This article is one of the shortlisted stories/essays submitted for Reflections (a writing contest for teachers).
From my childhood, I have always aspired to become a teacher. I really don’t know what motivated me to choose this profession, but pondering over, I attribute my choice to my loving and sincere teacher, Mrs. Ramamirtham.
I would like to recall an incident which happened when I was just four-years-old. One day, I wore my sister’s dress and reached her school. Calling out her name, I walked into her class (those days, village schools hardly had two or three classrooms). Seeing me in my sister’s dress, the whole class burst out into laughter. My sister felt embarrassed. Though she intended to whack me, she refrained as I was very young. I stood in the middle of the class, gazing at everyone.
Before I gave in to my tears, Mrs.Ramamirtham, my sister’s teacher held my hand and spoke gently to me. Her touch made me feel bolder and brought a smile over my face. This gentle teacher guided me and taught me with love and care till 5th Standard and she was my first and foremost inspiration to choose this profession.
I would also like to mention about two of my teachers, Mr.Pakirisamy and Mr.Periyasamy, who were regarded as strict disciplinarians. During my school days, I had seen them walk around with sticks but I had never seen them beat any student.
After completing 5th Standard, circumstances forced my family to shift to Chennai but throughout my schooling I couldn’t find a teacher so loving and caring as Mrs.Ramamirtham.
My students have always been my inspiration. Their innocence and love have made teaching a joyful experience. I being a Hindi Teacher, sometimes tend to err while using English and my students correct me. Many times, I am left awestruck at the exceptional intelligence, talents and analytic abilities of my students. Once I was discussing with my class about caste system, quoting examples of Udipi Temple (where Sri Krishna turned around to face his devote) and Thirupunkoor Temple (where Lord Shiva’s bull moved aside). I asked my students why the Lord, instead of condemning the system through words, showed His disapproval through action. (Though I had asked the question, honestly speaking, I didn’t know the answer). I was surprised by the reply given by one of my students! She explained that it was only because God spoke through His actions that we still have evidence that God was against castism. This incident made me realise that a true teacher is always a learner and what we know is only a handful.
The support and love of my colleagues motivate and inspire me to discharge my duties sincerely. I would like to share an incident to highlight the cordial relationship. It was just before an Annual Day celebration of our school; we were busy with the recording and editing of the programmes. We were given slots to go to the studio to carry out our work. My colleague, Mrs. Rajeswari Sivanandan, was in the studio, editing for an English play. I joined her around 2:00 P.M. and by the time she completed her work it was around 6:45 P.M., after which I started my editing work. Even after a hard day’s work, (whole day, she didn’t take anything), she willingly stayed along with me till I completed my work. The support and help extended by a staff makes even the most laborious work simple and enjoyable!
Dr. N. Srinivasan teaches Hindi in Chinmaya Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School, Anna Nagar, Chennai, TN.
To know more about Reflections, visit http://reflections.reportbee.com/