A Teacher’s Day Special – Meet The Real Teachers!

On Teacher’s Day lets talk about our teachers! There is no doubt that teachers play an important role in our lives. Their teachings, mannerisms, and personalities- all influence young minds at various stages of their upbringing. However, as students, we see our teachers in varying capacities. But have we ever tried to understand who our teachers are? What shaped them, impacted them, and what keeps them moving ahead with continuous passion and zeal?

In conversation with real-life teachers, from different fields of education and curricular activities. There are some with years of experience and some who have just started. Some wish to stay anonymous, but all eager to share their thoughts.

We hope that getting to know them better will help you appreciate their struggles and hard work. And of course, inspire you to value and view your teachers in a different light as well.

Know The Teachers – This Teacher’s Day

RM Anbunathan – Skating Coach

RM Anbunathan

Skating Coach since 1989 – Marina Academy of Speed Skaters

Why teach?

When I was in trouble there was no teacher or guide to help me out. But now when I am a successful leader I would like to help my upcoming students.

The Challenges

As a teacher I see its very difficult to satisfy every individual who we meet.

What keeps you going?

Passion and love makes me run towards my work every single day without any second thoughts.

Priya V

Teaching Science since 34 years

Why teach?

My mother motivated me to become a teacher.

The challenges

Disciplining students and making them study on a daily basis

What keeps you going?

The love to teach, especially when we get the results.

Tasnim Gandhi

Teaching English for over 23 years. Also, taught Global Perspectives last year.

Why teach?

I love children and I love education. Teaching was a natural choice. My mother supported and encouraged me in my choice.

The Challenges

Today most students want to study to achieve a goal or get marks. The joy of learning is lost somewhere in the process.

The loss of attention span especially after the pandemic. The teacher cannot be muted or switched off however much they may wish to do so! All children are talented. The challenge lies in finding it and showing them that they are not just a sum of their marks. They are so much more than that.

What keeps you going?

My students

Dr. Mariyam Adnan

Associate Professor, Department of Apparel and Fashion Design, PSG College of Technology

Why teach?

I wanted to be a teacher since I was in the 12th standard. We had seminars in school and I realized that my teachers and the other students liked the way I presented them. I looked forward to the same in college and I was appreciated by my teachers and friends for the way I taught. I understood that perhaps this was my calling and I am grateful that in school and college I was able to identify my strengths.

The challenges

We have to be tuned to the needs of the students. With the internet and social media the amount of information that they can access is unlimited. We have to continuously upgrade ourselves, on the teaching methodology, as well as get accustomed to the changing attitude. A simple example of this change is, from ‘Good Morning Ma’am’, students now say ‘Hi Ma’am’, whenever they meet us.

What keeps you going?

My passion for teaching. Also, I am fortunate to work in a college and environment where the work culture is very good. Stressful at times, but challenging and satisfying nevertheless.

Debasree Mukherjee

Assistant Teacher (Standard 6-10)

Why teach?

From childhood, I always wanted to be a teacher as I was attracted most to my teachers. I used to copy their way of speaking, walking, etc. My favorite game was playing “Teacher Teacher!” My teachers were my role models and fortunately, I have got wonderful teachers in my life who have been my mentors, guides, and philosophers to date. I worship my teachers and thus I had not thought of any other career option. It was only teaching and I chose schools as my medium to teach because I feel fresh among these 12-18-year-old students who I watch grow up. They rejuvenate me.

The challenges

Several constraints from boards and management are very challenging. Nowadays documentation has taken the premium seat and teaching is in the backseat. Media also misinterprets our role.

What keeps you going?

My students or I better call them my kids keep me going. It is sometimes such a thankless job but after passing out when my students come back after a few years and call me “Ma’am do you remember me?” or ” ma’am you told me this or you told us that” are priceless gifts. I see them smiling and blooming into fresh flowers, independent like birds and that keeps me going. Every day when I enter the classroom and they greet me with smiling faces that keeps me going. Sometimes they ask me “Why didn’t you come, ma’am?” Their concern keeps me going. Leaving all hardships, and problems on one side the call “Ma’am ” keeps me going.

