Teachers’ wishes. These two words bring a smile to my face. I am sure they do to you too! The truth is, all of us here have been brought up by our ‘teachers’. However mischievous we might have been, people who have taught us, inspired us, and helped us cannot be forgotten. It is because of these special people every moment of my life and learnings is vivid in my memory. If it was not for them, I would not be where I am today. Most importantly, life would not have been as much fun without them!
We all associate the term ‘teacher’ to schools and colleges. However, I would like to extend the meaning of that word, as I have come across many people who have taught me in my circle of family, friends and relatives. Right from the time I was born till date, I have been taught, helped and nurtured by many such great teachers. This Teacher’s Day, I would like to touch upon my bitter-sweet experiences that are etched in my mind and also make you re-live your memories, as you read mine.
The first incident I remember was the experience I had during my Kindergarten days! My teacher, Miss Jayanthi, came to me and said, “I know your Dad really well!” At that age, I got really excited that a teacher knew my father well! It was only after I made mistakes before her that I realised how dangerous it was for a teacher to know my parents personally. Those were my first lessons in social interaction that shaped my behaviour.
My Primary years were a lot of fun. Thanks to the teachers who made the classes so lively. For instance, we had an amazing music teacher, Miss Meena, who taught us a delightful set of songs! She had a special knack of riveting the entire class so much that she is spoken of even today by all of her students. I was impressed and amazed by what some teachers can do by mesmerising 30 odd children with their skills. When I teach music today, I wish I could have that same effect on my students!
Though my primary years were fun, I had some petrifying incidents with a few teachers too. It was the first day of the new academic year; I was asked to go and borrow a duster from another classroom since there was no duster in ours. I went to the classroom nearby only to find Miss Shankari looking at me angrily. She threatened me saying that if I didn’t return that duster, she would tie my pony tails to the board and not allow me to attend other classes. It sounds funny now but can you imagine the terror I would have felt back then?! Even though I learnt an important lesson of returning borrowed items in time, I could never speak a word to her until recently, when she attended my wedding! It felt really nice meeting her outside the school and she felt like a completely different person who I was not afraid of anymore. Teachers can be the sweetest people outside school, seriously!
Post my primary years, I started taking tuitions from none other than my own grandmother! You might think that is cute, but no! My God! One wrong answer and she used to make me write the right answer 20 times! Though she was my grandmother, she did have her way around when it came to studies. She has taught me so much in life. A bold, daring lady who can never keep anyone bored when time is spent with her. Despite her strictness with me, she was my favourite teacher then. I ended up making my first Teacher’s Day card for her!
The higher classes of my life were altogether a different experience. Though Maths is always feared by many, I had this sudden urge to do so well in Maths in 11th and 12th. I later realised that it was because of two people I loved the subject so much during these two years. One was because of my school Maths teacher, Miss Latha. She was an amazing woman and I loved the way she taught at ease. She was a perfect example of “Work while you work and play while play”. The other person who made me love Maths is my own aunt, Mrs. Shanthi Krishnamoorthy! She is my role model! She is also quite amazing and very inspiring in the work that she has done. She taught me to be independent in life no matter what; she has guided me through and through; she has motivated me during my Board exams; and most importantly, she has given me the confidence, the power and the belief that I could get the 100 I so wanted to. (I scored 96 that year. Silly mistakes are always the reasons for losing marks in Maths).
However close we might be with our individual subject teachers, the Class Teacher is the one who is close to all the students in her class! I had the best Class Teacher ever in my 12th standard, Mrs. Vimala Balaji who also handled Accounts for my class. Even though we were the most troublesome batch, she loved us so much that when our academic year was nearing its end, she invited the entire class to her place for lunch! Yep! That’s how close we got to her. She also taught me an important life lesson that one should always be happy, no matter what. She is one of a kind!
Completing my Masters was truly a tough phase of my life. I faced my first major challenge when I struggled to complete my thesis. My Guide, Dr. Brinda Vishwanath patiently took me through the entire process, step by step. I can never forget this person who also taught me that patience is the key to success!
Expressions are expressed so beautifully through art. My friends tell me I am very expressive. I should thank my Barathnatyam Guru Mrs. Jayanthi Subramaniyam to have brought out the dancer in me! Thanks to her, my friends love me even more!
Till date, I have my Mom, Dad and Husband teaching me! Between my strict Mom and chilled-out Dad, they have taught me that there will be differences of opinions in whatever we do; but the key is to stick by what we believe in! I am grateful to my Husband who has been so very kind to me and who allows me to be the person I want to be. He has been my mentor and has taught me to go ahead and be confident while making mistakes in life. He has taught me to be true to what I do and the rest will always fall in place!
Teachers, I believe are right next to us. Every one of us is born as a teacher. Without realising, you are teaching someone with your student looking up to you. I am this person today because of those hundreds of teachers who have guided and taught me to be this person. I would like to thank all of my teachers on this special day.
Happy Teachers’ Day!
(A special composition to commemorate Teacher’s Day 2014)