“The bell is not ringing!” This was a frequent complaint during the last two days from the annoyed teachers.
To understand the extent of the problem you need to be a teacher. In a school the absence of bell means a standstill. This is how one teacher reported, “I came prepared for the 40 min class, but even after completing it, together with some activities I concocted just now, it’s not getting over. 40 minutes, this long? What’s going on?” I looked at the clock and sensed trouble. The bell!
The fed up teachers longed to flee the thoroughly enlightened class; the bored students awaited the next teacher for a different kind of replenishment.
Who was responsible? Who had been ringing the bell all these days? Kaka, a hapless victim of the new laws, used to do it. The bell had been punctual all these years and we never noticed the presence, the effort of a human being behind it. We took his service for granted. Now the person has left, leaving the bell dumb and the whole schedule upset.
* * *
The attendant is reminded once again, the bell goes and the each one heaves a sigh of relief.
The situation rings a bell and I recall O. Henry’s The Pendulum:
Nobody heard the click and rattle of the cog-wheels as the third-floor front of the Frogmore flats buzzed its machinery back into the Order of Things. A band slipped, a spring was touched, the gear was adjusted and the wheels revolve in their old orbit.
I reflect: We miss you Kaka. Grateful to you. May God keep you safe, wherever you are!
[Thank you, Julia, for the inspiration!]
Posted in Blessings, Education, Life, Nostalgia, Teaching/Teachers, Uncategorized, Worries
Tagged Bell, Duties, Gratitude, School, Students, Teachers, Thank you
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Many of the methods that I mastered in the beginning of my teaching career have become irrelevant or outdated.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!