Zenia Oresta Lobo, Music Facilitator, Indus Altum International School, Belagavi
A sudden loud statement, “You! Yes, you! I’m talking to you. Don’t look behind.” disrupted my conversation with my partner as I looked back anyway to see who Ms. Katti, my grade 11 Physics teacher; was speaking to; hoping it wasn’t me. Unfortunately, there was a wall behind me as I was seated on the last bench which is a usual trend with tall students. I stood up and got the scolding of my life for about five minutes. I was then asked to leave the class and became the “outstanding student” for the day. I began to despise her with all my heart and thought she felt the same way about me. What was it about her that made me so repulsive towards her? The fact that she threw me out of class that day? Or was is the way she looked? Or the way she spoke to me? Nah! Those were my rebellious teenage hormones acting out. “How on earth could she put me out of class?!” No doubt I was at fault for speaking in class while she was teaching, yet my mind wanted to justify my deed and accuse hers.
I studied in a convent school for 14 years, right from Lower K.G. until Grade 12. I have been taught by so many teachers over the years and have very conveniently put all of them into the “good, the bad and the ugly” category. I obviously never openly portrayed my feelings of hate towards any teacher because of my parents’ chant “Respect your teachers ALWAYS”. Growing up in a family filled with teachers was a blessing to me. I have been groomed well, taught well, inculcated good values and have also been thrashed for my wrong doings which was obviously for my own good. But in the end, I have always placed my teachers at a level higher than my own parents. It is very easy to show your love to a teacher you are comfortable with. But, it takes a lot of effort to show respect to one who doesn’t please you. Even though it went against my grain to really like them – maybe just because she didn’t dress well, or probably her hair was too oily or maybe she had a funny accent. I wonder, ‘Why do we do that? Why do we crucify our teachers based on their external appearances and not value the immense knowledge and wisdom these noble souls have?
This world is becoming so judgemental of everything that is happening around. We just love to throw stones at people not realizing all the effort they put in and the pain they go through to do something good for us. You never know through what circumstances these human beings have evolved in order to be good teachers today. Think about it. Whatever you are today, is all because of the education imparted to you. You are a journalist today, just because a Ms. Dias took extra effort to correct your compositions and story writings and helped hone your language skills. You are probably an engineer today, just because a Ms. Nair taught you a simple funda to memorize your logarithm and derivative formulas. I mean these are just basic examples to imply that whatever we have become is whole and sole thanks to teachers who cared about us and went that extra mile for us and with us. Be grateful, respect them, and maybe write a thank-you note to them for moulding your future. They’ll be happy to know that they have shaped wonderful human beings.
I am a teacher today, only because one my teachers, my mentor – Mrs. Catherine, believed in me and inspired me. She noticed my patience while I taught. She knew how good I was with kids. It was she who saw the spark within me and encouraged me to introspect to find out my true calling. I am happy with my choice of taking up teaching as my profession. Believe me, the joy I get when children learn something because of me and later come and just wrap themselves around me, cannot be compared to anything else in this world. As I sat through the Teachers’ day programme, and watched my kids perform, it brought back so many vivid memories from my own school days when we would put up a show for our teachers.
Unbidden, a random voice strayed into my head, ‘My hand, your cheek, I give big slap’, the voice of my own school PE teacher during PE classes, and a tiny chuckle of pure mirth of fond memories escaped me. We loved him fondly.
As the auditorium filled with great cheer and loud applause, I breathed a ‘Thank You’ to all my teachers – ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.’ – I salute you all!