Among the many professions the world over, the teaching profession is considered one of the noblest and straight forward in definition a. it is dissected as 1.The facilitation of student learning a. imparting knowledge or skill 3. An activity 4.Intended behavior to induce learning (web p. 27). But the most agitate and provocative definition portrays “the teacher as an artist and teaching as an art”. Teaching profession was further defined by G. Wells ( 1998} as cluster of activities that are noted about teachers such as explaining ,deducing, questioning ,motivating, taking attendance, keeping record of works, students” progress and students” background information.

Moreover, Farrell J.P. and J.B Oliveira (1995) posits that teaching can be viewed as the logical and strategic act denoting interaction between the teacher and the student as they operate on some kind of verifiable facts and beliefs, it encourages students participation and expression of their own views. The teaching profession encompasses schooling and education. While schooling has a terminal point that make us graduate from various gradation, education is interminable and goes on from the cradle to the grave. Hence; education developed from the human struggle for survival and enlightens. Gerald (1994) opined that education encompasses both teaching and learning of knowledge, proper conduct and technical competency. Education has also being defined as the transfer of survivalist skills and advancement culture from one generation to another. That is, education is a process through which the intellectual and moral capacities of individuals are developed, so as to make them cultural members of their society. Thus, a teacher who teaches on individual basis may be described as a tutor.

IS TEACHING A PROFESSION

According to public administration, not every form of activity is work even if it brings remuneration to the person engaged in it. It is work only when it produces something value to others. The business of teaches is to help students to achieve higher standards of knowledge, ability, skills and moral character. If teachers do their work well, them their work is of great value to others, not simply in a particular time but also in the future. Teachers are not only workers but are also members of a profession. Their occupation renders definite and essential services to society. As a profession, however, teaching has had a long and difficult history. One of the professions difficult history is that the public has not adequately supported teaching. Compared with other learned professions-such as medicine, law engineering and architecture- teaching ranks low. Some teachers are dissatisfied with, and even depressed about their professional standing. They feel that the work load is two heavy, and the recognition and appreciation are too limited. They thinks that they do not have sufficient opportunities to advance in their career and that they have no power to control the content and form of their work. Teachers resent prohibition against their direct involvement in policy making in educational affairs. But what is a profession in the first place?

What is a profession?

According to Goodson (2003) occupational status depends on the “public valuing” of the competence, role and over all contribution of a particular occupation to individual and societal welfare. He asserted that occupations that have attained professional status share the following characteristics: a. a high level of education and training base on a unique and specialized body of knowledge b. a strong ideal of public service with an enforced professional code of conduct and high levels of respect from the public domain.  C. registration and regulation by the profession itself d. trusted to act in the client’s best interest within a frame work of accountability e. similar levels of compensation as other professions. Predicated upon these positions mentioned above, one could note that a profession performs essential social service. Teaching profession, beyond all reasonable doubt, meets this criterion, for education is a social service. The service which education performs is essential to the individual child who could not be fully socialized in a industrial society if he did not spend lengthy period in full time formal education.

TEACHING PROFESSION IN LIBERIA: HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHING PROFESSION IN LIBERIA

The development of teaching as a profession in Liberia should be considered from the perspective of the first criteria of a profession, that is training and certification. The factual fact is that proficiency in every act- whether it is painting, music or teaching involves~ training, but also needs more than training. Training cannot produce genius; the genius can come from training. Teaching has its techniques as much as any other art and the process of acquiring those techniques is training (Jeffrey 1971) training is part of the professional preparation of teachers for his job.

PROBLEMS OF TEACHERS EDUCATION

A major if not the major problems of the nation’s educational system as a whole is the dilution of the teaching profession by untrained men and women. Bank {1951}.The problem of teachers in Liberian schools is a perennial Problem in nature and is as old as the nation itself. Hence; the struggle to man our school system with Liberian teachers started at the formative stage of the state, that is; in the Colonial Periods in 182O- 1838, in the Commonwealth Periods in 1838 — 1847 and to the Republican period in 1847 onward.

