A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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The Done Thing…

… out here, is to be predictable, 😀 and do an anticipated write on an honest-to-goodness-you’d-expect-me to-write day. When you’re finished reeling from that piece of hyphenated nonsense, you’d have figured out where you are, and where I’m still not. At. (Yes yes yes, I’ve heard that yada yada yada thingy about ending sentences with a preposition, but that doesn’t stop me from stretching that to acceptable vs unacceptable forms of language usage, you might have heard of. There. I tell ya, there is something immensely satisfying about thumbing one’s rather busybody nose at things. Sigh.)

So yes, we come to the anticipated part. A blog on teachers, teaching, learners, learning, on 5 September, each year, since we recognized the ultimate teacher in Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, statesman and scholar, and an ideal to live up to. (Dang! that preposition hands over the abyss again!)

It’s expected, yes. (Do take a look at the years paraded at the end of this blog. If you manage to wade through this riff raff of words. Better yet, hit Ctrl+End, and look at them years, 2010 – 2015 -no I don’t expect you to read anything more than the hatke blog titles – yet another predictable feature of this space  😛 ) I missed last year. So I’ve got to make up two years’ worth.

We’ve covered the anticipated, expected, the “day”, or rather the reason for it, and now to the honest-to-goodness part. I’ve been pretty much confessional in the 2015 wala post. I need to go a step beyond with this one. Something weighs heavy on this heart, and it needs sharing, to ease it. Or maybe, in the long run, add to it. It shall come, as it is meant to.

Teaching is a vocation. Duh. A noble profession. Double duh. A selfless service to humanity. Duh duh…cough cough cough. It’s been said enough times, that saying it anymore takes everything away from even the etymology of them words. When is the world going to look at teaching, “teaching”, if so, as a profession also? If indeed one looks at the entire idea of having “professional”qualification, and having to take endless tests at different levels to “qualify” to “teach”, then it also follows that one should try to look at the whole situation with  the objectivity of other professions.

Yes, there is more of heart here, perhaps, and a delicacy to the process and progress both organic and linear, in teaching, since we deal in live material, but doesn’t that, in turn make the entire exercise more relevant, and therefore enforce the need to be more professional? Yes, you are now going to tell me about Doctors, Nurses, the Services, the …. do, please continue to enlighten me. Of the entire list you bring in, I hope you realize that “Teachers” are perhaps the most over-worked, and least recognized. Except of course, on Teachers’ Day. And I assure you, one is deeply thankful for it. I kid you not. I am. And I am not being sarcastic. I look forward to this day, because that is when the naughtiest child, as always, ups the most studious, in voicing them wishes. Every danged year. Trust me. 🙂 And I love that. Oopsie. I digress. This post isn’t about me, it is about what is expected.

When you work with live material, such as young hearts, young minds, passions unbridled, potential yet to discover, bushels hiding shining lights, can one even imagine the pressure brought to bear on this one individual, in a class of 30 +? I’m being Utopian here, for most classes in India, except for the exclusive schools, have 45+. I actually have a class this year with 60+. Forget the numbers though. In a class of even 10 children, this one individual in to monitor, administer, counsel, guide, grade, “discipline”, instruct, be a role model, recognizing each individual student’s unique set of gifts, burrowing and digging deep to discover it early enough in the teaching year and fan the gleaming embers to a fire by the end. What usually happens is that the teacher’s tale is on  fire. I’ve been there. It’s a similar story in many places. (No, tale is spelt correctly 😛 )

And yet this individual soldiers on. There is this verse, so called by Henry Van Dyke, that is fished out at will each year to celebrate a true teacher. It goes like this:

The Unknown Teacher -Henry Van Dyke (1852 – 1933)

I sing the praise of the Unknown Teacher.

Great generals wins campaigns, but it is the unknown soldier who wins the war.

Famous educators plan new system of pedagogues, but it is the

Unknown Teacher who delivers and guides the young.

He lives in obscurity and contents with hardship. For him no trumpets blare, no chariots wait, no golden decorations are decreed.

He keeps the watch along the border of darkness and leads the attack on the trenches of ignorance and folly.

Patient in his duty. He strives to conquer the evil powers which are the enemies of youth. He awakes sleeping spirits.

