I had decided to study Law after school and my parents had accepted the same. Although, Daddy firmly believed that I should take up 'teaching' as a profession. He thought I would make an excellent teacher and I could always choose whether I wanted to teach in a school or a college.
Mummy was in total agreement with Daddy. After taking my 12 th Board exams, Mummy spoke to our neighbor ,who taught in a school close by, to take me with her.
So, I started teaching. Since I was fluent in English and Hindi, I was asked to substitute for any teacher who was absent. The school was from Nursery to Class 5.
I got paid Rs 300/- per month for 2 months🙂
My first job! My first salary!
After that I never really got around to teaching in a school, although I had a lot of offers and opportunity. I wanted to spend more time with my little girls before they grew up!
Finally when Zinu was in LKG, I joined a small private school, not very far from home.
I was asked to teach UKG. I was the Mother Teacher, so I taught all subjects. Even Art and Crafts! Being new, I was a bit overwhelmed to see 38 kids in the class- age group 5-8. They were all local kids, from different financial and social backgrounds.
The classes I enjoyed most were GK (with or without a Smartboard) and Activity (Dance, Music, Storytelling, Yoga, etc) since I enjoy dancing and singing! The kids loved my storytelling sessions with books/ puppets/ role playing.
When I was teaching UKG, I had a student who was a Math genius. Being from a Marwari family it was probably in his genes! One day he was absent due to high fever. I told his parents not to send him till he recovers fully. He was back the next day. His mother told me he was adamant to come to school because 'Maam tells us so many interesting things, I don't want to miss out on her lessons!' It was a wonderful feeling to be appreciated like this.
There was a lot of content that I shared with and added to the school's existing inventory of poems and stories, most of which came from the previous school that my girls attended .
After a year, I joined another school. The set up was much smaller and I was teaching LKG. Strength was manageable and I was enjoying it!
Unfortunately, I couldn't go back to teaching due to personal reasons.
When I look back, these 2 years taught me a lot. I learnt that I was indeed cut out for this profession. My students loved and respected me a lot and that made me a lot more confident about my abilities. It also helped me treat my little girls with more love and patience!
I don't know if I will ever go back to teaching in a school, but whatever little time I taught, it made me value myself as a person. I made some good friends and some beautiful memories for life!
My mother retired as a teacher. She taught in Govt schools all over Guwahati. I have witnessed her commitment and hard work firsthand during my teenage years and it left a lasting impression on me. I always thought if I ever teach in future, I'd be a teacher like her! She was my role model, as a person, as a woman, as a mother. Her students are still in touch with her and she continues to receive their love and respect.
Teaching, as a profession, is highly underrated in our country. Underpaid and unappreciated, the profession fails to attract youth. The selection process gives more importance to the degrees and qualification, while totally ignoring the aptitude and interest of the candidate. Our archaic education system, totally out of sync with today's requirement, doesn't help the teachers or the taught!
In ancient India, education was imparted through the Gurukul system and till the British ruined our time tested educational institutions and methodology, India boasted of many scholars in all fields- Aryabhatta( Mathematics),Sushruta( Medicine and Surgery), Kalidasa( Literature), etc.
Indian Mythology and history is replete with references to great teachers like Vashistha, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Chanakya etc.
Our children live in a highly competitive world and under a lot of pressure to perform well. Sometimes, the pressure is fatal. While we, as parents, need to understand our child as a person and nurture them with unconditional love, we need teachers who understand kids, love kids and are genuinely interested in their growth as individuals.
Teaching young minds is akin to moulding wet clay.
Teachers play an important role in a child's life.
I am thankful I had the opportunity to do so....