My four wise teachers

Today was a day of introspection. As I wrapped up my day of intense training sessions, I was thinking about my own school days. Most of the teachers I had stood out in their areas and I learned a lot from them. But some of them stand out in the midst of the rest, in my mind to this day, for having raised the bar on learning way beyond was required from their call of duty.

My 4th grade English teacher was taking oral exams that day. He called a group of five of us and gave us a task. It was a simple one (now looking back, I’m surprised we broke our heads on it!). We had to find five words which did not have any vowels and report back to him at the end of the class. We thought long and hard, but to no avail. Our little minds missed the trap he set for us. He made it seem complicated and hence we didn’t look for simple examples. I still remember, we couldn’t answer that question. He taught me an important lesson, to look at questions that life poses in front of you and figure out if there is a simple answer to them before you jump to complex conclusions.

My 5th grade Hindi teacher was teaching the lesson on “Kabuliwalla” and he gave us a task of finding out where the name “Kabuliwalla” came from? Again, we students went scrambling looking for clues in the story and our imaginations… we came up some very creative answers but not the right one. The clue was in the name itself! Again, he taught us to learn to look at the obvious without beating around the bush, sometimes the answers in life are staring at us waiting to be discovered but we are too busy worrying about the question to even look at it!

My 9th grade Biology teacher. She taught us the operations of human body so well that I can still visualize the movement of Adam’s apple as food passes from our mouth and how our diaphragm moves up and down as we complete our breathe in and breathe out cycles. Her clarity of thought and communication skill still stand vivid in my mind. Also her way of asking seemingly innocent questions (things we take for granted) and explain it with the most technical of explanations made me realize that the simplest things in life might have some of the most complex explanations. Hence, not to take anything for granted!

My 9th grade English teacher who in her process of adopting the new interactive english syllabus introduced by CBSE encouraged us to learn and improve my vocabulary. She talked about her own learning process in the class which encouraged me to follow suit and in less than a year I had a vocabulary that helped me express my thoughts in the most precise way possible, speak my mind and mean it! I admire her way of teaching by exposing her own learning process. It taught me that it is not important that the teacher need not necessarily be “up there” with every single aspect of learning, even sharing her process of learning can be an invaluable learning experience.


3 Responses to “My four wise teachers”

  1. 1 Anoop June 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Agree there are quite a few people who leave strong footprints in our lives, they make quite an impression and particular incidents / advises as we cross our paths with them keep lingering in our minds for quite long. This reminds me distinctively of one of my previous experiences, my previous company manager was pretty good at the art of people management, he was aggressive, demanding and used to humiliate us, this was only within the team and even the most experienced amongst the 30 was not spared, nobody liked him for his way of management, but all those had a positive effect on f us because we knew we had to be on top of our trade everyday or else we would soon risk the wrath of our manager, it also gave us a lot of courage to face other departments, being a very big company it gave young people like us who were fresh out of college a lot of courage to face project meetings and confidently answer questions posed by the top most manager in the heirarchy. His policy was simple throw us into the water and we should learn to swim instead of teaching the trade slowly, we were sure we would fall, bleed but at the end of the day we learnt something.
    I now owe him a lot because I was a very shy lad when I graduated, all those disappeared the moment I started working/ with him.. My skills of decision making/ time management in particular were honed by him.

  2. 3 aryan's mom June 11, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Ahh..I can remember very well about our Biology teacher and English teacher and her daily task assignment…You are very correct…

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