Friday, June 25, 2021

WHAT I LEARNT BEING A TEACHER

In the elite traditions of Bharat, a few centuries ago when it occupied nearly a third of world's GDP, guru-shishya parampara was seen as the epitome of all possible human relationships.
From Patanjali to the Buddha, from Thales, to Archimedes, from Galileo Galilei to Richard Feynman, from Lao Tzu to Rajneesh Osho, from Edwin Hubble to Fritz Zwicky, from Issac Newton to Albert Einstein, from Satyendranath Bose to Ramanujan, and from H.C. Verma to Grant Sanderson- are a few names in my wall of mind whom I grew up with. I'm not very fond of friends, and am not very friendly either, but teachers and knowledge were part and parcel of my life since the time my memory can retain. I was exceedingly thirsty of knowledge, as a result of which I was never an ideal scapegoat for the current education system I am a part of. After more than two decades of my journey here on this Earth, I aptly feel that there was some pre-built push that never allowed me to settle on anything limited and I was always searching- from the absolutely gigantic scale to the minutest and subtlest that human beings have ever reached. It's absolutely alright not to have this thirst from birth. It was just that I was somehow unlucky (or, is it?)

I am still as hungry as I was, maybe I had to tune down my expressions in order to fit with the social square because my work is with people around. There are teachers who inspired me and my thirst more than I had ever expected, there are teachers who gifted me wings of perspective and yet there were many so-called people in the garb of teachers who couldn't tolerate me because of their own limitations of knowledge, or maybe the fear of getting an ego hurt.

In many parts of India, teaching is still considered to be quite a low profile job- something which someone does only if he/she isn't able to do anything that great. But my perception and experience around which I grew up taught me something which is centuries away from the prevalent social picture. I understand this perception is because of incompetence merging with necessity. Because I have an enormous thirst for knowledge, to know everything that is, to intellectually grasp everything that I come across, ranging from pre-history, Geography, Politics, Cosmology, Anthropology, Alchemy, Music, Mathematics, literally anything, anything that stimulated my intellect, the best way I have ever understood it is by teaching it to someone, less for the sake of teaching but more in the sake of learning better, grabbing it clearly. And here from I did realise my passion- an intense passion to teach. I am of that type that I can let go everything on a loincloth and explore the world rather than working most of my day in a firm for some little money. So, there's no question of the later being my profession.

Teaching is an art, and teachers are the pillar of the world, probably one of the strongest pillars. So, in an ideal sense, being a teacher is a big, big responsibility. A responsibility to build a generation of fresh and intense learners, and shaping their future with the hope that everyone lives a fulfilled life. A degree does never ensure a teacher, for the first thing I learned by being a teacher is that I have to be the most interested student at the first place.

My career in teaching started around 4 years ago, right after I joined college. I not only earned for myself, but also was fulfilled in the most beautiful way. Everyday is a new day, in the endless river of knowledge, everyday I can have an empty pitcher to pull out some water from that river. There was nothing more transforming than the identity of teacher I carried around. The second thing I learnt was discipline in maintaining time. I was struggling to have a proper discipline because I never planned anything, every day was kind of random, but being in a schedule helped me to arrange my day in a beautiful way. Being in discipline has helped me in my quest in a more organized way than ever before. Nextly, because of my very limited social interactions, I was very bad in conversing. Many a times, I had situations where I intended to express something but my choice of words made it offensive! Being in a dedicated group of students made me very conscious of my choice of words, and this is something I learn on a daily basis, and it has thoroughly helped me. Apart from that, a huge fraction of the impression that a teacher makes on a student made me aware of response- how to respond to every act of individual students. This involves studying and understanding each student in depth- probably more than he/she knows himself/herself! Every response I make can make/break someone's vision or day. Being extra conscious of this fact coupled with my own terrible experience as a student back in my teenage has really made every interaction into a fruitful and productive one.
Last but not the least, I have absolute freedom to dive into the sea of knowledge, whichever way I want. This is the freedom I have always seeked, and is something that I am fulfilled with. I go on a voyage to new horizons of perspective and knowledge, and feel very satisfied to share it with a broader group- the future of humanity.
Teaching is, and will continue to be the best way I can be a student forever. I am deeply indebted to everyone who paved my way to this journey of self exploration.



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