As teachers, we have professional interest in children. Some of us are parents which helps us to understand children from parental point of view. Of course, there is a child in an adult, and we all recall our own childhood days. Various Teachers’ training programmes are rightly child centric as we are trained to teach children. The workshops and seminars we attend are also child centric where we discuss a variety of issues --- all concerning children.
We have a Dimdima site, Anchor, focusing on professional help to teachers. Why do we have this site then?
The idea is to have a corner for us. Let’s talk about ourselves --- our dreams, our work, our joy, our frustrations, our likes and dislikes, our fears, our weaknesses and our strengths, our goals and our growth. Let’s share a joke. Let’s laugh at ourselves. Let’s pat each other. Let’s talk and let’s listen to each other. Let’s unwind. Let’s help each other, if we can. Let’s not judge.It will take a while for contributions to arrive. Meanwhile, I’ll start with my own tale.
I was a new teacher. The supervisor discussed with me about the classes I was going to handle and the subjects I was going to teach. “All these classes are easy to manage. Even IX D is all right. Only look out for Vicky. Don’t allow him to dominate,” she said.
I could spot Vicky the moment I entered the class. A tall boy sitting in the last row. He was easily a couple of years older than other students in the class. He was a ‘repeater’. For the third year in a row, he was sitting in the same class, same bench. No wonder he had no interest in studies. As these thoughts crossed my mind I frowned. Vicky returned it by scowling down at me. Thus the war began.
Whenever I was in IX D, I kept a weary eye on Vicky and he continued to glare at me. He would not respond to a question. He would look indifferent and made no attempt to conceal his feelings for me. I was sure he had only one feeling for me – he simply hated me. And I didn’t care.
I used to take a train to Wadala Road and then walk to my school a short distance away. That day I was walking to school when I saw a man sitting at the roadside stall reading a newspaper. He was reading the front page with the last page, the Sports Page, facing me. What attracted me to the last page held in front of me was the photograph of the Cricketer Brijesh Patel, then a young and dashing cricketer. Brijesh Patel who was of my age, was the first Indian cricketer to sport a drooping moustache. That day when I saw his photograph, he looked so funny with his famous drooping moustache.
For a moment the universe for me was filled with the drooping moustaches and as I walked away I broke into a smile. Precisely at that moment, Vicky got off the bus. He must have caught me smiling; for a moment he was startled. The moment I sighted Vicky, I tried to switch off my smile and switch on my famous frown meant for Vicky. All this took a couple of seconds and before I could summon my frown, horror of horrors, Vicky smiled! I looked over my shoulders. No, he was not smiling at his friends. He was giving me the smile. My frown melted before it formed and I found myself smiling as I nodded my head in disbelief and walked on. Not a word was uttered by either of us.
That day, when I entered the class, I smiled at the class. I found Vicky smiling too. The cold war was over.
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