Special Articles / R. Mercinah, D. Nirmala / Scientific Writing and Publishing in Social Work
In our present multifaceted world, the hope of any nation lies in the proper education of its younger generation and in that preparing youth to face better in life. The accountability lies in the hands of the teachers also. Singh (2003) found that different professionals need different levels of emotional intelligence for success. His research findings state that teachers need to be highly emotionally intelligent to be successful. The role feelings play in the everyday life of human beings has been largely unexplored in carefully designed research studies (Daniel Goleman, 1995).
The main objectives of this current study is i) to know about the personal, family and socio-economic data of a woman school teacher, (ii) to find out about the challenges and milestones that the respondent has come across so far in all her facets of her life such as personal, family and work environment (iii) to find out the possible alternatives when coping with challenges and milestones and to know if the intervention provided by the case worker was fruitful and useful for the respondent. The researcher uses a case study with a descriptive nature as the method used for qualitative analysis of this study which looks at the emotional intelligence of a school teacher.
(Key words: Emotional intelligence, woman school teacher, case study)
“Education is both the seed and flower of economic development” (Harbison & Myers, 1965 cited in world bank report, 2002). Good education is not considered merely as a form of consumption today but is regarded as an important process in every society. If we define education in nutshell, it is a constructive character change in a human being. It is commonly recognized that that the economic value of education or its return is more than the amount of money-invested in it. It is an accepted fact that the quality of the nation depends upon the quality of the education imparted to its citizens, which in turn depends upon the quality of its teachers. The most important role is played by the teachers of higher education in the development of the quality of life of the human being and the improvement of the society. The success of any educational system and its effectiveness depends largely on the quality, commitment, emotional intelligence (EI) and job satisfaction of the teachers. Since the teaching profession is commonly considered as a noble profession, there is lot of expectation from parents towards their children’s education and development of their personality. The poor materials and the pressure of handling the emotionally toned activities of the children are alone the main conditions which may disturb teachers emotionally. Emotions are one of our greatest assets helping us make optimal decisions. EI elevates us towards our greatest potential by guiding us to think, feel and act to the best of our abilities. The benefits of EI apply to every aspect of life and are especially relevant to teachers. Apart from the emotional circumstances, a teacher should be bounded with the special responsibility of enhancing the students to meet the desired effect. As a school teacher, he/she is most subjected. He/she is to be co-operative with the goal of making meaningful and useful citizens of the world. Increasingly, EI is being recognised as the critical factor in success and life satisfaction. It has become a vital part of how today’s leaders meet the significant challenges they face. Regardless of the actual scientific basis of measuring EI, the concept is used in many different settings. Though EI tests are administered on the basis that a person’s EI can be modified or increased, there is argument about whether EI is standard or can be changed. Many have attempted to give a concise definition of EI however, the perception is quite broad. In sum, EI covers: knowing how you and others feel and what to do about it, knowing what feels good, awful and how to get from bad to good. Emotional awareness provides sensitivity and management skills, which help us enhance our long term happiness and survival. Indian families are undergoing rapid changes due to the increased pace of urbanization and modernization. Indian women belonging to all classes have entered into paid occupations. At the present time, Indian women’s exposure to educational opportunities is substantially higher than it was some decades ago, especially in the urban setting. This has opened new vistas, increased awareness and raised aspirations of personal growth. This, along with economic pressure, has been instrumental in influencing women’s decision to enter the work force. Most studies of employed married women in India have reported economic need as being the primary reason given for working. Srivastava (2008) says that other key components include determination, hopefulness, self-motivation and the ability to detain pleasure. It also includes the ability to understand with, feel kindness for, validate, stimulate, inspire, support, encourage and ease others stress. Stress is an inseparable part of human existence. It affects all individuals rich and poor, literate and illiterate, men and women, young and old alike and across the developed and developing nations. Stress and its effects on humans has been well understood and attempts are constantly being made to promote the well-being of stressed people by organizing stress management programs at periodic intervals in both Governmental and Non-Government sectors. In disaster intervention work, stress is an inevitable result of the job. It is well recognized that disaster induced trauma and job-related stress among the rescue and rehabilitation workers often hamper the provision of effective services to the survivors. Be it natural or manmade disasters, the workers are exposed to traumatic events that are generally outside the range of ordinary human experiences. Stress management has acquired particular importance in the twenty first century mainly due to two important reasons. Firstly, there has been overwhelming evidence that ‘behaviour’ is central to development of ill health and that adopting appropriate life style habits by the individual can have a positive change on this cause effect relationship. Secondly, ill health is very expensive and prevention of ill health is potentially possible by using health promotion strategies like stress management. This also helps to increase the ability of the worker to perform the disaster rehabilitation work effectively as well as to facilitate optimum coping with the events. Another important consideration is to reduce the negative impacts of participating in disaster rehabilitation work on future organizational functioning. Once the stress management strategies are incorporated in the organizational practice in disaster rehabilitation work, it will eventually produce positive results in the other areas of the organization. The benefits are that the people at the various levels will be able to recognize the stress factors inherent in their work and learn to develop preventive methods for mitigation of these stressors. This in turn would help to arrest the decline in job performance, burnout, high turnover, health and family related problems.
