Why I teach—to be or not to be a teacher

To be or not to be a teacher that was the question that had haunted me for quite some time after I had finished my graduation and my next step on the education ladder had to be planned. I think of that day when I was not yet sure of my career choice and today when I have put in a good sixteen years into it. Believe me I have no regrets, no qualms.

If I say that every period that I have taught has taught me something it would be no exaggeration. I enjoyed my first few years of teaching because my students put me on a pedestal and almost worshiped me. At that time my motivation to teach was perhaps to keep my ego satisfied.

But all that changed when at a graduation dinner a student of mine walked up on the stage and narrated an incident when I had apparently acted in a manner that had changed his perspective of looking at life. He thanked me profusely. It shook me out of my bleak mindset of not considering the seriousness of the profession I had opted for. I did not remember the incident that my student narrated but that moment changed my way of looking at my career.

I became aware of how my smallest gesture could have a great impact on the lives of my children. I shivered under the strain, but surprisingly it transformed me into a very caring and compassionate being. I knew my place in the class was more of a mentor, a guide, an inspirer, a friend, a mother than a teacher.
I have been a pupil in my class learning about life from my vivacious, vibrant students. I may age physically, but mentally, each year I am the class that I am teaching. One has to be constantly on one’s toes and be forever in sync with the students’ thought processes. Putting old wine in a new bottle and at times putting new wine in a new bottle. A very challenging job I must say! But surprisingly it is this very aspect that makes me love my vocation. Like a flowing stream I never stagnate. Movement- isn’t this, what life is all about!
The tear filled eyes of parents telling me how I have helped their child grow, keeps me glued to teaching. Those momentous occasions when I see my student, who suffered from lack of confidence, pass out as the Head Boy of the school, keeps me rooted to teaching. A genuine hug from the child is strong enough to forget all those moments when you did not socialize as there was this lesson plan to be made or correction work to be done. At the end of the day it was all worth it.

I continue to teach as I am aware of my contribution in making good citizens. I imbibe morals I profess to my children. I grow……and grow…..and grow…..but never age. What else can one ask for?


tribhuvan's picture

good article

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