He quicken the indolent, encourages the eager and steadies the unstable.

He communicates his own joy in learning and shares with boys and girls the best treasures of his mind.

He lights many candles which in later years will shines back to cheer him. This is his reward.

Knowledge may be gained from books, but the love of knowledge is transmitted only by personal contact.

No one has deserved better of Republic than the Unknown Teacher, No one is more worthy to be enrolled in a democratic aristocracy, ” King of himself and servant of mankind ”

 

We don’t have these “unknown” teachers much these days. In the times of social networking, the slowly crumbling walls of convention and the easeful way that both learners and teachers interact outside and inside the classrooms, thankfully this unknown soldier now has a platoon from within the peer group as well as from amongst the live culture she deals with.  I sound like a broken record, I know, but I must say it – I know, I’ve been there too!  😛 With great crumbling of walls comes great glasnost, which in turn brings freshness of the spirit, but also blurs lines and either side, teacher and learner, overstep boundaries. Happens all the time. Some are “too friendly” or so they say, some are “too lenient”, or so they say. And those who have always been consistent, unchanging, get short changed. This is because change is the reason for progress. And change is needed. The acceptance and openness that change brings is what changes us for the better. Understanding this is perhaps the most difficult thing.

And finally, there has always been this thing that teachers have been, are and will always be a “partial” people. Partial to the studious, partial to the courteous, respectful of learners, the vocal, in terms of healthy interaction, maybe partial to those who speak, write, “behave” well. And once you are seen to prove this as true through your behaviour, as understood by a series of gaffes, misuderstandings, these come to stay and you get labelled. Duh. That’s one blemish that all the bleach in the world will not remove. No use saying, like Lady Macbeth, “out damned spot” – you have already become Lady Macbeth, who murdered the aspirations and dreams of some young ‘un, in the hope of seating your favourite as the chosen one. But then, that’s the thing about life too. It doesn’t stop, for either party. It goes on… maybe a bit more disillusioned by life, maybe, maybe, but nothing stops that relentless ticking onwards, no? 🙂 I’d be the first to admit that yes, such people do exist, and enough readers here would identify with it. However, there is this small detail of generalization, and most often we tend to throw the baby with the bathwater, in a manner of speaking.

So to all of you soldiers, in this game, The Game of Teaching, remember, if you get that Valar Morghulis, your response is, D.U.H. … Valar Dohaeris . That’s what is expected. That All men, read teachers, must serve, even at the cost of the inevitability of not being able to live.

But you know what? I’ve this anagram, deeply personal, that a friend had given as a life saving strategy. FTS. I love being where I am, profession-wise, and if I had to go over the years and be asked what I’d change, I’d still opt to be where I am. That, by itself, tells you, that learning, which is a part of teaching, and teaching itself, is all of the above, and some, and pretty much something I’d want to do again. Amen, is all I’d say. 🙂

That said, let me wish each member of the profession, the support staff, mentors, coaches, life gurus, every person who has touched your life in some way and helped you learn some danged lesson in life by commission or omission, a fruitful day 🙂 May you all touch more lives with the goodness of your being. May your learning never cease. May those who learn with you be guided by you onto paths that call to their hearts. May you instigate curiosity, temper their souls with a sense of adventure, shake the stupor out of their limbs, and make them want to scale their own aspirations with a zeal they never knew they had. Just show them that they can do it. They will. Then. That, you can be sure of! (yippeee, 1500+words, and a preposition to finish it off! 😛 )

5 September, 2017

Earlier posts on Teachers’ Day. Click on the year to be transported therewards 😀

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

P.S. References to GoT’s Valar Morghulis and Valar Dohaeris are universal in nature, and to be seen as a deliberate attempt to spice up a rather dreary blog. Thank you, if only you read it to pooh pooh it 😀

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The Ogre turned Teacher

… or so the Ogre thinks 😛

Long, sometimes confessional, post alert* That’s bound to get readers in, for there is nothing more tempting than confessional confetti candy, even if it be spicy enough!

At the same time, I must admit that this has come about after an interesting conversation I had recently with kids who had been in my class, or their siblings had. Insightful as always, you know, talking to them kids, and listening, for a change 😀

It began with one of them saying how her sister remembered me from the Primary School – my “beating” so to speak. I had to grin sheepishly.

