I have no idea about other countries but teaching to me is by far one of the most underrated professions in Bangladesh. I have been a chemistry teacher for almost seven years. I have taught both O and A-level chemistry, I know what kind of hard work it takes. After each class, I felt drained of all my energy, my head ached. There are hundreds of money hungry English medium schools all over Bangladesh, it seems like they have only one goal, to drain the parents out of their hard-earned money. But surprisingly they do not want to invest in quality teachers.
Another reason about which I felt more disappointed was the lack of respect from the students, their parents and from the society. Yes, my students and their parents did praise me when they did well in school or exams but are there any hard written testimonials like there are in freelancing websites. Simply put there are no proofs of my hard work, no testimonial when it comes to teaching. When I went to schools for interviews, they treated me like a rookie until I took the demo class. Why wouldn’t they? After all, there are no proofs!
Another thing which frustrated me the most was the lack of appreciation from the parents. I charge only BDT 2500 per month for teaching O level chemistry, but I was paid BDT 1500 just because the student didn’t do some classes. Some parents didn’t even bother to thank me when their children got A in O level chemistry with my hard work. I never even heard their voices.
The schools are a different story altogether, they are just a bunch of money generating machines. They are willing to drain the parents out of their pockets, but they do not want to pay the teachers the amount they deserve. Why? Because of its a business, they want profit! They hardly want to pay thirty thousand takas to a teacher. More than that, they want a teacher to teach multiple subjects so they make even more profit. Why keep two teachers for maths and chemistry 25k + 25k = 50k. When you can hire only one teacher and pay him or her 25k to teach both, 25k saved.
When it comes to society, they have never taken teaching seriously unless its a professor at a university. They want to hear about professions such as executive, officer, engineer, doctor and so on. They think teaching is a child’s play but run after good teachers for their children.
When I started to do freelancing, I started to enjoy it right away because I could see the appreciation for my hard work. Even for a five dollar job, my clients left me a feedback and a rating. When new clients view my profile, they see the ratings and they talk to me with respect and pay accordingly.
For this very reason, I have decided that I will slowly make a transition from a teaching profession to being a top-level freelancer.