Review of Literature:
Mayer and Salovey, (1997) undertook a study on EI and its effect and attitudes. It resulted in the fact that the ability to manage emotions can help people nurture positive consequence, avoid being overwhelmed by negative result and cope with stress. Other emotional abilities, such as perceiving and accepting emotions also give indirectly to the quality of emotional experience by helping people to identify and interpret cues that inform self-regulatory stroke. Therefore EI should contribute to positive concern and attitudes at work. Farooq (2003) conducted a study on the effect of EI on scholastic performance. The findings of the study proved that the students who score high on EI specifically in the areas of interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, compliance, general moods, and stress management skills tend to have good academic performance as compared to those who score low on these scales. However, comparison of both genders on educational performance revealed no significant differences. Drew (2006) conducted a study to see the relationship between EI and student-teacher performance. This study is an important contribution to the literature and it appears to be the first study to explore the possibility and to assess event instrument. However, data collected from the cooperating teacher and student teacher perspective did not reveal any statistically significant relationship. Samuel O Salami (2007) investigated the relationship of EI and self-efficacy to work attitudes of secondary school teachers in South Western Nigeria. Results of the study showed that EI and self efficacy had significant relationships with work attitudes. However, age, sex, and work experience had no effect. It was suggested that EI and self-efficacy of the teachers should be enhanced to improve their work attitude. Singaravelu (2007) studied EI of student teachers (Pre-service) at primary level in Urdu theory, region and found that EI of student teachers in Pondicherry region was above average as the mean and standard deviation were found to be 33.46 and 946 respectively. It was observed that 68% of the student teachers had above average level of EI. Kandel et al (2009) studied the nature of specific strains and stresses among married women in their marital, occupational and house work roles. They found that strains and stresses are lower in family roles than in occupational and household roles among the married women. These have more severe consequences for the psychological well-being of women than occupational strains and stresses. Strains predicted distress through role-specific stress, with strains deriving from contribution of role-specific stress. Chassin et al (2011) found three types of conflicts in their study research on a sample of 83 dual worker couples with pre-school children. These are: (1) conflicts between demands of multiple roles, (2) conflict between role expectations of self and spouse and (3) lack of congruence between expectation and reality of roles. The authors felt that self-role congruence in women leads to better mental health. The demands and pressures of work and family may give rise to work-life balance issues to individuals. Freedman and Greenhaus (1985) reveal that women in the workforce have increased considerably; however, women face a lot of issues and challenges. They are still seen as the primary caretakers of the home and family, even if they work just as much as men. Work role is often seen as secondary to family roles. Not just men but women also hold themselves and other women to the homemaker standard. Women spend more time on housework, child care and family responsibilities. In 1966, women used to spend almost 24 percent of their time on housework wherein 2005 they spend 30 percent of their time on housework. However women miss more work for child care. 20 percent of women take care of both children and elders. Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) defined work-family conflict as ‘a form of inter-role conflict in which the role pressures from the two domains, that is, work and family, are mutually non-compatible so that meeting demands in one domain makes it difficult to meet demands in the other’. That is, participation in the work role is made more difficult by virtue of participation in the family and vice versa. The major concern of this most widely used definition of work-family conflict is that role conflicts cause due to problems around role participation and EI. Hence, difference in values, social relationships and requirements between work and family do not constitute conflict parse. Waite and Gallagher documented the tensions within and between dual career couples brought about by the transformation of marriage and family life. At the personal level, marriage and family functioning have become fundamentally personal choices and responsibilities, making the maintenance of both more vulnerable. At the cultural level, while traditional values such as gender role ideologies are constantly being challenged, balance related to the importance of work life and personal life still persists to role efficacy and emotional intelligence.