As with how it has been with very many from my profession, I too used to use either my hand or a wooden scale (a sharp tap below the knee, on the calf) in my own formative years as a teacher. That, combined with my deadly stare has made me a terror. As I told this young lady, it certainly isn’t something I’m proud of at all. I wish I had not, for I knew, even then, I hadn’t a need for it. Still, that is the way  it has been. Probably the first few years there, in the Primary, I did use corporal punishment, till one day I was summoned by the kind-hearted, extremely humane Principal we had back then, who told me of a certain young girl (who was NOT, by the way, at the receiving end 😛 ) being “scared” of me. Gopalan Sir was circumspect, understanding, and gentle in the way he told me of this. And that was the turning point. It finally came home to me that all those thoughts I had while using the scale, or my hand, the discomfort of it all, needn’t have to be at all.

They say it takes a kind word to transform an ogre. For me, even though these days I am still an ogre who roars 😛 , Gopalan Sir has been that catalyst. He is someone I admire for his rational view, his endless patience and empathy, his love of all the members of his school, student or staff. It has been over 13 years since he has retired, and we meet quite often at school meetings, or weddings/functions in and around the city- each time it is with such affection and respect that he is greeted, by me and all the students (former) and staff.

Since that talk with Gopalan Sir, the extent of punishment served by me to the kid/kids is to decorate the wall, as I put it, joining the child with it 😛 (to stand against some corner or wall 😀 – and I’d be standing with the kids for the entire duration 😛 ), for corporal punishment is indeed against all things humane. I have been privy to a lot discussions on the same, from the fraternity, and from the stakeholders of the system, primarily parents. There is a sense of having “lost” something, for many, these days, without being able to “beat”. While I may seem to pontificate (and how ironic is that, coming from someone who was guilty of the same before! But you know what they say about reformed ogres and rakes? 😛 ), one thing is clear: very many, both parents and teachers in schools alike, are of the opinion that for discipline and learning to take place, there has to be a fear factor. That is to say, if the student is suitably afraid of what you might say / do, they will “study”. The sad thing? It works most of the time. Ask kids why they study a certain subject obsessively! To counter this is another school of thought – the Love factor. This one works primarily from liking and loving the kids/ learner group. We know how well equipped we are with that!!! Easy to say, but rather difficult to do. Instead we mouth things like – they have no base, such a* useless, what’s the point when you smile they sit on your head and will not listen to you evah… yada yada yada…. 😀 I speak of what I hear, and know, dear readers, as you all too must be aware!

However, in all of these situations, there is a learner group, we know, who is waiting to do just that if you allow them to, at their own pace, however that might be, even if it is not to your liking!!! I have a questions/ranting here!

  1. How many parents would in any way encourage their kids to become teachers, these days?
  2. How easy it is to pick holes into the fabric, hard woven, by either parent/teacher of the learner in their care!
  3. How many teachers are there, who love what they do? And the learner group with it?
  4. How is the larger system addressing the situation of the marginalized group in teaching, eulogized once or twice each year?
  5. Finances are just as important, but then teaching is to be seen as a noble vocation, and no matter what remuneration you receive, don’t you DARE think of perks, just the noble vocation!!! 😀
  6. Thankless job it is, say many! You now get it from Management/HMs/HoDs/Students/PARENTS – only you are there for you. Why should you take the risk?
  7. Oye! I’m here to “teach” – you learn, understand? I cannot be bothered by what’s going on in your home! Or, if you are concerned, it can become added stress when you involve in a domestic battleground, and your heart bleeds, most especially for the child, when you feel helpless.
  8. Teaching? That’s easy peasy? Who’s going to do the endless grading? The marklists? The organization of the Zoomabastically Phantastically Amazing Awesome Cultural/ Physical Education/ Management sponsored / Inter-ballistic School stuff? I mean the “gombetitions”??? Multi tasking is only one tiny tip of the deadly iceberg called teaching!
  9. Yeah yeah yeah! Shut the effing up is best, because once you voice your opinion, you get to market it, manage it, plan it and implement it. You see why many will be silent???

