Why Secondary Schools Need Career Teachers

I recently caught up with one of my secondary school teachers at an event. In between our conversation she said “the school hasn’t changed since you left”. I was shocked! Hasn’t changed?! Then I assumed she meant the standard hasn’t changed till we got deeper into the talk.

It’s sad that more than 10 years later a secondary school remains the same – by any yardstick whatsoever. What ever happened to improvement, development, innovation, etc and all those big words we throw around as intelligent people?

How do we expect to produce great products using obsolete techniques? Instead of lamenting & deviating further, let me quickly tell you why we need career teachers now more than ever.

10 years ago, we had school counsellors who would advise you on personal and school related issues. In retrospect, I wonder how they were able to give accurate advise when they almost never encounter you as a student, know nothing about your personality, likes & dislikes, etc. Frankly, their judgment was a guess-work at best and flat-out insignificant at worst. Good thing we rarely visited them for any career advice back then.

But for improvement, we need more than guess-work. It’s no longer good enough. We need career teachers.

Career teachers are teachers who are trained to spot patterns in students and use that to guide them towards making smart career choices.

These teachers are researchers, psychologists, sociologists, etc. They follow trends, understand today and tomorrow in education. While subject teachers teach students, career teachers shape students.

I envision a class where students spend at least one hour a week with a teacher and just talk about everything & anything – that’s a career teacher.

A class where student A says she wants to be a musician and the teacher can show her & the class (via the internet) some musicians who left a footprint on earth ie Beethoven, Prince, Michael Jackson, Fela, etc – that’s a career teacher

A teacher who spots a “talkative” student and tries to mold that student by grooming him, sharing learnings from Larry King, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Champion, etc – that’s a career teacher

A teacher whose student can tell him he wants to become an astronaut and the teacher won’t laugh him away, but instead fuel that goal – that’s a career teacher

One  who doesn’t judge student’s future by current grades and scores – a career teacher.

Students need guidance now more than ever (guidance not orders) to compete in the future.

But for this to happen, we need Career Teachers.

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