Heartfelt Dedication to a teacher who I admire.
A free bird I was – no dreams, no aspirations. My life revolved around sleeping, eating, studying, and playing.
When kids aspired to become doctors, engineers, scientists, and so on, I had no aspirations. I never understood the concept of deciding about the future. I believed in living in the moment only.
One day, we were informed that our English teacher has left the school due to medical reasons. While other students were worried about the syllabus, I was joyous about having one free period daily till a new teacher is appointed.
About a week later, when I was busy making origami airplanes during the free English period, a timid child wearing high platform heels entered our classroom.
I said to my partner, “Why is there a mid-session admission and why is she wearing a house dress and such high heels?”(every new entry in the class was always the subject of scrutiny)
She retorted, rather irritable, “How do I know?”
And then there was a tap on the teacher’s desk with the back of the duster and that 4 feet 10 inches girl announced, “Good Morning class, I am your new English teacher. My name is Kamayani Joshi”
Dumbstruck, we looked at her. One thought was hovering in our heads, “How can such a small girl teach us?” (Yes, at that time, for us height was one of the criteria for judging a teacher)
She was not only small in height but she also had a small, innocent and childish face. She didn’t look like a teacher from any angle. She looked like one of us.
I wondered, “Who would even listen to her?”
In any case, I was disappointed with the school for appointing a new teacher so soon.
The class started and she asked us about the syllabus that we had covered so far. The class monitor updated her.
And there she threw a bomb of surprise test on us, she wanted to test our knowledge about the syllabus covered so far.
There was pin-drop silence in class. She understood our plight and gave us a day to prepare for the grammar test the next day. She then gave us a topic to write a paragraph on. (I don’t remember the topic)
I was bewildered, and so were the other students. We were not in the habit of writing paragraphs on our own. Nevertheless, we started writing the paragraph and by the time, we finished writing, the period also came to an end.
She threw another bomb by declaring that she would time and again give us topics to write paragraphs so that we get automatically prepared for the Paragraph Writing part in the examination.
Earlier, I was in the habit of cramming four-five paragraphs which were done in class. In examinations also, one of the already done topics was asked. Now, those days were over.
This teacher was something – Chota packet, bada dhamaka.
She captured our hearts within the first few days only by her teaching style. She believed that we should learn and understand, rather than cram.
She was the first teacher who did not dictate question-answers in class. Rather, she expected us to write the answers ourselves after understanding the chapter properly. She took immense pain in checking every single copy and pointing out our errors and guiding us.
It was under her guidance that I started writing on my own. She encouraged us to think out of the box. I owe my writing abilities a great deal to her. Though I did a blunder at that time.
When she left our school, I stopped writing. Had I not stopped writing, my vocabulary and writing style would have been on another level.
I restarted writing during the lockdown (say after about 26 years ). On this teacher’s day, i.e. on 5th September 2022, I traced her through Facebook and sent her a HAPPY TEACHERS DAY message to which she promptly replied. She remembers me.
I informed her that I write blogs. She encouraged me to keep writing and sending her links. This boosted my morale and I am super delighted.
She is such a big inspiration. Hope I never let her down and continue to write and improve day by day.
(T)oils in the classroom and online as well
(E)mbrace patience while impacting textbook as well as life lessons
(A)re affable, and amiable while nurturing innocent minds
(C)ontinuously use the tools of motivation, encouragement, and inspiration
(H)old our hands while we are at crossroads
(E)nsure to pierce the veil of our talents
(R)elentlessly guides us to ascend the ladder of success
(S)alute to such teachers who shape our future.
I found all these qualities in my Kamayani ma’am.