Tag Archives: Decisions

I Shall Do That for My Students

I should teach better – that is it. For the past few days I have been thinking about the new methods and techniques I should adopt for the betterment of my students. Although about to round off a decade in teaching profession, I have no plans to settle down contented with the experiences of the decade.

Many of the methods that I mastered in the beginning of my teaching career have become irrelevant or outdated. The students who I teach today were born into the technologically advanced days. They are more proficient than we teachers in many aspects. But there are a few qualities that students expect from teachers irrespective of the age in which they live – the qualities that stand the test of time.

I respect all my teachers for what they have done for me. But just a few of them are adored – for the seemingly simple things they did for me.  

[I am immensely grateful to the following teachers of mine:

Mrs Annie, for the chance she ONCE gave me to run errands for her while I was in grade two!

Mrs Shobana, for the positive comments she ONCE made on my exam paper!

Prof. E. John Mathew, for the effort he took ONCE to comment on the good features of my essays!

Mr. Ramankutty, for appreciating my answers in front of a batch of aspiring journalism students!]

A personal touch matters a lot in any relationship. So why not bring that into the student-teacher relationship too?

All good teachers are not favourite teachers. And all favourite teachers need not be good teachers (considering the quality of teaching). My dream is to be both to my students.

Tomorrow onwards I will have to teach two large classes – class ten and nine with thirty-five and forty-five students respectively. Personal attention to each one of those eighty students – is that feasible? I take up the challenge – cheerfully!

Resolutions I Make – to Break

What did the man, who always grumbled of having nothing to do, do after procuring a job? He took a day off. What did a child, tired of constant surveillance, do when left alone? He tried out all the don’ts. What do I do after formulating a long list of resolutions for the New Year? Take my own time – full twelve months – to breach them one by one, again and again.

The following are the resolutions I have been making for the past several years. Some of them may seem low-hanging fruits to you, but the easiest ones had been always the toughest.

1.  I will beam at the persons I chance on: How charismatically do some people smile! If any one of you fairies out there intends to grant me but one wish I would make a bid for an endearing smile. I do smile broadly within but rarely or feebly does it reflect on my face. May be the signals from my mind are too weak to reach my face; may be the gulf between my mind and my face is that great – who knows! You know, I once even tried giving a slight curve up, to the corners of my lips using the lip-liner. The joker that smiled back at me from the mirror dispirited me.

2.   I will forgo sweets: While my soul aches to forgo sweets, my mundane hands go for them – time and again. That’s all because of my sweet tooth which never lets me resist the craving for sweet.  Consequently many of my sweet teeth are facing the threat of losing their roots. The optimist in me should say: What if they lose their roots, they will get ‘crowned’ – posthumously! Oh, Ms. Pam Ayres, I too wish I had looked after me teeth!

3.  I will cut down on my carbohydrate intake: The great revelations that rolled in to me from the book Protein Power (www.eatprotein.com) made me shift to a protein-rich diet – a revolutionary change that disappointed me with its transience. It is true that every restrictive plan has a calorific binge waiting right around the corner.  I have my valid excuses: impracticability, the family budget… To tell you the truth, how could we, Asians eschew our staple food – rice!

4.  I will grow my hair long: Believe it or not, I once had real long hair. But at one point I felt the long, thick and coarse hair was using up much of my valuable time and decided to crop it. I was also swayed by my short-haired friends. Now often  (in dreams) I plait (the ghost of) my hair the way I did during my college days. My present hairstyle is often subject to frowns and I am fed up answering the question: Won’t your hair grow?

5.  I will make cooking a daily affair: If you happen to take a look in to my home on a Friday morning you would feel like asking: “Expecting some guests?” Because you will find us preparing curries in large cauldrons (I love hyperboles). If resolution no.5 is implemented, it would be a dream-come-true to my husband. He might even bestow me with a Life-time Achievement Award for that. Now don’t think of preaching me on the perils of refrigerated food. What prevents me is not ignorance but mere lack of time and interest. Cheers to that great visionary who invented the microwave oven – women like me could muddle through!

6.  I will drink water till I float: It seems that while I work my thirst indicators conk out. The minute I reach back home I realize I am as dehydrated as the Sahara. I should change the workaholic in me into a ‘hydroaholic.’

7.  I will talk with my parents and relatives more often: Too lazy to make phone calls. The reason is the kind of void I feel in all interactions done through mere sounds or letters. Still I ought to call those dear and near ones at least once a month when I know there is no chance ever bumping into them on the Face book.

8.  I should teach my girl daily and systematically: When compared to the hours I spend preparing teaching notes for my students, what my own daughter gets from me is null. I keep on postponing that task till the eleventh hour as I believe God will take care of our kids, provided we are doing the same sincerely for others’ kids.

9.  I will pick up some Arabic: It is nine years since I have been living in an Arabic country. Still what keeps me away from this goal is the singularity of the script itself – no resemblance with any of the scripts I am used to. I look upon my daughter and husband with amazement as they decipher that dots’n’curves-script.

10. I will fulfil my resolutions.

Resolutions are all about the ongoing tug-of-war between the Good and the Evil (Pandora, wait till I find you in sackcloth and ashes!). So this year I take sides with the former as I want Him to prevail. What about you?