In this open letter to my teachers, I am trying to ask a few questions I couldn’t ask as a young student. The idea is to try and move everyone on to a better path. Some would say I am being idealistic. Why not? Our teachers are framing the society, one kid at a time. We deserve to ask them questions!

Dear Teacher,

You have always had an issue with me- ‘Why I do not respect you fully’. That’s because me and my friends do not respect teachers but respect ‘Good Teachers’ only. The hardest job that my friends & I face today is to behave in a well mannered way without seeing ‘Good manners’ anywhere around us. Be it college or be it at home.

Dear Teacher- what YOU teach us is just NOT interesting. It is boring, uninspiring, repetitive, fuzzy and unpractical. It is not your mistake. You are just teaching us our course curriculum. We know this. Unfortunately these curriculum do not train us to have a personality of our own. They do not make us confident, fearless, better in communication and hardly fulfill our needs for skills which are required of us to ‘make a mark in this world’. You teach us ‘what is there in the course’ but dear teacher do not forget to do that extra bit for us.

We will love you and remember your contribution for our entire life should you go that extra bit to inspire us and show us the world.

Dear Teacher- How many hours do you put in to prepare the subject before you come for our class? You come to the class, take attendance, talk it out and we slowly realize that you yourself are time passing & are stressed in your own life. Trust me teacher- we are very clever. We evaluate ‘How good you are in 3 minutes maximum’. Many of you- dear teachers are not doing your jobs but SAVING your jobs.

Dear Teachers- we see the permanent teachers in our colleges hardly innovating inside the classrooms. They are too busy telling their own stories of ‘How good & experienced they are’. We are NOT interested. We can easily differentiate the genuine teacher from a ‘GAS teacher’. We come to your classes for attendance most of the times and in return my friends and I are left with no other option but to tolerate you in barter. Sometimes we also respect you because you will mark us on our ‘internal assessment’.

Teacher may we give you a polite reminder that ‘what you wear to college’ may not remain remembered by us BUT ‘what you teach’ might remain with us even after years.

Dear Teacher- please do not major in minor things e.g. it does not look nice when you ego fight with your colleagues or wash your dirty linen in public. We get confused in life about ‘Is being an elder like THIS only’?

Dear teacher- please do not fool us if the classroom is NOT an extension of your personality. We are sincerely less focused and need your severe attention. We will treat you like God if we see divinity in the way you teach your subject.

We sincerely hope that you are in this profession out of your own choice and no one brought you here on a gun point. Dear Teachers- we want to see you happy about your salaries, positions and TA / DA etc. Please be comfortable as only then you can contribute to us better. You are ONE but we are many who are being impacted inside your classroom.

Dear Teacher- Please see for yourself that we hardly are able to LEARN the way you are teaching us in? Why do not you then teach in a way — we will LEARN in? You are certainly more matured than us.

Dear Teacher- we need your motivation more than criticism. We want you to show us more elegant ways of living life and making careers. Yes! we are obsessed with our relationships, our mobile phones, our petty issues but then if YOU do not SHOW US HOW — then who will. Now imagine if you DO — every bone in our body will commit to respect you. We will throng for your sessions by bunking our youthful stuff. We will adore you for that ‘EXTRA’ that you will put in for us. You have seen more life than us. Definitely you can prevent us from doing more mistakes in our own lives.

Please do that dear teacher. We need YOU to stand tall in our lives. We already are a slightly stressed up, messed up and an over informed but under rested lot. Your genuine baby steps definitely CAN profoundly change our entire lives and careers.

Dear Teacher- Someday I would want to write you a letter like THIS too!

I know teaching is a very difficult job. Having been more of a teacher while being a Motivational Speaker, I have come across my fair share of sincere, naughty, hard-working, intelligent, fun-loving students. I myself am a student of life. And that’s why I know, how important it is to have a good teacher who can influence you in the positive direction. You have no idea about the impact they can have on young impressionable minds!

This is one of the best TED talks that I have heard on education and what it is to be a teacher, by Rita Pierson. Please watch it. She says that every kid needs a champion and I totally agree with her!

The intent behind this open letter to my teachers is not to hurt the sentiments of the good ones out there. But to give a jolt to the ones who know what they are supposed to do but aren’t doing it well enough. Nonetheless, a huge thank you to all those who ever taught me. You did shape me in your own way.

As a teacher myself, I have tried to reach out to my students through my blog. Here are all the posts that I believe might inspire you. On another note, here’s an interview of Vicky Roy, who taught me immense lessons with his beautiful humility!

Happy Teacher’s day!

Sincerely yours’
Akash Gautam

 

About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

  • Swati Agarwal

    I so agree with u..
    Respect is earned not given due to status one is in..
    Ds teachers day d best gift a teacher cn gt is wat v feel abt dm…
    Hats off Sir..

    • AkashGautam

      Hi Swati!

