I started teaching SSC kids English in 2007. I wasn’t supposed to do that. But I did like always, going against popular opinion!
Amma was strongly against my decision to spend weekends with students instead of studying. She, herself being a teacher in Kannada medium, was well aware of its impediments. She was into teaching “field” as she never considered it a “business”. To her, it was a way of saying thanks to her parents who gifted her education. Her argument was that one person from family was enough for the deed. Even my dad’s dad was a primary school teacher and had the most beautiful handwriting of all. At least my dad says so.
Teaching is a noble job. It brings with it this magnanimous attitude that is remarkably different from anything else you do in life. Connecting with kids, hearing their side of confusion, maintaining discipline and conversation on the same line are some of the facets that inject adrenaline on an otherwise dull morning.
Fastforward to 2010, I’ve decided I won’t be teaching anymore. No more sleepless weekends for me. I guess I’ve grown out of this stupid idea of “changing the world” with education. It’s not a worthy fight. Honestly. Every time I came back home, I had pictures of those kids in my mind who never spoke or were too mischievous to even care. It was always good apples and bad apples. On a lighter note, I’m tired of selling false dreams to these students for they’ll learn the way of life sooner or later and they’ll know that it isn’t going to be an easy ride either!
I was the youngest staff member too everywhere I went, be it classes, community school or small-time tuitions. And I’m happy I’m still young while I’m getting away from it to explore unseen avenues like learn French or violin or whatever. Teaching was the best thing I ever did in my godforsaken pale life and like they say, “Once a former teacher, always a former teacher!”