I have enjoyed being with children since an incredibly early age. I never thought it would guide my path towards wanting to an educator for life. It was never by design and absolutely and definitely by accident. Would love being in a sari and being allotted a class to teach on teacher’s day. Even then I would never go unprepared. And that was the reason why each year the junior classes waited to have me allotted to their class for those 2 hours on the 5th of September for my preparation was to the last detail. Surprisingly, I never took that to be an indication of my love for teaching but always about having a zero problem with connecting with a group of children or individuals. And the adage, which remains my favorite: Chance favors the prepared mind.
Schools, I initially worked in, found my assertion that I could take a session or two for teachers – who often were my own colleagues – in happiness and focus on work or motivation and team building were greeted with skepticism, if not an outright dismissal. Of course, the malady also lay in the managements’ thought processes that an outside workshop facilitator was more effective. A theory I do not concur too. For certain aspects if we have our own staff, preparing and putting up a session, it goes a long way in giving goals to the rest of them. The Hindi idiom: Ghar ki murgi dal barabar (https://www.quora.com/What-does-ghurki-murgi-dal-barabai-mean) – stood true all the time.
After a certain age and time in my career, I did not care a damn because I had introduced the ‘delete’ button in life: Deleted my effort in trying to make people understand or see my point of view. It was futile!
No point trying to analyze this thought any further, for my thought activity of above is basically to establish that being with young minds and encouraging them to excel is what I have always enjoyed. And I have adored it when students call out for me in squealing delight after seeing me in a public place suddenly or writing in, to me after locating my number or simply being in touch always. The icing on the cake is when they profess that I made learning for them so much easier and fun and simple and that they never needed tuitions in the subjects I taught them. That has always made me say: Wow! Thank goodness I have done something right. I have also made some wonderful friends in the team of teachers I have been with and led and it is humbling when they look up to me each time we interact and meet. I am not idolized or worshipped – I am loved and cherished by them which means that I would have touched their hearts somewhere, somehow. Needless to add that they are superbly outstanding human beings, themsleves.
I have always been generous in my acceptance of talent around me. It has never threatened me, nor have I ever felt vulnerable when people around me know more than me or do better than me. In fact, that makes me yearn to learn more, read more, become someone beyond whatever boundaries I have set for myself. And when those talented people happen to be young adults and children, I always try to seek out those educators or parents who have made them thus. Behind every happy, learning child is a down-to-earth focused parent and an honest teacher.
Well, consider that my “-isms” or what you may but it is a proven fact. Look around yourselves and my statement will always hold true.
I featured a young Turk in my second book: The Cutting Edge for reasons enumerated above. I met the child’s mother through a common friend and got to know of the child through friends. It was only subsequently that I met her and what a charming young lady she was.
Recently her mum shared with me one picture of hers which spoke a thousand words. When I saw the same, I was reminded agonizingly of the fate of all those little learners who have been confined to home learning through online classes throughout the last academic session and each of them is finally exasperated.
Charming and elegant Little Miss Siri learns with her mother and reads and understands and is extremely mature but remains the delightful young one which she is. Enjoy your childhood Dear girl and Salut to her parents, especially her mom!
Another young adult, whom I have met only through the eyes of her doting mom loves to write poetry.
When her mother shared a few of her poems with me, I thought that young adults these days love the gadgets and social media and justification of all their actions and reactions from the virtual world, so this was refreshing!
Amid such scenarios when I find young minds indulge in hobbies which are old-school, old world charm then it gladdens my heart. Both as an educator and as a huge advocate of remembering what stood us in good stead in the past and not throw it away for the dazzle of the present.
Being grounded and understanding that everything we face has a basis and genesis in our own behavior and conduct of ourselves is a life skill which needs to be taught in our schools in a huge way. Every time I am faced with a problem, my mind does not reflect nor cry on spilt milk but rather that very instance, it starts looking for a solution. What had to go wrong has gone wrong, then what is the big idea to keep moping about it. A way out, a resolution of the issue is what shows one’s strength of mind. It does not take skill to become wiser & do an analysis of the act or deed at that moment when it has created a tricky situation or hindrance or led to glitch or a dilemma or a crisis, but to find a resolution to it, to relieve the stress and anxiety. The analysis can happen later. And everything apart from life and death has a solution in this world. A strong mind is reflective of one’s character and inner self. We shall be confident in our own skin when we never find the grass greener on the other side.
I see hope in mundane day to day happenings.
When an online shopping experience is made exemplary by a quick response from their team or a systematic order tracking & delivery – hope stays alive that there are still some things we can do honestly without fleecing our own countrymen.
When the vegetables delivered at my doorstep are as fresh as a website promised, day after day, week after week – hope stays alive that promises made will be kept.
When someone helps me to locate something through a phone conversation with my person and goes out of the way to tell me of the other similar products available which will help me make a more informed decision – hope stays alive that help will be extended, not always in the hope of a monetary benefit.
When I see youngsters deal with situations which are atypical from age-old stigmatized practices and break norms while taking those changes to be normal and the ‘new’ usual – hope stays alive that routine and conventional will be challenged for a change towards the better.
When I see my son, now all grown up with his head on his shoulder and an opinion worth paying cognition to yet retain his humbleness and his regards for decorum and respect for other’s opinions and I see those traits in many other children around me – hope is alive that somewhere as parents and teachers, we have been doing things right.
When Hope sees hope, a lot can happen in the future!