Sooooo… as Nivin Pauly goes, in “Bangalore Days” it ain’t just the consideration of the student population of which there is still a deliberation as to whether the situation is to warrant a explantion of such underrated aberration and dingolification of things without a least notion… you get it?

Yes, I’m still an ogre, but I shall tell you which kind. As a young lad in class 6, gazing horrifically when I confessed my true nature of being (ogre… duh!) said, Teacher! NO! Seriously! Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, Ah! Like Shrek? Laughter exploded in the class! I joined and said yes, now, a bit like Shrek, because I don’t eat kids no more 😛

And finally, if there are those who read this and know of those who have been at the receiving end of the corporal punishment I had, in the Dark Ages, doled out, please convey my apologies for the same. I have, not much, by way of memory, but certainly those kids would 😀 If it were to make a difference to way I had been, this is the one thing I would most certainly change about the way I was! To my own two kids too 🙂 ❤

But. Would I want to change what I am, and how I am? Nyet. Nahin. And emphatic No. For being with the learner group has given me something I know I’d never, ever, ever, EVER get any place else. A sort of affection, that is hard to come by, esp. if you’ve been an ogre or no 🙂 ❤

Happy Teachers’ Day to everyone who teaches, mentors, guides, coaxes, persuades, nudges, niggles one to learn something, each day, or whenever possible! The world progresses because of such people!

********

“Teacher” Tattle covers most of the 5 Sept. posts here 🙂

Last year, on Teachers’ Day: LINK – and at the bottom of that page you can see the posts from the previous years 🙂 😀 Sigh. No escape, I tell ya 😛

P.S. Added here is an album of scanned images of perhaps the best bio ever, of a class and it’s class teacher. Made lovingly by my previous class (of the AK47 fame 😀 ) So you see, even Ogres have their redemption, when they reform. Other than Shrek, ie 😛 😛

Click on the images to see the writing, which is awesome, as awesome as the art work, which, if I am not mistaken is Harigovind’s? The ideas, of course, are…. I know whose all… 😀

1. The Cover page

1. The Cover page

2. The Fairy Tale, errr... begins!!!

2. The Fairy Tale, errr… begins!!!

3. The Hook!

3. The Hook!

4. The Plot Thickens!

4. The Plot Thickens!

5. Allusions galore -

5. Allusions galore – “obviously” – had to be!!!

6. The not-so-forever-after. Obviously!!!

6. The not-so-forever-after. Obviously!!!

7. The Amazing Likeness, in the fantastic close, to my AK 47

7. The Amazing Likeness, in the fantastic close, to my AK 47

2-5 September, 2015 for 5 September, 2015.


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GenX Teacher, Anyone?

We’re already here, the GenX and the “teachers” of the GenX. As an alleged member of that profession, “teacher” that is, I must attempt to define my take on it. Please be advised to bring a huge dollop of your sense of humour, and keep an open mind. It’s absolutely essential when you read what you are going to. As our beloved Lalettan has already mouthed, in his much admired role of Dr. Sunny in “Manichitrathaazhu”, I shall attempt to break all conventional rules of  yada yada as far as the perceptions of today’s teacher’s role is concerned. Please also be aware that this here is only a pretend teacher, who is going to have a whale of a time, giggling all the way. Duh. 😛

A moot point here is: does the GenNeXt need a “Teacher” to teach at all? This has been variously perceived and every single inservice workshop I have attended, has attended to this point – rather creating awareness in us, of our extremely delicate role – fragile really when you think of how SO indispensable we are NOT. Pulled a double negative on you in case you did not understand. Try doing a math on that. 😛 My holsters are free, and my hands are itching to give a shot a go – after having done one bundle of papers so far. Which is why I treasure this, from D (psst, his blog is here –LINK )

His words when he shared this picture on FB: "And, to think, there are good souls out there saving us from THIS! Thank you, Sensei :')"

His words when he shared this picture on FB:
“And, to think, there are good souls out there saving us from THIS!
Thank you, Sensei :’)”

Thank you for joining in the shared laughter.

