Monday, September 16, 2013

Teacher's Day, Lesson Learnt

During my school days, I was given opportunities to present Thought for the Day during the assembly session. During one such opportunity I was looking at various proverbs to present. And I came upon this - Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach!

I shared it with friends and we had a good laugh. Of course, I refrained from sharing it in the assembly for obvious reasons.

Couple of weeks back, I realized how immature I was to have made fun of teachers. And how difficult a job they have.

On my visit to my parents place, I chanced upon my niece's Maths test papers. She is an excellent student and a very smart kid. But on that test paper I found a mistake. The problem involved division.

In my mind, it was simple. And I wondered why she could not solve it. I resolved to teach her division. After all, I know division; it is such a simple thing. I scored 91% in senior secondary. And at work, I had trained couple of my colleagues.

But in the process of trying to teach, I ended up scaring my niece and made her dislike me. I didn't have any patience. While I did the sums, I couldn't teach her the basics. I expected her to pick up things just by looking at how I was solving the problem. I ended up admonishing her.

Over the next few days, I realized my blunder. The little girl, who used to like me, now was scared of me. And I started to feel miserable.  

Then, I admitted to my little niece that I was wrong and was sorry for making her feel terrible. Thankfully, the situation was salvaged. And now my niece again looks forward to my visits. On my part, I ensure I don't get into teaching mode. 

Teaching requires not only the knowledge of the subject but also the skill to impart or disseminate it to the students in a manner that they are able to grasp it. A teacher requires enormous amounts of patience. I learnt it. 

Moral of the story: I now realize that teachers are also doers. They just create many other doers. Those doers shouldn't assume that teachers aren't doers.

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