LEARNING TO DROP THAT TEACHER'S ROBE











“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Well, it’s very old and accepted.

How about this one: “When the teacher is ready, the student appears”?

Frankly, I believe, the second one is as old and as profound as the first one… Dare I say this: It may not be as accepted as the first one… but, certainly, it is more profound!

Like all, I have been a ‘classroom student’ long before I became a ‘classroom teacher’. Today, I feel flattered – often get carried away – when hundreds of my students compliment me, wish me, praise me, glorify me on days like today – ‘A Teacher’s Day’… When many of them say that I had been their ‘Best teacher’… ‘Favourite teacher’ etc., I find myself smiling with a deep sense of surprise and embarrassment… It takes me back to my own school and college days…

Was I a bright, brilliant, the Best student during any of those years?

Far from it!

Was I a favorite of any of my teachers?

I don’t think ‘feeling’ so!

But, were there my most favorite, most inspiring… the Best teachers in my life?

Yes, there were and I still remember them.

Today, when I reflect on this phenomenon called – ‘My most favourite teacher’... ‘My most inspiring teacher’… ‘The Best teacher’ etc, I have the simple wisdom to understand how that had happened… Yes, when those teachers came my life, I was ‘awake’… I was ‘ready’…

It is said, “No one can teach you; yet, you can learn.”

Read that again: “No one can teach you; yet, you can learn!”

We all are able to learn from our teachers – both inside and outside the classrooms – only when we make ourselves ‘teachable’. That openness, that willingness to learn is what the readiness all about…

And, have we not heard this: “Teaching is twice learning”?

That’s what fascinates me about my profession… I feel blessed when students feel I have been one of their favourites… inspiring… the Best and all that. But, frankly, there have been hundreds of students, I have not been able to ‘touch’, make any difference… It is just not possible in life.

So, was it because, when the student came in my life, I was not ready?

Seriously, a student does appear in a teacher’s life… to teach the teacher… It’s all about making oneself ready to learn… and, drop that ‘Best-teacher robe’ one tends to slip into, often!

A Happy Teacher’s Day to all my students, who keep me awake and ready… teachable!


GERALD D’CUNHA



Pic.: Arundhati Sen

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