Yes. I am a self confessed Nazi when it comes to correct grammar and spelling. Unapologetically, but not fanatically so. I mean, if a Nazi cannot be fanatic, well, that’s me 🙂 Back to the neXtGen. 🙂 They certainly do NOT need one for the Grammar; enough interaction, meaningful ones, online will soon wise them up 🙂

So? Maybe …

1. Parents are too close to make  objectively subjective learning happen?

Case in point, the kind of attention, too much of it, that parents tend to give, sometimes smothering them entirely, is relieved to a certain extent when they are but one of the many in a classroom? Take a look at this one 🙂

I like the term "individual neglect" :P

I like the term “individual neglect” 😛

Though, for a fact, I know of some teachers too, who do smother 🙂 🙂

2. There is a need for directions, sometimes, even if you want to get lost?

8

And who better than a teacher, to ensure she/he gets lost in the right direction? It CAN happen – has happened, I KNOW 🙂

3. Something, there is, that wants you to do it… your heart says so 🙂

I love this one!

I love this one!

4. .. sometimes they DO need you to tell them things … even though they CAN look it up themselves!

:D

😀

5. Because you do have these convictions, like Miss Wormwood, even though you aren’t hemmed by it? And you love that Calvin in your class! (Pssst. I have one, and if he’s reading this, I hope he knows too ❤ )

:)

🙂

6. Because there is a joy in the crazy crazy absolutely weird explanations that come! I know, as would a whole lot of others in this “profession” know too… 🙂

Tee hee :)

Tee hee 🙂

7. They don’t really need you to learn content, but yes, courtesies? Respect? Be inspired? Like we were? The teacher is certainly not God, not anymore, thanks to Google, but a committed teacher most certainly is a fine role model – especially if she/her is the sort who does not impose herself upon the learner – like this one. NB – the notions of the cartoon below are just for the laugh. It is amazing that I do know people who make this happen – let kids think, for themselves 🙂

!!!!

!!!!

8. there are times when the class is thisaway, and your thoughts are OHMYGODWHYAMIHEREways, you still want to be there, and make a difference. 🙂

Classic!

Classic!

In fact, if not in my class, I know several whose classes are ALWAYS this way, except when they are taking a test 😛 😛 Students (of whichever school 😛 ), I know will instantly connect 😀

9. one sometimes needs to teach a “lesson” or two in paying attention? 😛

Hahaha!

Hahaha!

10. Or help solve the identity crises that are as contagious as are rampant these days? 😛

2

Homeschooled, informally schooled or not schooled perhaps – education does happen; it is this natural learning, that I believe, should happen, learning for life, instead of for examinations. However our system is yet to be equipped to meet that particular challenge, though there is an attempt at it.

Last Saturday, on 30 August, we had a wonderful workshop on a topic so terribly important this day and age. A topic that has been introduced as a one period a week subject – Believe it or Not – Gender Sensitivity. The funny thing was that the period had been included in the timetable, but sufficient training was not done – as in the case with all of CBSE’s endeavours. They act , then wait for the reaction, before then supporting their act 😀 😀

However, this very important and pertinent topic was addressed by CBSE’s Resource Person, who is also a psychologist – Ms. Usha Anand. The full day session was an eye-opener, even for me, who prided myself for being very open minded, and gender sensitive! One interesting exercise, to kick off the day’s business was identifying 10 adjectives each, in our groups, to describe a girl, and a boy. Teacher’s given such work, are enthusiastic, judgemental and over-the-top! She asked us to share the words for a girl first –

Sample this: modest, shy, responsible, honest, pretty, long hair, strong, sweet, yada yada

Then she asks, aren’t boys shy? aren’t they responsible?, honest?, have long hair?… you get it, don’t you?

Dumbfounded. That’s what we were! We spoke of equality and equity – distinctive! We shared experiences from our own classes, did role plays where gender stereotypes are enforced, or broken (rarely!) and all the while we (at least some of us) learned!! At the end of it all was the reality check: You won’t achieve all of this in this year, she said, in fact it is going to take years! But. BUT, what was most important was that we needed to re-think first, before we even thought of taking it to class- start the process, at least, both in class and in our minds, and let it work its way through. Unless we opened our minds, nothing was going to happen likewise. Truly enlightening. Whether it is going to happen remains to be seen. But the seed is sown, and in a fertile, giving mind and heart, it will take root. I take hope from that!

