but teachers are always enriched with invaluable knowledge and wisdom. In this regard, we should never forget the contributions of those teachers who have been educating and preparing extravagant tycoons and epicureans. Without teachers, they may not exist as opulent hedonists.
So, who’s happy in this world? Is it a tycoon, or a peasant, or a teacher or someone else? Although there are various measuring factors for one’s happiness, it’s still indecisive to say what exactly makes a person happy and blissful. Still, this unanswered riddle looms over people’s perplexity and quest for happiness, but teachers’ lives have never been able to get out of a valley of despair.
Ramesh Mani Suvedi is the Vice-Principal at Butwal Public School and Corporate Editor at College Readers.