The study of biology helps students understand the intricate relationship they share with the world around them. Biology teachers have the important duty of making students understand the effect of their actions on the environment. They also teach them to see the mechanics of the living, be it themselves or organisms around them.
The role of biology teachers have become especially important as of late. As the world is panicking over the degradation of the planet, teachers have a responsibility to educate their students on important issues like extinction of species, degradation of ecological systems and habitats and so on.
The need for well educated, environmentally aware biology teachers is more pressing today than ever before. But, what is the situation like for biology teachers in India? How are they judged and compensated?
Teachers play an important role in sensitizing their students towards the world. People interact with the world constantly, and a biology teacher helps them in understanding it better. Better knowledge of living organisms and their environments also leads to a better understanding of human impact on these; students will be made aware of the descent into destruction of forests, wildlife and habitats.
The role of biology teachers is thus crucial. They help to teach the younger generations about how they should and shouldn’t interact with the environment. Moreover, learning biology aids in understanding the functions of one’s own body, which could come into practical use during a medical emergency.
Aspiring biology teachers have a lot of opportunities to pursue higher education. These include scholarships like the University of Dundee Global Excellence Scholarships in UK, and fellowships like the Summer Undergraduate Fellowships at Vienna Biocenter Summer School in Austria. Teachers can also take up online courses like The Harvard Bok Higher Education Teaching Certificate offered by Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. According to the course details, “This online short course is designed for professors, lecturers, researchers, academic staff, or aspiring higher education teachers interested in improving their teaching practice, classroom management, and ability to meaningfully develop the mindsets of their students.”
Yet another intellectual outlet for teachers would be organizations like The National Association of Biology Teachers. Educators can share their thoughts, experiences and ideas with colleagues and other likeminded people.
Most biology teachers in India receive insufficient compensation for the work they do. Pay can range from 20,000 to 60,000 per month. While some school managements offer additional benefits, many cannot financially justify giving these bonuses. Needless to say, the salaries of teachers are not only dependent on their personal achievements, experience and certifications, but also on the ability of the institution to provide these.
With the rise of international schools focusing on bringing global education, teachers that have the qualifications to work in such establishments are paid considerably higher.
Biology teachers are in demand, particularly teachers who have a passionate interest in the subject and are willing to employ successful teaching strategies and a personal approach towards students.
Other than traditional classroom teaching, biology teachers are welcomed to online teaching platforms as well as to coaching centers for national exams like The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test – Under Graduate (NEET (UG)). Both these fields are gaining great popularity for their increased pay and convenient working hours.
Biology teachers are trusted with the responsibility of connecting their students to the world around them. They study and understand life forms, and meticulously teach it to their students. Essentially, biology teachers share an important role in making the younger generations understand the mistakes their elders have made, thereby teaching them the right way to live in the world.