Wishes for the day, to all those who teach, who mentor, who support and scaffold. To everyone on each School’s staff, both teaching and non teaching; you oil the wheels of the future of the nation! May you do that to the best of your ability! God Bless!

To the students, learner groups, everywhere- YOU are the reason we are. Thank you, for you. 🙂 ❤

2 September, 2014, for 5 September, 2014

****

All these excellent cartoons belong entirely to their owners – and I’m sorry I couldn’t ask personally, for permission to use them – all copyright to the rightful owners! I merely googled the title, and then teacher cartoons 😀

When I googled images for the post, my first set of keywords were the title itself, and it took me to this blog. You’ll find it interesting reading: Gen X Teacher (link)

Also, this is blog tradition – doing a Teachers’ Day post each year 🙂 The previous years’ posts are given below. Click on the year to read 🙂

2013

2012

2011

2010

For more Teacher Tales, on this blog, check out the new tab on the Menu 😀 “Teacher Tattle” or simply click HERE 😀

*** Edited to add, on 5 Sept 🙂

I was sent this power point presentation, by a young lass, who has been in my class only a year, a couple of years ago 🙂 With it came the instruction that I was NOT to open it till today morning 🙂 Am really touched, Sreelakshmi, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing it here 🙂 🙂 Click on the “FOR YOU” to see the ppt 🙂

FOR YOU


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A Teacher Is

… what her students make of her

… what she inspires, more than what she does

… just another obstacle on the way to growing up 😀 (more so for the teacher herself 😛 )

tchrrs

 

… unforgettable; errrm… eminently forgettable?

… someone who hounds you, but can never get at you the way your parents can!

… a person you can hound, relentlessly too, provided they’re not of species that porcupines are part of, and have blunt quills to let fly 😛

… awe-inspiring on a day she is inspired too; or sometimes on a day she completely loses it, and lets loose a barrage of words you can only admire open-mouthed because you simply cannot comprehend anything other than the fact that she is MAD. 😆

… surprisingly nice, when you’d always thought otherwise; when she drops that mask, and smiles at you 🙂

tchr

… is an all-knowing deity, sometimes, especially when you’re in Class 1 🙂 ; or just another dumb blonde who did not ‘get’ that question you asked, about Stephen Hawking and his query on ….? 😀 

… someone you don’t want your parents to know, too well, anyway 😀 ; the further they keep from each other, the better all around 😀

… a budding-romance-killer 😀

… heck! a terrorist, a kind you simply cannot arrest or even complain about, to the ATS. Sigh.

… criminally more language proficient, or criminally less. Either way, it’s a no-win situation for the recipient of the language skills session 😛

… a lot, a little, more than what is, and sometimes way lesser than what one thought…

But, a teacher is …

… nothing much finally, unless she thinks so 🙂

teacher-quote-apple-back-to-schoolpic

*****

These are probably some thoughts that periodically go through the minds of the learner group, and sometimes teachers themselves. It’s funny, but rather real too, some of them; and having been part of the teaching – learning activities from both sides of the proverbial teachers’ table, I can well attest to the sentiment, or lack thereof expressed 😀 A slice of life in school, if you wish 🙂

But, on a serious note, back to that first line. This is something I have always deeply believed in. Many a time (ahem! indeed, it has been so 😀 ), when we’ve had interactions with parents, they speak of how highly the kids speak of us at home; it’s one thing to take it at face value, but another to believe fully. Each time I have been told this, I always say, and mean it too, that if there is something to be appreciated, it has to be because of the kind of learner group, or the learner himself/herself, that made it so. Appreciation is a two-way street; it has to be, for it to work it’s magic! And I can personally testify to that. I’ve learnt, and still am learning each day. Sometimes, it’s the only way to ‘teach’.

Interestingly a quote that I made a cover picture on FB went like this:

“Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine, should be.”

Arthur C. Clark

And so it is. In this day and age of information explosion, the only reason why teachers are needed, is to help the learner group wade through life; and that can come only from a dedicated and committed group. Much is being touted about ‘value-education’, and HOTS (HIgher Order Thinking Skills); why only teachers? Anyone and everyone that the learner group interacts with, at home, in the community, each person is just as responsible for the development of these, don’t you think? Of course, the argument being that the majority of the child’s waking hours being spent in ‘school’, it is then quite unequivocally on the teacher to ensure it, is, I find, a poor excuse to avoid accountability. This argument, I know, will, like that Ravalgon advertisement, of yore, continue … 🙂 And then again, the same ‘teachers’ ‘ value system, is it infallible? Or are they equipped with the skill set to infuse the HOTS, in their learner group?

