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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Teachers are a rare breed of people. Sounds cliche? Well... never mind! They are. If anyone has embraced the idea - leave the tag 'profession' - of themselves as a teacher, then they should go all out like a one-person T20 army: Should give a rousing start, sustain the interest in the middle, be willing to rotate strike for another, dedicated - even if yet not in a state on a given day (because people can have off days!) - colleague, slog it out towards the end, come back, bowl tight both at the power plays, in the middle overs (when the field of students begin to relax), and at the death, as well as keep wickets ! Preparation before class, energy and provocative transactions (provocative not in a noisy sense, but intellectual stimulation) through class, post-transaction inputs till the exam-day! For this to happen, they must constantly evolve, keep themselves in the learning loop by reading from far and wide, be able to connect their learning to their teaching, be open to accept knowledge. They must not whine to work citing mundane reasons or just be content to complete syllabus, have the authority to challenge wrong notions or ideas or understanding of another colleague aggressively, proactively, even if at times it hurts the other ONLY BECAUSE the other is a sloth to learn or egoistic to accept truths, and be humble to make corrections when another superior mind corrects them. BUT... only from another superior mind. How do we identify that? Well, intuitively a teacher would, even if dishonest enough to accept, identify another, superior mind. Unfortunately, we do not have such quality people. You see, why I call them a rare breed of people. They do not and must not necessarily come to work because that money is needed at home. For that, there are other more honourable, virtuous professions! They should not sulk to work. They should not project their minimal attempts at syllabus completion as work done. You are expected to do that. Going beyond that is your job. If one can't live up to these requirements, they must get out of the profession and let more willing minds to enter the arena. If one can't constantly be willing to challenge one's intellectual complacency, they must not become teachers. All other things do not matter. Unfortunately, today's education environment is full of incompetent people who are not willing to accept they do not know and do not want to learn and are happy to pose as teachers. Today's teaching profession to a major extent is only posturing. How can it stay divine? No wonder, students attend tuition. It is an absolute matter of shame to find out that one's students attend extra tuition. It means there is a fault line in our work. We are not going that extra length! I've been lucky to not have students of mine (not necessarily my school, but of those I have taught) go for outside tuitions. Thank you, God!

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