Cini Nicholas

Teaches Geography (IGCSE and A Level 7-13 year old) since 13 years

Why teach?

I was inspired by my own teachers. Also, I come from a family of teachers but most importantly, I wanted to make a difference in at least one student’s life.

The Challenges

Some of the challenges include not having enough time to spend on professional development. We are also always considered to do a simple job with plenty of holidays! There are lots of added responsibilities but not enough pay.

What keeps you going?

The passion for teaching, the spontaneous feedback from kids is so honest and the satisfaction of seeing your students reach places and become successful keeps me going.

Sarmistha Banerjee

German Teacher at Goethe Institut. Teaching for 9 years

Why teach?

I did not think I had the ability to be a teacher in me at first. I had taken up teaching in a school, when a teacher was on leave for a month. That is when I realized how much I actually enjoyed it.

The Challenges

Students often do not take any form of criticism lightly. We have to be very careful in phrasing what we say and while giving feedback. Especially in the online mode they think that they can fool the teacher and do something else too while attending the class. That is a problem sometimes.

What keeps you going?

Nothing can compensate for the happiness when a student performs well or send us a thanks, even after many years. It is very gratifying to hear from old students.

Alifiya M Rasheed

Teaches Chemistry and Math since 9 years

Why teach?

I had the knack of teaching ever since I was in college. Not that I ever aspired to be one but I would say destiny led me to be one. I also love how I stay connected and updated with the youth and that makes me feel like I am one of them.

The Challenges

To keep the students motivated and interested in the subject especially Chemistry is the biggest struggle. Again it differs from time to time, sometimes just getting them to class can be a struggle!

What keeps you going?

When I see my students excel in their fields and becoming successful, responsible citizens of the country and knowing that I have played a small part in their journey makes it all worth.

Tasneem K

Teaches English and EVS for Standard 1-3 since 5 years

Why teach?

I love children and always got attracted to them and wanted to be around them. Also, I wanted to do something that made a difference.

The Challenges

When few parents don’t support the learning of the child . How much ever we struggle to bring the child up there is sometimes no support from the parents.

What keeps you going?

The children are my motivation.

Nagasundara Moorthy

Teaches Maya 3D since 4 years

Why teach?

The passion for teaching and longing to be with the young and creative generation.

The challenges

Providing the right guidance at the right time to young adults who face a lot of emotional struggle as they are at the deciding point of their life’s career.

What keeps you going?

The satisfaction I get every time a batch passes out with smiles of gratitude and appreciation for my contribution to their life.

Nafisa Dhankot

Yoga Therapist with 14 years of experience

Why teach?

I wanted to create an awareness and help people recover from their ailments just by performing yoga. it has helped me immensely and I think teaching is the best way to give back to society.

The challenges

The intensity of my teaching is not matched by the students.

What keeps you going?

My desire to help people with my abilities.

Rashida Bharmal

Teaching in the Primary Section since a little over 1 year.

Why teach?

My son started his schooling during the start of the pandemic and he had to start his first education online. I saw the efforts put in by his teachers to make the tiny tots understand and stay connected during class hours. So the next time I got an opportunity to be on the other side of the table, I immediately grabbed it. I am just trying to be a foothold for someone.

The challenges

When I joined the teaching profession we were coping with the pandemic and the students were greatly affected as they were shifting from physical to online learning. The first challenge for me was to understand the technicalities associated with online learning and forming a connection with the children. Later as the year progressed, we got back to physical schooling and there was a personal interaction with the students. I have learned to understand each child with different thinking abilities and maintaining a fine balance among the students.

What keeps you going?

The little happiness that students share is one the main things that keeps me going. They think of us as their second mothers and treat us just like their family. The small gestures they show to appreciate us is something worth the efforts we put in everyday.

The common thread that all teachers agree upon is that the students and their passion for teaching are fundamentals on which they thrive. As Alifiya ma’am says, ‘Once a student told me that my classes were one of the most fondest memories of his school life it kind of made my day.’ Or as Tasnim ma’am graciously puts it, ‘Every day brings new experiences. I teach them a subject; they teach me much more.’

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