Accountability


Once in a while a question shakes me up and soon gets me on a ‘thinking’ spree. Today it was from a young colleague of mine.

“Aren’t you worried how people would react if you do things differently?”

Let me make the context clear. The topic was ‘how to make the online classes more interesting and creative’. After watching one of my recorded classes she hesitatingly raised this question. And now it has got my brain buffering.

A teacher is supposed to explain the topic, the meanings, discuss the questions and prepare the students for the exams. Fine. The teacher will be paid and no one would point a finger at her. But is that enough? For me, no.

I have two options.

  • Option one: Take my students up to the museum gate and announce, “Hey kids, this is the museum which houses a lot of famous antique pieces and artefacts. Clear?
  • Option two: Get the tickets, lead them in to the museum, and let them have a close look at those curios, and let them bask themselves in that ambience of antiquity.

I would go for the second option.

Fit in or stand out? Follow the crowd or follow our hearts? The latter ones seem more thrilling and acceptable to me, not just for the sake of being the odd one out or to show off, but for the gratification of doing the best for the children destined to be with me for an entire academic year. It demands sheer hard work.

“That is the one unforgivable sin in any society. Be different and be damned!”
― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Each lesson opens up doors to the unseen magical world around us. The possibilities are infinite depending on the creativity and willingness of the teacher who handles it. Is it necessary to walk that extra mile? After all, it is just a lesson meant for some ordinary middle class students. Is it worth sacrificing our precious time and energy for these kids who may never recognize or acknowledge our efforts?

What about the colleagues who are content with the conventional methods? Let them be. There’s nothing wrong in it. I don’t expect others to join me or imitate me, though sometimes I may try suggesting to some. But I give up at the slightest hint of disdain, as unsolicited advice is unwelcome too.

“There is a certain way of being human that is my way. I am called upon to live my life in this way, and not in imitation of anyone else’s life. But this notion gives a new importance to being true to myself. If I am not, I miss the point of my life; I miss what being human is for me.”
― Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism

I shall always remain accountable to my students. The rest will ensue, naturally.

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