Hello! Any Guru out there?

From: a teacher

To: a teacher

Hello dear teacher,
This letter is to wish you on our day, the Teacher’s day. I know you are wondering if you know me. But, I am sure you will agree a teacher knows all and all know a teacher. So we are connected and know each other being teachers, being together in a profession saluted for being the noblest of all professions.

Let us just reflect together on a routine day of our life. We rush through our morning house routine, worrying about the corrections and submissions for the day at school. We enter our classes rushing to deliver the day’s lesson. We rush out drained and frustrated by those ‘trouble makers’ in our class. If this was not enough, we push through the various events our schools organize. Whatever little we could catch with each other, we can’t finish sharing about that inconsiderate behaviour of that relative back home or about those three dull, hyper and irreparable children we have in each section. Back home again it is the worry of the same things for the next day! This is our routine going over and over and taking us along in circles. And all this to us, the professionals in the noblest of profession!

The fact to ponder here is that on most of these routine days, the child we teach is no where present in our thoughts. I understand you are justified in getting offended – I too got offended when this thought first came to me. But, if we look deeper, we would see that actually the child we are supposed to teach is nowhere in vicinity of our routine day worries. There are students who must learn, who must behave and who must deliver. After all, we all put so much of collective effort in teaching them. We do talk of “my class”, “my section” and “my students”. It is always collective. Individual is only that prodigy in the class who doesn’t need us much, is mostly “arrogant” and largely “unsocial”; or that last bencher who has the potential but not the willingness to do!

How often in last many years of our teaching have we done something new, something different, something more than that lesson plan? Something that has challenged that prodigy in our class or given her an opportunity to take charge for some time and lead; something for that backbencher where he is interested in and feels valued; something to that majority to engage in something more and different? I know. Where is the time, and the energy and support to do all this? But, have we tried? Have we brought and shown the will? They say, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. And isn’t this what we teach ‘our class’! Then how come we are not able to find the way for this will – IF we have it!

We empathize with each other for our profession losing its sheen and its respect. Money anyways was never there here! Technology is adding to our woes by making everyone a teacher. Everyone is coming up with their teachings on everything in the universe. Every nanosecond multiple blogs and videos are being added to the “Google Gyan”. These are all accessible to ‘our students’ with the slide of their fingertips. And we still expect them to listen to the same at our pace and in our way!

Friend, we need to stop being a teacher for once. We need to stop teaching. We need to start learning. Learning to believe in the potential of children, learning to motivate them to stretch and challenge, learning to do magic with them, and most of all learning to give them what no one else can give them – the individuality, the connect and the push to get up and perform. Our role doesn’t need to end with delivering the lesson and conveying in PTMs how the child is not performing. But, it has to be to deliver a mission and convey how the child has improved and started performing.

For once we need to be a Guru and focus on taking each child ahead to the next step, to the next level. For once we need to see a child as a child not a group segment. For once take is as our work, our duty and not a profession. Then only the sunshine of being a true teacher, a Guru will shine upon us.

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