5th September is celebrated as Teacher’s day in India. The first memory that comes to me on Sept 5 is of the Teacher’s day 13 years ago, when I was in 12th standard. In our school Teacher’s day was celebrated every year in a special way. The 12th grade students played the role of teachers for that one day. Each student will play one teacher and he/she would teach the subject and class of the respective teacher. At the end of the day there would be a function honoring the teachers and the student who took the role of a particular teacher would give that teacher a red rose. This happened every year and when we reached 12th standard, all my classmates were very excited about it. Girls have to wear sari, it was the first time most of us would be wearing a sari, so excitement was more among the girls. By mid August our class monitor gave the list of students with the Teacher’s name each student wanted to become that one day, to the class teacher. Best of Mom’s saris were selected, blouses altered and who will wear what was the only talk those days. But later the excitement gave way to anxiety when even on 3rd September we did not get the final student-teacher list from our Teacher. Finally on 4th we were told that, that year our school would not be celebrating teacher’s day. The Teachers decided to not celebrate to protest against some policies and to demand action on some issues . We were heartbroken. On 5th September that year we went to school as usual in our uniforms. But we all were upset and decided to boycott the classes. All the students stood on the corridor refusing to enter the class. Teachers tried to convince us to enter, but we did not budge. They explained to us why they were protesting. All this while I was not feeling that we were doing the right thing. I thought we were being selfish. In our excitement to dress up as Teachers and the disappointment to be stopped in the last minute, we forgot that teacher’s day was to honour teachers. So by boycotting the class and disputing their decision, we were actually dishonoring them. It is their day not ours. It is the day we should show them our respect and gratitude. I convinced my friends that it was a bad idea to oppose teachers on teacher’s day instead of Thanking them. One by one my classmates understood my logic and went back to class and apologized to the teachers. But the students in the other section got irritated, they too had to go back to class but many of them were angry with me for days for ditching them in their protest. I was seen as a traitor by them. But I felt I was right and even now when I think of it I feel I was right. What do you think ?
So on this Teacher’s Day, let me pay a tribute to Seven of my favourite teachers.
1. Kunhikannan sir – he was my science teacher in the 7th & 8th std. He was everyone’s favourite. His teaching style was like that of Ram Shankar Nikumbh’s (Aamir Khan )teaching style in Taare Zamen Par. He would not read out from texts or dictate notes but made learning science fun through day to day examples and funny anecdotes. If we hear a whole class laughing, we knew Kunhikannan sir was taking the class. He never scolded or punished any student, of course there was no need to, because even the worst student found his class interesting and everyone scored above 90 in his class. He is a good singer too and often sang songs on student’s requests.
2. Bhargavi mam- she taught me English in 7th and 8th std. She was the one who brought me out of my shell and made me participate in recitation, debate and group dance competitions. Coincidentally she was my house master too for 5 yrs. She always gave me that extra push that I required to participated in all extra curricular activities. She believed in me.
3. Babootty sir. he was my Maths teacher in 9th and 10th std. While I was okay in Mathematics till 7th grade, a particular Ms. S, my Maths teacher in 8th std, made maths a nightmare for me. I started failing class tests in maths and in final exams just passed with 35% marks. But in 9th std, Mr.Babootty made me love maths again. The way he taught made all the complicated problems very simple. I scored above 80% in maths in 9th and 10th std, all thanks to him.
4. George sir- my English teacher- in 9th and 10th standard. He made learning English fun with role paly and other activities. He too encouraged me to participate in essay writing and elocution competitions.
5. Sushma mam- my English teacher in 11th and 12th std. Every student in school was afraid of her. She had the reputation to be the strictest teacher in school. When we reached 11th std all were scared to be in her class. But I found her to be sweet 🙂 Yes she very strict but only with those who misbehaved in class. I admired her way of teaching and for some time I wanted to be a teacher to be like her. I had written her name as the teacher I wanted to play on teacher’s day celebration 🙂 She made me act in a play for the first time ( and that was the last time too ) in my life, for the school annual day. The title of the play was “The pie and the tart” 🙂
6. Bindu mam- my Biology teacher in 9th,10th,11th & 12th. I loved her for her sweet personality. Me and my friends used to bring specimens of plants belonging to the specific plant kingdom that was taught in the class to impress her. Why we did not think to do the same when animal kingdom was taught is something that puzzles me now 🙂
7. Beena mam- Economics was not my cup of tea. But Beena mam made Business Economics class interesting during my MBA. She engaged the class in active discussions and made us up to date with the economic scenarios. Her class was very interactive.
Thanks to you all my dear teachers, for the knowledge, support and guidance you have given me and the trust you had in me.
You might have noticed most of my favourite teachers are English teachers. Was it my love for English that made me love these teachers or these teachers who made me love English is something I have yet to figure out 🙂