Friday, 16 July 2010

THE LAST DAY

Today was the last day of my assignment - an assignment of six weeks that had taken only one hour per day, an assignment I had taken up without quite knowing how I had managed to land it. I had agreed to teach English (Language and Literature) to the students of Std. IX, at a neigbourhood school. The previous teacher had had to leave and they were looking for a replacement. A friend had recommended me, and when the Principal called and asked me, I somehow found myself accepting, on condition that I would be relieved by July 15, since I had some family commitments after that.

Twenty years earlier, I would have welcomed a job like this enthusiastically, but right now, no schoolboy could have wended his way slower to school than me. A life of retirement, working at my own pace at my housewifely duties, or not working at all, had spoilt me, and I felt no desire to throw myself into the routine of a harried housewife who has to go to work.


The Principal enticed me pointing out that there were only ten students, and supported me by arranging for the classes to be held in a spare room on the ground floor, instead of the second floor room, out of consideration for my creaking joints and grey hair.

And so I started and it was interesting to be in touch again with the writers and poets whose works (I had been an English Literature student at college) formed part of the syllabus. I found I enjoyed teaching the youngsters, and interacting with them. They were intelligent, attentive, and eager to learn. But I wondered if they were happy with my methods, and getting the right learning from me - my teaching experience was dated, more than 40 years ago! After all they are going to write the Board exams next year.

Today they set my fears to rest. They knew this was my last class. They presented me a ‘Thank You’ card made on an A4 sheet, and signed with all their names. “We want you to come back,” said one of them. “We like the way you teach,” said another, and when they all chorused “Yes” to that, I was touched.

When I took leave of the Principal, she said that the children had told her they did not want me to leave. I felt that I must have done something right.

21 comments:

Gauri Gharpure said...

i have always thought teachers never grow old...

Asha said...

Dedicated and inspiring teachers are very few today, so they must have wanted you .Congratulations to you ma'am for touching so many young lives.

Viji said...

I told you so Raji !!!

Gardenia said...

Lived up to your name, Raji - left school with another excellent report card! Bravo!

V Rakesh said...

Teaching must be, of all the things in the world, the most pleasurable thing to do! I've always wanted to be able to teach! I hope for that to come true!

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

Aunty, aao school chale hum !!! The world needs teachers like you !!!

Adee said...

children have a way of knowing what is good and what is bad, like a silent winnow of human nature, they separate the grain from the chaff... so when they say they don't want you to go, that they loved being around you, i'm sure they found a warm human being and an inspiring teacher in you :) *hugs*

Anonymous said...

And seriously, based on their writing, you must go back as you have your work cut out for you!

Meera's World said...

I hope you would go back some other time so that the kids could have a change of fresh air:)Great job.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I wiah you all the good luck. you have done a good job and I know you will be missed.

Have a good week-end.
Yvonne.

harimohan said...

hope you do go back for thier sake and have a feeling you would enjoy it too

GVK said...

'Done something right'? I suspect you have done loads more, to have got that 'thank you' note. A certificate that is worthy of being shared with own children, grand children. Would be nice to have a few posts - anecdotal - on your life in a classroom.

Indrani said...

Wow! Congrats! Definitely a great deed. May be you can relate some naughty or interesting incidents from the classes.

Anandhi said...

Raji,,I think I told you..you will be the best.You are a great teacher, I still remember the days you taught me about 'Newspaper'ethics. Keep doing good work Raji..

Devika said...

Hope you enjoyed it as much, Raji :)

I always loved the interative sessions with the young...had always been a part-time/home tuitions teacher...right from the days i started college and still i do...its refreshing to me :)

wishes,
devika

vaidhehi said...

raji,nothing more rewarding than teaching..as i can say from experience..and especially the spontaneous responses and love you get from your pupils..salaams to you!
jayashree

vaidhehi said...

salaams to you!nothing as rewarding like teaching..especially the love and spontaneous response you get from your pupils..i can say that from experience..jayashree

Winifred said...

It must have been hard to go back to work but how rewarding a job. Your students sound lovely and so grateful for your hard work.

Now back to retirement?

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Gauri, you are right. I am still in touch with two of my teachers from my Ponmdicherry school. They have not grown older, but closer to me.

Asha, I don't know if I inspired them. :). Thanks.

Viji and Gardenia - well!

Rakesh hope your wish comes true.

IIM thanks, but no thanks.

Adee, sweet thing to say.

Anonymous well!!

Meera, Yvonne, Thanks.

Harimohan One never knows

GVK, Indrani, I hope you are right. As for the anecdotes, maybe soon.

Anandhi, thanks.

Devika, you must be good at teaching, and hence that enjoyment.

Jayashree, teaching definitely has its own rewards.

Winifred, Back to retirement it is!

Ashok said...

First you successfully teach maths at the age of 16 (even though for a short period of time), and now English ...well done, thats one more feather in ur cap, Raji.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

So sweet of you, Ashok

Sociable