During the Colonial Period it was utterly impossible for the Liberian state to establish a teacher training institution due to lack of adequate funds. Emphasis of elementary education was on the 3R or Literacy which includes: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Training in these areas was considered a sufficient qualification for teachers

In 1834, the New York colonization Society established a high school in Liberia for the training of teachers.

In 1839 when the Commonwealth began to function, the people of Liberia — fired with the zeal for better prepare teachers, urged the American Colonization Society (ACS) to send out sufficient teachers for the increasing school population. In this period, the Monrovia Seminary was opened by the Methodist’ Episcopal Board of foreign Mission with one Ravened Jabe Barton as principal which made Liberian people happy because this added to the number of teachers initially trained by Miss. Margret Macer to the Glasgow University in the United States with on amount of $1,300 she earlier raised during the colonial era. Banks {1951}

When Liberia College was opened in 1862, the training of teachers was given a high premium. But in 1895 when the college got closed, Joseph Hartzoi the Methodist Episcopal Bishop to Liberia recommended the continuity of the teachers training program at the college of West Africa (CWA) and the Board of Trustee granted his suggestion with a courtesy of their probation.

The normal Department of Liberia College continues to function in CWA for two years. In spite of the reopening of Liberia College, CWA continue to carry on a sort of teachers training program.

The in - service teachers training program began in the 1 900s under Mr. Steven the first superintendent of Public Instruction when the Bureau of Public Instruction (BOPI) was organized. BOPI was later called Department of Education (DOE) and now Ministry’ of Education (MOE) to remedy the problem of poorly prepared teachers and unprepared teachers in the elementary school of the country. The status of (BOPl) was raised to a Department in the Executive in 1912 and another Compulsory  Education Law was passed which emphasized the need for educated teachers; still the scarcity of government funds would not permit the establishment of a Teachers — Training Institution.

In 1947 President William V.S. Tubman appointed a committee under, the. Chairmanship of Secretary of Public Instruction JW Pearson to formulate a teacher training institute connected with Liberia College. The teacher training institute was opened in March 1947 with thirty students. The president of CWA served as Acting Dean for the first year.

At the end of 1948, fifteen members of the first class received a two-year certificate, In the same year the institution was chartered, as William V.S. ‘Tubman Teachers College — a four — year degree granting school.

The same year the first Graduating class of nine received the degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc.) ‘in Education. The faculty of the Teachers College was convinced That prospective teachers should have a thorough knowledge of content subject before studying methods in techniques.

When the teachers College was incorporated into the University of Liberia (UL) in 1951 it was decided that for the first two years concentration for all college students would be on general or Liberal education and that professional preparation would be given in the last two years. The curriculum of Teachers College provides for the education of teachers for Liberia; its present program is for elementary and secondary school teachers.

The aim of teachers training institution was to develop literate citizenry, teachers training has been conducted since the 1 950s. The method was “each one teach one”. The aim is to unite the entire nation and body politics by teaching one language rather than divide the people linguistically. And in spite of all the draw backs, the status of teachers has improved remarkable in last decade of the twenty first century, Thus, with no mental reservation, the author of this paper is of the conviction that the future is ripe with potentialities; the increase in salaries and pensions and the awakening of social consciousness to the importance of teachers in the development of the country tend to produce greater interest in the teaching profession, more stable condition and longer professional service.

CONCLUSION

Teaching is a very professional career where an individual is held accountable through a series of tests, assessments and tools to gauge the achievement of students and their learning. Teaching is a partnership between schools, community, and parents to help children succeed in their academic careers. Each time a teacher has exposure to a student they have the opportunity to provide building blocks for student to take with them to new studies. Teaching is such a rewarding and challenging career, as teacher reach outside the box, and then out-side their range of knowledge to help students overcome academic, social and emotional challenge to ensure success.

Finally, teachers are a valuable resource to communities worldwide, nationwide, and community-wide. They provide the best possible means of educations to group of students that they possibly can. As a classroom teacher since 1985, I believe teaching is a rewarding career matching teachers’ skills with the needs of students to succeed. Teaching has great potential for many individuals to leave a mark on society and benefit their lives and self-worth. Teachers have excellent resources, skills and tools to achieve their goals and to reach out to numerous students in their careers.