A teacher tells you, you know what you didn’t know

Jagdish Bali

Opinionmakers@The Hush Post: A teacher has a huge impact on the minds of his pupil. Once during my schoolhood days, I was a bit flustered by concepts of Trignometric — Sin, Cos and Tan. Observing this, my Maths teacher said: “Pandit bhole parsad har har bol.” That worked wonders and Trignometry was no more a problem for me. Similarly, when  BODMAS tickled me,  my father, who was a teacher, explained to me in Hindi: “Pahale kado baladaaniyaan, peechhe kado kaa, takseem zarb ko aml karake jamaa nafee men haath lagaa.” The formula became the shaloka of the Gita for me. During my Jouranalism years, Prof Vepa Rao used to send us on assignments saying: “Lag jaao, Chipak jaao.” These words still ring loud in the ears and act as a great catalyst to move on in life. That is how a teacher builds, scolds and moulds his taught. What a teacher teaches has impressions on students and in turn expressions on society. It is well summed up by Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai when she says: “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Whenever I come across this quotation, I am reminded of the incident that once took place in the school where I was serving years ago. It so happened that on one Monday morning, it was the turn of a little girl of seventh class to speak in the morning assembly of the school. She started speaking on the ‘Importance of Punctuality’. Finishing her speech, she said:  “Every second of time is precious.” No sooner had she finished her speech than the Principal of the school entered the school. He was late by twenty minutes. He had heard the closing remark of the girl. Hearing thus he also endorsed what she had said: “Yes dear students! This girl has said it so well. A second can make or break you.” When the students dispersed after the assembly, I saw them snickering and whispering to each other: “fuh! A second can make or break us, but even twenty minutes cannot make or break our Principal.”

Students are keen observers of their teachers. Out of regard for teachers, they do not speak about them in the open, but among themselves they discuss much about their deeds and misdeeds. The sad aspect of today’s education and teaching is that the students hardly find an ideal role model to follow.

A lesson delivered in the class has lasting impact on the minds of students. A teacher feels proud when on Teachers’ Day some of his forgotten students message him via Whatsapp, FB or SMS – You are my role model, you have always inspired me and made my life. That is the moment when a teacher has the soundest of sleeps and sweetest of dreams. Jagdish Bali (the writer is an award winning teacher and the author of the best seller The Spark is within You)