Significance of the study
EI: describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait EI model, a self perceived grand ability to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one’s self, of others and of groups. Different models have been proposed for the definition of EI and disagreement exists as to how the term should be used. Despite these disagreements, which are often highly technical, the ability and traits of EI models (but not the mixed models) enjoy support in the literature and have successful applications in different domains. It is believed that employees’ emotions matter because they drive one’s performance. Emotions at the work place, generally, fall into the category of positive (good) and negative (bad) emotions. Positive emotions are those feelings of an individual that are favourable to the attainment of organizational goals while negative emotions are those that are perceived to be destructive for the organization. Emotions influence the task on which an employee is working, the efforts he/she puts and how he influences other employees around him. In other words, what employees feel and how they express their emotions affects their performance. More companies are realizing that encouraging EI skills is a vital component of their management philosophy. Organization does not compete with products alone: how well it uses its people is more important for its survival since education is a continuous process of learning. Teachers are key figures, important in the educative process where he/she transfers the knowledge as well as positive changes to the following generation. He/she also promotes healthy training of students and their active integration into society. Here EI is very much essential to lead a peaceful, fruitful and pleasant life. Consequently, this research was keen to find out more about the EI of a school teacher.
Materials and methods:
The objectives of the study are (i) to know the personal, family, socio-economic data of the respondent. (ii) to find out the past and present problems and (iii) to suggest the suitable remedies to the respondent. The researcher adopted case study method with a descriptive nature of the EI of a school teacher for qualitative analysis. The data was gathered through the use of open-ended questions that the respondent was asked to understand the factors that caused problems and successes. The respondent is a married woman school teacher who has experienced many personal problems before reaching success.
Mrs. X, 30 years old, is a female, working as a teacher on the self-finance scheme in a higher secondary school. She has an elder sister, three younger sisters and her parents are alive. Her passion towards the teaching profession is unbelievable. Her educational qualifications are M.Sc., B.Ed., M.Phil., in Mathematics. She got married two years ago and was separated due to some unwanted and undesirable circumstances. It was purely an arranged marriage. Mrs X is a genuine cultured Indian woman who is capable of approving all what we do socially acceptable practicing’s. She has been constructed in thinking and very stubborn in positive way. Though she has been asked for divorce notice, she is not ready for that. The reason is very peculiar. As her father-in-law dominates the home-proceedings and as this leads to inconvenience to Mrs. X, she felt that she had lost freedom in her personal life. Her husband is not in agreement with his wife as he is in support of his father. Therefore, she was with her husband for only twenty days before going back to her mother’s family. In spite of all these, Mrs. X did not lose her heart to reach her goal she continued preparing for her examinations to get any place in the field of teaching in State Government circle. Mrs. X set a goal to become a teacher in Government service and she succeeded in it. Apart from the fact that she had confronted with her husband, she had her own goal and succeeded in it. We should not forget one thing that she had worked day and night to achieve her goal. Though she is not with her husband, she got success in her tremendous effort to achieve her goal. For this, she travelled over 24kms a day. Now she is waiting for the counseling. This means where she has to be appointed as a Post Graduate Assistant (the highest cadre in school teaching) in Mathematics in a school in Tamil Nadu, South India. Now we have heard that her husband who was asking for divorce is likely to come again and join with his wife.
Problem solving methods:
The Social work researcher acted as a professional counselor and explained about the disadvantages and ill effects of a disharmonious family. The researcher helped the respondent to come out from the family inconvenience.
Social Work Intervention:
There is a need to take up appropriate measures to reduce the stress among teachers. Most of the young teachers indicated heavy workloads including clerical work, anxiety in maintaining good pass percentages, overcrowded classrooms, organizational pressure, lack of experience and authoritarian type of management as factors creating stress. Therefore there is a need to reduce the workload of teachers as well as to maintain proper teacher-pupil ratios in classrooms to reduce the stress faced. In general, stress management programs and encouragement of emotional competence is required for young women.
Based on the findings of this present case study, it is concluded that one’s EI plays an important role in determining certain problems. Hence this study emphasizes the significance of developing EI in an individual. Guidance and counseling in an atmosphere of positive interaction is also suggested as a remedial measure.
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