It is been a little over one year since I moved on from teaching.
No teacher I know ever carried a visiting card. I am not sure, if there are some smart teachers out there. But the necessity of it never struck me.
The enterprising student would always reach out ,if there was a debate, speech, drama, skit or compering to be done. Or if she felt that I was unjust in marking the answers in the answer script. In such cases, she would stay back till all others have left,come with a shy purposeful smile ,sometimes pep me up with a compliment before getting to the point,mam,you have given me only 1 mark here, you gave him 1.5! A colleague would usually search me out if a letter had to be written or when a speech had to be given. I have written countless resignations and job applications for others!
The parent always caught hold of me in the parents teachers meeting while narrating the difficulties of managing the child.Sometimes, I had to take up the case of the student with the parent and I invariably said, she will do better next time, give her some time. This made me a safe bet for boys and girls to bring their parent to. And well! for the Principal, I could be reached at any time again for a report, a speech, a newsletter, a magazine or that dreaded minutes of the meeting!
In the very first week of my joining the company,I got a bunch of visiting cards. I looked at them, pulled out two aside to show my parents and tucked away the rest in some drawer. I had no use of it.
Some times at a meeting or at toastmasters, I was asked, could I have your card? and I fumble explaining how I am not used to carrying them. I have been a teacher for long, you know, and we never carried visiting cards. The other person,puzzled at this reaction and would usually extend his and move on with an understanding, sympathetic smile(hopefully!).
As I enter the second year of my corporate career,I hope to learn to swish a card out in style, make eye contact and extend my hand for a firm, yet friendly shake of hands, saying, here’s my card!