Uniqueness of being a teacher
As teachers, we too learn as we teach. This uniqueness where we blend ourselves to the changing needs of society and students at large is gifted and inborn in teachers.
I lift my gaze to the Almighty and whisper a silent prayer, ‘Thank you God for the beautiful vocation you have gifted me’. I couldn’t have given my best anywhere else. Thirty years amidst children and still going strong. Even today I feel like a new day; a new experience.
I remember, my first day at school, as a young maiden, stepping inside, idealistic as I was, dreams in my eyes, lofty plans and loads of confidence. The values of teaching, the power to touch and change lives – this feeling stands even today. Here lies the uniqueness of being a teacher.
Times have changed; methods of teachinglearning have metamorphosed. The earlier chalk and talk dogma ‘I teach- you learn, the docile kids’ is fading away taken over by newer variations where the learner is no longer passive. They are certainly more knowledgeable, more vibrant, alert and alive.
As teachers, we too learn as we teach. This uniqueness where we blend ourselves to the changing needs of society and students at large is gifted and inborn in teachers. Experience has been an added asset. Working among kids, it takes a little time to identify a special one. The true joy comes from being that special person to these little children. Every child has a unique need where the common factor is love and a feeling of being wanted.
Each morning I tell myself, ‘If I can make a difference to even one child, I’ve made my day.’ I strive towards it. Mostly, I walk back fulfilled, feeling an achiever. A collage of memories flood before me, when I close my eyes: I’ll let you enter my memory lane and take a glimpse.
I remember my student Raj of grade one. He made an entry, holding his father’s hand. He suffered from a rare illness. His skin peeled even on a touch. He was a delicate boy. I could read the look on the father’s face, as though he said ‘from today he is your responsibility’. It took time to counsel the class to accept him as he was and help him out. We made it and indeed he was special.
It demanded patience on the teacher’s part. Today, he has successfully passed the Board Exam of Class Ten. I’m confident he will beautifully adapt to the outside world. My memory brings another student named, Ganesh, the rarest gem among students. As early as class two, he was already a bundle of energy. He had every sloka on his finger tips. Alas, the summer of 2010 struck heavily on him. He was severely ill. Even after two surgeries he would say ‘I want to go to school’. I’m indebted to his parents for their great trust in me. He was brought to school, with a bandaged head. His steps were feeble and unsteady as he walked towards me. ’Our child is safe with you’ said the parents. The little time our hero, Ganesh spent in school, we made him feel special. Studies went for a toss; Ganesh was the centre of everything. In spite of all our efforts, Ganesh fell ill again.
Time stood still; he bid us goodbye. This tragic experience made me a stronger person. He made me understand the uniqueness of every single child. He taught me, how, as a teacher I ought to sense their needs and work towards it passionately.
Preeti, eight year old, in grade three, well built, suffered from epilepsy. She gave me a tough time, whenever she had an attack. I particularly loved her singing and would teach her poems through singing. Her grasping power amazed me. We were fond of each other. She specially enjoyed the liberty to do things that interested her. She wanted to be a doctor.
How can I forget Pranav? His mystic grey eyes dance and twinkle. But when he cries: Oh my! He could make you gift him the moon. He’s so sharp. He grasps faster than the brightest. His art work, wow! I love him. Honestly. My heart broke when I heard I had been transferred to another school. (Well! That’s a routine) I would be away from my very dear children! I hadn’t cried so much at any point in my life. It takes time to build this unique bond and it stays. Today even physically away from them, I’m still in touch with them.
I’m more than convinced that I couldn’t be happier. And now I’ve connected to a new set of beautiful minds, special little ones. That’s why I whisper this prayer of thanks – Dear God, You’ve given so much.
Life’s lessons I have learnt through these little ones. This vocation of teaching is unique in itself.
These are a few insights and there are many more etched in my memory: As teachers, we always come across a spectrum of behaviours and we cater to the needs of everyone. The blessings and uniqueness of being a teacher lies in the fact that you blend yourself to make a difference in the lives of little kids.
Education doesn’t really end in good grades. It culminates in the overall growth of the child to gift him the outside world for a better living. Here lies our role. That is the Uniqueness of a Teacher.
Nancy D’souza is a teacher at the Atomic Energy Central School, Mumbai. She is an eager learner, who believes that true education is transformational in nature. Teaching is an art that can be mastered through continuous learning and a skill that can be honed by incessant practise. She says, ‘I entered this profession by chance, rose in love with it and continue to stay put by choice’. She believes – ‘What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life can never be erased’.