Ode to Teachers!

Teachers’ Day—is the day we remember the great educationist Dr Radhakrishnan, whose dream was that Teachers should be the best minds in the country. Teachers lay the foundation for creating enlightened citizens for the nation. On this day, I would like to recall a teacher who helped me in shaping my career.

I am talking about Ms. Usha Silas. She was then teaching in Central School, Dehuroad (Pune). She used to teach us English, a subject that was considered to be boring by many of us. She taught us English in classes 8, 9, and 10 and that was when I started admiring the beauty of poetry, understanding literature, and became attached to this language. It happened because of the way Ms. Silas taught us the lessons, the way she explained the poetry to us. I just loved attending her class and hear her explain the lessons, specially the poetries. The once boring poetries started to seem very interesting.

I had always loved the world of books and devoured anything in print (a passion that I learned and inherited from my dad). But since Ms. Silas started teaching us English, the language gradually entered my system. I began to look at it with a different perspective. One of the poems which brought tears to my eyes was Lucy Gray (The Solitary Child). I learned to enjoy the description of nature in the poems by William Wordsworth (which I had always thought to be boring earlier). A poem that was little philosophical, but touched my heart to the core was Ozymandias (by Percy Bysshe Shelley). I just loved the way Ms Silas explained all these poems to us!

I started to write poetries and pen down my thoughts. Then, I did not know what to do with them, but after school, I sent them to the local news papers and have published about 35 articles/poems in a span of 3 years. The way my teacher taught the lessons proved to be a turning point in my life which eventually shaped my profession. Probably Silas ma’m is not aware of it because she intentionally did not sow the liking for the language, writing, and poetry in me. It was the natural way she used to teach.

 I wanted to take up journalism, but instead went ahead to do engineering in Industrial Electronics. The funny thing was that I really couldn’t see myself begin an electronics engineer. But the degree got me my first job as a production engineer in an electronics firm. I worked for over a year as a production engineer. Even during that time, I used to write poems, short stories and articles on various subjects. One fine day (it really was a fine day, because it change my life), I was brooding over what my future had in store for me. I chanced to see an advertisement in the newspaper. It was a requirement for “engineers with a flair for writing“. That was the best combination I could ask for, a combination of both, my educational background and writing that was my passion. I promptly applied for it and landed with the job. Along the way, I discovered this world called technical writing and spent the following years as a technical writer. Very few people (like me) have the privilege to love their job. I have the privilege of combining technology, writing, and engineering all into one job.

 Let me give you another example how teachers can motivate the children. My daughter is now in class 11. When she was in Std 4 in Bishops Co-Ed School, Kalyani Nagar (Pune), she was full of praise for her Hindi teacher, Mrs. Sangeeta Gupta. She told me in her childish excitement, “Mamma, I lost 5 marks in Hindi exam, but still Gupta Miss gave me a hug.” She then wanted to do better in the next term exam. Probably, the teacher herself does not know that this little gesture of hers had unknowingly greatly boosted my child’s morale. My daughter was in all praise for her then class teacher Miss Della D’Souza too. According to her Miss D’Souza was “very-very strict”.  She was also very quick to add in the same breath, “But Miss D’Souza is also very friendly and understanding. She teaches very well. I would like to become a teacher like her when I grow up. I want the children to be a little scared of me, but also like me very much!”  It also shows that today’s children, in all their mischief can differentiate and appreciate certain traits of their teachers.

Children, in their student life spend about 7-8 hours in school everyday. Their life is more influenced by the teachers and the school environment. Hence it is very important that the school must have teachers with ability to teach and love teaching and build moral qualities. Teachers are the guiding lights for the students. The role of a teacher is often compared to that of a potter, moulding the tender souls of the students for a better tomorrow. But very often, we forget that teachers are but human beings. Tensions and stress in their life may sometimes make them short tempered, but still they try to be a friend, philosopher, and a guide to the students.  Hats off to all the wonderful teachers!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi…I am a student of Ms. Usha Silas, from KVSC Pune. any idea where she is now. would love to touch base with her.thanks. SP

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