By Sandhya Nag:
“Guru Devo Bhava”, they say, and it’s not for nothing that they say this. You never know what you have missed until somebody comes along and fills that gap. Holds spot on in the context of a true teacher also.
Flashback, 10th std: I was a student who always asked questions in class, and pestered the teachers until I got a satisfactory answer. This usually got on the nerves of most of my teachers, and they would label me as a troublesome student. That didn’t deter me in any way, though. And then, I came across two incredible teachers, in the same year, and the amount I’ve learned that year is so much that I can’t begin to explain the influence these teachers had on my life. Academics anyway happen, it’s about the other small things which usually get left out. Those things- Be it instilling discipline in us, or stressing the importance of taking time for hobbies, or acting as role models and guiding us through their actions rather thanÂ Â words, these two teachers have walked the talk, and in a big way. And voila, at the end of 10th std, I was a different person. My attitude had changed for the better, and I was a whole new person with a completely different outlook towards life.
This just didn’t happen to me, it happened to all those students who were taught by them, and it still happens to all students who attend their classes.
Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens, true. And for that, we need teachers who are passionate about what they do, and have some ability to teach. And such teachers are not easily found in our country. Also, education is just touching the grass-root levels in India, thanks to some of the measures taken by the government, but there is still a long way to go before India can become completely literate. Teach India, Teach for India, and many other initiatives are helping us spread literacy, but fact remains that when it comes to the education market, good teachers are very hard to find.
I have seen a few teachers who are too rough on the students, who instead of helping a student improve upon his/her weakness, go about worsening the student’s situation by demoralising them. It’s a real pain to watch the insult take place, when you know how the student could’ve been handled better. A PhD should not be the parameter to judge a teacher, instead, he/she must be judged on the way they interact with and handle students of differentÂ caliber.
This is a call to all of you who know that you can bring out the best in each student or peer, and have a true passion for teaching, please do it. Because, that’s the only way true literacy can increase. Which in a way is going to prove to be a magnanimously important factor for India becoming a developed country. Hope lingers on this one.