Just a couple of days ago, a former student, Srikanth, who has just finished his Engineering had come to school, and he expressed a great desire to be part of the teaching process; interestingly he mentioned that it would not be immediately, but only after he had some experience in the field, for only then could he be able to relate the content of what he would teach, to the  environment to which his learner group would exit to, Now that is one teacher whose class I would like to be part of, absolutely 🙂 🙂

There are teachers who give of themselves generously, and those who demand. The Mahabharata exemplifies one such teacher – Dronacharya, who demanded of Ekalavya his thumb. A more un-guru like action could not ever be there, even now. Such teachers still abound, and where the proverbial thumb is not demanded, sheer bias and partiality work their poison. Sad, but true. And fewer still are the Ekalavyas of today – who would rather shrivel up and cease to exist, or maybe take the deviant path of letting all hell break loose. The devotion of the Ekalavya of yore is debatable, in its result; a teacher has no business being partial, even though it is purely human that some form of it does influence her. However, there is still to be maintained a stern and unwavering faith in one’s own ability to do the right, by each and every person who passes through one’s time, whether in the Classroom or out of it.

Finally, this here is a  tribute to all the wonderful teachers I have had, and have had the good fortune to know, and work alongside 🙂 🙂 To some of the most awesome parents too, mine, to start with: Here’s to you all!

tchrss

Google Image search threw up some wonderful quotes and pictures for ‘teacher’; and I’ve used some of them on this blog, for they say so much better than me, what I want to 🙂 All the pictures here belong to the owners of those creations; I’ve merely aired them here too 🙂

Today, I remember, with poignancy, and with a hint of mischief as well, 5 September, last year, when we had a meeting with some members of the Management, and our interaction with the legendary Dr. T. I. Radhakrishnan (link), who is no more with us. Yet another Dr. Radhakrishnan Sivan (fellow teacher at a sister school) and I were the recipients (lol, no award this! 😛 ) of questions, put by Dr. T. I. (I’ve recounted that incident on the blog dedicated to him); and how I googled the answer on my mobile 😀

Happy Birthday Dr. S. Radhakrishnan!

Happy Teachers’ Day, to the fraternity, the sorority, and to mentors, everywhere 🙂

May more such teachers continue to be sources of inspiration for us!

 

 

4 September, 2013, for 5 September, 2013

Related posts 🙂

Teachers’ Day 2012

Teachers’ Day 2011 

Teachers’ Day 2010


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“Discover Wildlife! Be a Teacher!”

… so goes a quote, anonymously posted, that I discovered in my casual stroll through the WWW yesterday! I was totally captivated by it, and immediately shared it where it would reach a wider audience, especially those who have the taste for the hatke. Obviously, Facebook 😀

In the comments sections, produced herewith, with the help of a screen shot(click to enlarge pic 🙂 ) is a telling reminder of how much fun it is (Leenuka 🙂 ) and how we can even discover new species in our adventures 🙂 (Abby!)

Ok 🙂 So that may not show up clearly, but I so liked the responses from two wonderful people I know there- one of whom is an awesome teacher I look up to, and am a big big fan of! Abby 🙂 (((Hugs)))

Doing a post for Teachers’ Day is also getting to be a tradition too for this blog 🙂 This in 2010, and this one last year. What more can I add? I guess enough to make me want to write something.

From way back, in school, I’ve always loved Teachers’ Day 🙂 The day when Teachers were not teachers, and the fun we had with student teachers! How, on that day, our Teachers were ever so charming, and approachable, and how we could take liberties with them that day…. 🙂 Times have changed since then, of the perception of a teacher in class.

