My Inspirations by Jayshree Ravi (Reflections Shortlist)


This article is one of the shortlisted stories/essays submitted for Reflections (a writing contest for teachers).

Inspiration # 1

Come one and Come all,
Listen to my tale so tall
This happened some two years ago
Taught me some valuable lessons you know!

It was September 5th – Teacher’s Day
To my class I slowly made my way
From a distance I did notice
The door was shut, the room in darkness
“Where are the kids?” I silently wondered
Pushed open the door and fell back surprised
As forty-five little heads jumped up from under their desks
Like those scary jack-in-the-boxes,
Nearly startling me to death!
“Happy Teacher’s Day” they chorused and squealed
A lovely surprise indeed my dears
Thank you– my eyes welled up with tears.

However, this tale doesn’t end here
And what I’m about to relate in the next few lines
Shows how a teacher’s job can never be undermined.
A teacher’s job is the reward itself of being a teacher.
A few students ran up to me and asked
“Jayshree Miss, did you get a shock? Were you surprised?”
‘Of-course”, I responded, “Didn’t you see how my eyes nearly popped out!
You all scared the wits out of me! It was a wonderful surprise; thank you so much!”
“No No Miss”, they pleaded, “please tell us that you knew about this.”
‘Knew about this?” I repeated puzzled and perplexed.
But deciding to play along, I chimed “oh yes, yes – I knew about it!”
No sooner had I said that, when a few students turned around
And thundered, “Now, who let the cat out of the bag?”

The biggest, happiest and proudest smile sat on my face
For you see my dear friends, they were the fourth grade race.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I had introduced them to idioms and phrases
And impressed upon them to use it often in their daily conversations
With their friends, cousins parents and teachers
If they wanted to become excellent speakers.

This amusing anecdote soon set me thinking
How true it is that innocent children, always eager to please
Are so willing to implicitly obey their teachers’ words
Even to the extent of “creating” a situation to prove their point.
I wonder if they would do the same with their own parents.
Indeed we teachers are a “Blessed Lot”
To wield such power in the young minds.
Isn’t it then, our moral responsibility
To put our best foot forward and nurture these young minds
With loving care and dedicated work?
After all, we are here not for the perks or the pay
We are into this for nurturing minds in a healthy way.
This little incident inspires me always
To do better than my best, each day all days.

This, my dear friends, is but one incident
There are hundreds of them galore
Tender, touching, awe-inspiring
Who can ask for more?

Inspiration # 2

My second source of inspiration comes from a miracle-worker! The person who gave me my life blood, my first Teacher!
She taught me how to smile and laugh and sing and pray. She firmly believed that prayers could move mountains and oft would say, “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of….” She urged me to keep on appreciating with child-like wonder, the beauty of Nature, the smiles of pretty flowers, the music of the birds…. She instilled in me that great quality of optimism: to always look for the good and bright side of things-whether in situations or people. She taught me to question; question everything that I read or heard. She taught me right from wrong, good from bad… taught me that disappointments and failures in life come for a purpose, and will certainly not be permanent!” This too shall pass”, was her oft-quoted saying. She taught me to be brave in the face of adversity and to never lose faith, even as the whole world is crumbling around you. She showed me how to always live in the present, learn your lessons from the past but not brood over it; plan for your future but not be over anxious about it! She gave me valuable lessons in the art of maintaining loving relationships. She showed me how never to criticize or find fault with people, and how to treat them with understanding and sympathy, putting ourselves in their shoes! “Let go!”, would be her answer to my complaints about people!
She taught me that a career is extremely important for every woman – it gives her an identity, a sense of satisfaction and the economic freedom that comes with it. And just equally important is her family. She taught me how to balance them both well, how to juggle without compromising either, how to don on many caps with ease. She made me realize how family and career can complement each other in our lives. She taught me to find the opportunity in every difficulty that came my way and to treat difficulties as challenges.
She taught me how to work hard and sincerely at whatever you do and do it without expectation of reward. ‘Work itself is its own reward’, she used to say. Materialism was never her cup of tea and aggrandizement was a sin to her. A regular, ardent meditator herself, she would encourage all of us to empower ourselves with this great technique.
An English lecturer by profession, who is now back to teaching Life Skills, even after retirement! A woman with high standards and ideals. A woman with grit and determination. A woman with abundant energy and a zest for living even at 69!
Thank You Mother for being my teacher, mentor, philosopher, guide and above all a great human being.

Inspiration # 3 

And lastly, books have always had and will always continue to have a profound influence on people. Being a voracious reader, it is quite a task for me to put down one single book that has inspired me. I think it is a combination of many books that I have read that has truly kept me motivated and inspired.



Mrs. Jayshree Ravi

Mrs. Jayshree Ravi

Mrs. Jayshree Ravi teaches English at Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, Chennai, TN. 

Reflections 2015 Poster

Reflections 2015 Poster










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