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Aug 02, 2017 at 06:17

From the other side of the fence, we have teachers share with us their most cherished moments of being in, what some would call a “thankless” profession. In the words of Yvonne Dhillon from Pragyan School, Greater Noida.

“But Ma’am how can you go? You have to teach my children” It was the last period and Amit had burst into my class with consternation written all over his face. Word had trickled down to Class X that I was leaving school. Over a period of two years, without realizing it, an appreciation had grown, starting with my reading out a great composition he had written to the class. The innocent expectation, that I would be around for so long, and the impact of what he said, left me dumbfounded and very humbled. I had returned after a year and we continued our journey. He was avid to learn and was a natural at dramatics and oration. He won many accolades for Dramatics, as he soaked in any instructions given and put in so much effort on his own. That was the key to his success. It is incidents like these which make teaching the most rewarding profession. We will always be in touch as I am with so many other students, down the years.

During the 1960s, teaching as a profession was considered the most respectable for girls to follow. On the insistence of my mother, I went through the motions of applying for and completing my Bachelor of Education training. I wasn’t really very interested in it at that time, knowing little how much I would come to enjoy it in the coming years. Teaching is something that grows on you. Initially, you go through the mechanical following of what was taught in theory, and discover, that there is a great difference in the practice.

Gradually, you find yourself involved with the children in your classes and realise each reacts according to their unique situation. This makes it all the more interesting. Over the years, I came to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. As a teacher, I possessed a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can humiliate or heal. A student is like a closed bud, who opens up when understanding dawns.

We never know which life we influence, or when, or why. Children notice and imbibe attitudes, habits, a way of life from their teachers. When students take up English Honours because of the love of the subject taught in school, down to the way how I would wear a sari! It comes as a shock, that as a teacher I am a role model. Most of us look back with appreciation, to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is a much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant, and for the soul of the child.

The thing I loved the most – and still do about teaching – is that you can connect with an individual or a group, and see that individual or group exceed their limits. Learning is an ongoing process and I feel that I keep adding to my knowledge as we go along. It keeps me alive and young at heart. There are very exciting options in professions for young people looking for careers. One must choose one in which you would be happy, where the daily drudge does not seem exactly like ‘work’. I feel happy and fulfilled in this profession.

Mrs. Yvonne Dhillon

Senior Teacher
Pragyan School
Greater Noida