Living my dream of teaching - Some reflections

I distinctly remember my English period in Class 3, when my teacher was about to leave the classroom after the roll call. My friend and I were discussing what careers we will choose when we grow up. I thought for a few seconds and answered her, "I will become a Kannada teacher!" My English teacher, who was overhearing our conversation, looked at me and smiled. I thought it offended her that I wasn't willing to teach English, and I retorted to my friend, "No! I will become an English teacher!" My teacher again smiled at me and left the class.

Since that moment, consciously or subconsciously, I had been, and have been, nurturing this wish of mine to teach. Throughout my middle school, I used to teach imaginary students at my home, writing on the stone and wooden planks available around me. I had bought a big box of chalk pieces especially for this purpose. I used to feel an immense amount of pleasure and satisfaction doing this.

And then I joined law. Though generally accepted that I was a talented student with potential to achieve something (big), I seldom used this potential of mine to the fullest. I despised memorising sections and case-laws, and despised even more my teachers and college. Even as they used to teach me, I used to imagine being in their shoes, and how I could teach the concepts they were teaching me in far more interesting and creative ways.

Time passed, I did my masters, because I knew teaching was the thing I want to do in my life. I still haven't qualified UGC-NET which is mandatory to get a permanent teaching job in universities. But, I consider myself lucky to have got an opportunity to teach even without this qualification. It's been a few months, and I realise that this has been the most satisfying job from among the various jobs I have done till date.

As I teach, I get reminded of my own undergrad days, how non-focussed I was, how non-serious I was as a student, owing to my disaffection towards rote learning. As a result of this, I am now required to put double the efforts to teach. Nonetheless, it's nice that someone is paying me to read books and share my perspectives with people just a few years younger than me. Yes, I do get annoyed when my students do not put the required efforts even when they are being given with all the resources which I as a student didn't have. I start wondering, where would I have been, if I had such dedicated teachers who went to great heights to make sure that education is learner-centric, and not teacher-centric? I do envy my students for the privileges they have got. Yes, I do call having a good teacher a privilege these days. Getting a mentor is hard.

Not one day do I find my job boring or frustrating. The other day, there was a Facebook post which said, the only people who are happy on a Monday are those who are unemployed. When I disagreed with this in the comment, a guy tried to rebuke me saying it's just a myth propagated by the "illuminati". It's very sad that people think every profession is frustrating on this earth, just because they are not happy with their jobs! I sympathise that guy, because I was exactly in his shoes two years ago, or even a few months ago, and I was courageous enough to call it quits when I could no more handle it.

Also, I would like to thank all the bad teachers I have had in my life, for, it's they who are  - vicariously though - guiding me till today, as to how to be a good teacher! And the best of the teachers I have been taught by, obviously keep inspiring me to follow their footsteps.

Lack of internet facilities is hampering my personal growth here. But this might sound as a lame reason for an outsider. Or maybe I am becoming like my students - lazy, not willing to push my limits?

Like teacher, like students, it is said. But today, as I was invigilating my students writing a class test, I realised that the converse is also true. Like students, like teacher, that is. I believe that the reason for this is that, a teacher-student relationship is osmotic. It's no more the old model of one-way authority flowing towards the students from the teacher. How far a teacher excels in her profession, is definitely decided, at least to some extent, by the kind of students she is teaching. If the students aren't making her push her limits, in the form of asking her more questions, or giving her newer insights into looking at grey areas of law, there are chances that a teacher who needs external motivations to flourish (unlike some who thrive on internal motivation), will definitely start retreating in a collapsing cocoon being woven by her in partnership with her uninterested students!

I wish this trend of negative symbiosis between me and my students changes, and I get some resilient internal motivation to strive and thrive, to work for a better future, to work for a better self, to live my dream of teaching in a better way. I hope I start thriving, rather than just surviving. I hope I don't let my students win over me this way. I hope I get that strong internal motivation to change not just myself, but also them!

Comments

  1. Very well articulated Pranusha. And completely echoes my sentiments - "how far a teacher excels in her profession is definitely decided by the kind of students she is teaching." I taught English language to undergrads in Hong Kong and faced the same dilemma. I pushed myself to make them more interested in learning the language in vain. they rewarded my efforts by voting against me :) :)

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  2. It was a treat reading this pranusha!!i could very well understand your feelings and felt connected throughout because I too am in the same profession now and it's been just couple of months.
    And there is no second doubt as you said this profession gives the at most satisfaction.
    And am so happy apart from being childhood buddies n classmates now we also are in the same profession.
    Wish you all luck fellow teacher.

    .

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  3. Pranusha maam, really loved reading this article,specifically to the part of like the osmotic relationship between teachers and students and vice versa is absolutely true, law students can easily connect to this because as simple as it sounds we like the subject only if there exist a harmonious relationship between the student and teacher. Honestly maam, the motivation to study this subject(family law)is only because your success as a good teacher who drives to inspire us, we as students do accept our laziness at times, thereby effecting out results but maam truly you do push us to work harder and your constant efforts to push us out of our comfort zones and work hard is appreciated. ( loved the title of the blog as well)

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  5. Such a beautiful article. I just am finding all possible words to appreciate you, from the heart. More than just the way this one's been articulated, there is some life hiding behind. It only takes a true passionate person towards her goal, to make posts like this, give life to it. Loved the way you put words to have your readers visually engaged. I felt guilty for the last portion of it, as we people are lazy and impact your progression. Trust me, you will be the outstanding professor we could ever have. So blessed we are. You the REAL MVP. Cheers

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  6. @PRANUSHA, Do you know AKSHATA BHAT. I am not here for the blog, I recently found the purse which had the ID with name AKSHATA BHAT, I tried messaging in FB but not response and found you in the associates list, Please convery the message to the person or contact me if you

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