Teachers are not just approachable now, but I guess more vulnerable too 😀 You don’t really know what’s coming at you… either child or parent or the Administration! That is only the tip of the freaking iceberg that keeps growing, global warming in the teaching community notwithstanding! (And I am not even going to go into the fiscal aspect at ALL :D). And still, no matter what, I love what I do. That is enough for me 🙂

This is not going to be an organized and neatly compartmentalized post, let me warn you, before you get too deep in here. This one is a lark, a happy lark, singing to itself, a paean to itself 🙂

This is a tribute to the teachers who shaped me, and made me look at myself as a being with potential. I know for sure that what I am is because of them! It is not for nothing that Henry Adams wrote of teachers:

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. “

I know I still do things today because of something or other that has influenced me, in my own days as a student in college, or in school 🙂 We all do, I think! More so, when we rebel! 😛

Yesterday, during that stroll through various quotes available on the net, I did discover a few that I do want to share today 🙂

A teacher’s job is to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well grounded” ~ D Martin 

Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself 🙂

Teachers touch the future.

There are three good reasons to be a teacher – June, July, and August.  ~Author Unknown
(in this case let me make it April, May, and 10 days each during August-September, and December!!)

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This particular post as I have already mentioned is a dedication to my own teachers from school, and from college, and one particular awesome teacher from College – Dr Shoba Venkatesh Gosh (She used to be Ms Shoba Venkatesh in college 🙂 ). Early this year, when I came across a search term, with her name on the dashboard of my blog, I made an effort to google and find out more about her! Was very very elated to make contact through an organization called SPARROW, to discover she is now a Professor of English at Mumbai University! Woah. Made my day, entirely… 🙂 Went back to being the adoring kid in her class, and wrote out an email, an adoring email, of course to her… a part of which I have shared below! Well so much for being a teacher 🙂 I’d rather be her student any day!

I quote from the my email (dated March 7, 2012) to her: “The other day, while writing in another of my rambles on my wordpress blog, I mentioned your name, as someone who has been an all time inspiration in life. And today, while going through search terms on my blog, I saw your name, and immediately decided that this had to be the day I would delve deep into the virtual world for traces of that memory, and see if I could find you, however virtually. 

 
So I googled Shobha Venkatesh Ghosh ( I remembered that part too!); and was shown many links, all referring to Dr.Shobha Venkatesh Gosh. Had to be you, of course 🙂 And you still look awesome, the self same tall, lissome and attractive lecturer I used to look forward to listening to in class, in JNC! (saw a few pictures on SPARROW’s webpage) ( Do you still do theatre?)
 
I do realize you would not be able to place me, neither would you remember what I looked like, for I was that eager beaver average ordinary (all said in one breath! :D) girl who hung upon your words in class. A sure case of adoration, one I still  have to get over! Sorry to come on so strong!! After all these years 🙂
 
Coincidentally, I am a teacher. A school teacher. English. (which I took , after doing Science in PUC, because of a sure and defining influence of a certain lecturer!). And each time a student who has finished school comes back with kind words I think of you, and even otherwise. I’ve quoted your name n number of times when asked randomly what inspired me; first and foremost it has been you 🙂 Glad that I can, at least now, let you know all of this 🙂 Your rendition (if I could call it that! It was a class act!) of Pontius Pilate still lingers, and though I have lost the words, thinking of your performance always brings a smile!
 
I shall not embarrass you anymore. I’m glad I could get in touch (provided of course you do get to read this schoolgirlish mail, from an almost 49 year old who refused to grow beyond 12 – that’s a private joke my son and I share 🙂 ). 
 
I hope too, to be able to mail you again, on occasion, if you would not mind. It’s great to know that I have been able to at least make a one sided contact.( Dear me! Provided, of course, that you are the same Shobha Ma’am.)” Unquote 😛
What pleased me more, made me more overjoyed that words can tell, is her reply, and the fact that somewhere she did have a fuzzy memory 🙂 🙂 What does one say to such “thrilled to bits” feelings that well up? 🙂 🙂
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To wrap up, here’s the song (lyrics in the description area) from the film “To Sir, With Love”, iconic as far as inspiration for teachers go :); sung by Lulu, years after she first performed it for the film itself, in which she acted, as one of the students. Evergreen inspiration!

Happy Teachers’ Day to all those who, each day, knowingly and unknowingly are part of the teaching process… so that is ALL of you 🙂

4 Spetember 2012, on the verge of 5 September, 2012
Teachers’ Day 🙂