For all the progress we’ve made, we still face a daily struggle to change the mindsets of a small handful of our teachers. Here’s an example:
For the past six months we have been running early morning coaching classes for our Class 10 students to prepare them for their final national exams. These exams are now just weeks away, so all the teachers who teach Class 10 agreed to start additional after school coaching classes too. Here’s the schedule we drafted for the next few weeks.
This morning, one of the Class 10 teachers asked the following questions:
Q: Do we get paid for teaching these classes, like the teachers who teach the morning classes? A: Yes.
Q: Do we get a free meal like the teachers who teach the morning classes? A: No, they have to stay in school for the rest of the day, but you can go home after your class and eat.
Q: Why do I have to do a 5-6pm class? A: Because you live close to the school, the teachers who do the 4-5pm classes live further away.
Q: Why does the Population teacher only have to teach one extra class and I have to teach two? A: Because the students are doing much better in his subject than yours.
Q: Why do the teachers on Friday get to teach their classes between 2 – 4pm? A: Because our lessons finish at 1.30pm on Friday.
Q: So will they also get paid for those classes? A: ?!@#!
The issue is not so much that these teachers are reluctant to do extra teaching, it’s the perception that they may have to do more work, or get less reward, than their colleagues.
And ultimately its betrays a ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ mindset, rather than a ‘what’s-in-it-for-my-students’ mindset.
Which is why our motto is, ‘We put students first’.