Here are my reasons for choosing to continue in the teaching profession.
- The power of classrooms. I sincerely believe in the spiritual and life-changing experiences a classroom can provide. I have been lucky enough to be part of some and time and again as I enter another day into my teaching career, my belief in wholesomeness of a good classroom atmosphere in building amazing individuals is deepened beyond doubt.
- Intangible yet life-altering rewards: Rewards of being a teacher cannot be merely restricted to a few thousand rupees which you definitely need to run the home. There is much more to teaching as a career than the measly salary!
- Individual experiences will vary but overall these are the definite takeaways:
- The joy of seeing positive transformation in those you interact with.
- When a student tells you that ‘ it’s my first inter-school trophy, mam’, ‘thank you so much’, tears rush to fill the eyes.
- When someone comes out of the comfort zone and sheds his inhibitions and stands up to say, ‘I have never shared this before, but I would like to share it today with all of you’, two things happen, an atmosphere of trust and respect for the person is built,secondly the person has stepped out of his self-created wall and declared himself to be a free spirit.
- When students express their commitment to social change through speeches, projects, actions, interactions, you feel humbled to be a small part of their journey to self-excellence.
- When someone so different from whom you knew turns up at your door and says, ‘you remember me’, you are stunned into silence and a momentary incoherence. Kabir Gawlani, if I didn’t know how to respond to you, and offended you in some manner,my apologies. I was just too stunned!
- Age does not matter, in a classroom, students of any age, behave just like students. If you don’t believe that, just walk into our PhD classes where the faculty behaves well, just like most students do!
- A sense of life-purpose: Is it the Sanskrit shlokas that pontificate on the importance of the ‘guru’ or the culture or the self-assumed mythology, I am convinced that , teaching like spirituality is a calling. You can continue to be a teacher only because you want to!
Some times classrooms can be toxic, painful, burdensome to both teachers and students. It is best to understand and try different approaches when that happens or may be just withdraw if it is too much for you to handle.
Just like every other relationship, the teacher-taught relationship will also have its highs and lows. On the teacher’s part, it is even more incumbent to remain graceful even in defeat or inability to cope. Malice, never helped anyone.
I have had some very bitter experiences in my early years but I have also had some great times, so when I decided to continue as a teacher, it was definitely because I decided to embrace the positivism and learn to work on whatever was lacking, which was a lot, actually!
Today, though with almost a score into teaching I have come to accept that it is not necessary to be able to bring any dramatic change in anyone. Small self-realizations and experiences to know the self -strengths and limitations are more powerful than a teacher led movement sort of a thing!
In my early years, I did sometimes,think of myself as a savior whose job it was to uplift and ennoble, ha! ignorance! or at least, a feeling that ‘I am so concerned about your future, what a tragedy that you are not!’ but time has taught me not to take so much burden on my not -so-capable shoulders, and not to assume too much of self- importance and that has helped, really!
With daily presentations and speeches and lots of sharing, I am looking forward to my classes everyday, I am constantly impressed by the amazing range of abilities and talents the youth display and profess to own, there is much gratitude to you, dear universe, dear mom, for the 5 rupee application form to the Government Teacher Training College, Calicut and my family for letting me be a teacher, thank you!