      Thanks. There are a few which we always remember and cherish. Unfortunately, most are not like that! But I am positive that change is coming 🙂

      Akash

  • mahima nigam

    I remember how and when my teachers changed my mindset towards the subjects. Today when i look back, i might not bother much about money..but the knowledge i carry in me as an individual. Today teaching is more of client-company relation.

    • AkashGautam

      True. There are a few who stand apart and do influence their students. But then, that’s just a handful.

      • Zinnia

        most of what you’ve written is true, it is in very few, like around 1-2 % schools only that teachers are genuinely trained and responsible enough to teach the students, changing the course curricula/innovative thinking is not really a prerequisite when it comes to teaching young minds, but being disciplined, focused and aware should be a basic characteristic of the teachers.

        Honestly, this is just a part of India’s unequipped education system and lack of quality control in most places that has generated such a huge problem for students and teachers alike. Teaching is one profession which demands a lot of honesty to its profession and this fact is usually ignored in most cases.

        I thank all those teachers in my life right from my school days till my higher education, who have really contributed to my life in a very large way, because those few have been able to give their best guidance and teachings and have also inspired me in some way or the other. I most definitely have been very lucky to have received such high quality education by the grace of God.

    • aparajita

      Every word written in this article is true. Teachers in India may or may not know their subject matter but the most important thing they don’t know is how to teach. I have personally experienced that either some teachers use their peppy behavior to lure students to like them like by being over friendly or the other kinds use rudeness and rebukes to win over the students because they definitely can’t win them by their teaching abilities. Even it happens that sometimes the topic a teacher teaches in classroom seems so difficult and confusing but when I used to read it my self it appeared so easy so its obvious there is something wrong in their way of teaching or his/her concepts are poor either way it gives rise to bad teachers

  • Raman

    This is what today all the teachers of Schools, Engineering Colleges and Their Recruiters must read. Akash, this letter is too good.

    • AkashGautam

      Thanks Raman. I too have experienced the same; hence the letter.

  • Angie

    great article.Very thoughtful!!!

  • Anshuman

    Great Article Sir…Respect..!!!

  • CHETAN AGARWAL

    Amazing article sir….great thought….

  • Manish Vishwakarma

    A very awesome article and an eye-opener for those teachers who follow such type of practices….

    • AkashGautam

      Thanks Manish

  • sonali Pal

    Oh Come on Aakash, which world you are living in?

    Do you have a child who goes to school?

    Gone are those days…when a teacher could just repeat what she had taught last year…..

    These days…schools / colleges/ universities plan a whole year ahead….AND THEY STICK TO IT…to the minutest of activity planned….the teachers dont have summer and winter vacations , but instead have Faculty Development programs, workshops….they are abreast with the latest technologies, and the various educational theories going around the world. some of you wouldn’t have even heard of these terms in normal mundane lives, but they live, eat and breathe through these theories and principles , because they believe in them. Each teacher makes lesson plans, which shows a minute to minute activity log, and this is done/ planned before the class commences. The Teacher Today believes in giving back to the society more than she/he has….

    The teachers are evaluated by students, through feedbacks, and the teachers take this very seriously as their increments are dependent on this, they take special efforts to make up on their weaknesses…

    ITS NOT EASY ANY MORE…cause there is no Dirth of careers in today’s world, So if you see a teacher in today’s world, they are not in this career by compromise , but by choice…..

    I am shocked that how can you generalise a whole community of teachers , by your thoughts and if a few teachers pissed you off.

    I always thought that as a motivator you believed in spreading positivity and not negativity…..you are instigating people to be rude to their teachers, if you cant make them happy, please dont make your teachers sad….

    Regards

    Sonali Pal

    • AkashGautam

      Hi Sonali,

      First of all, how have you been? 🙂

      As for your comment, I live in a world where I meet lots of students and teachers (both schools and colleges) during my sessions. Sure, what you are saying has happened. But at a very small scale; probably only at the top / best / handful schools in India.

      I have even seen IITians and IIM students complain about how rote their classrooms are. Maybe you need to see a bit of real world too. Majority of Indian teachers do not do what you have written yet my friend.

      Sure I have a responsibility of spreading positivity. But it is also my job to help people identify the problems. Some teachers themselves have told me – how they need to upgrade but have not found means to do so.

      I write not on whims, but on experience 🙂 .. maybe ours differ. But I sure have a larger sample size. And yes, I do have a child who goes to school.

      Best Wishes
      Akash

    • jaya

      i totally agree with Sonali. When we were students it was easier being a teacher than a student. There used to be so many exams, then marks, ranks etc etc where as the course remained same for years, and teachers used to be home by lunch time.
      Now that we have become teachers, it is so difficult to teach with new course being developed every now and then. CCE has added to our woes.. Aakash sir have u ever tried making prometric or rubrics for students…we have to evaluate each and every student on different parameters..and then work on the areas where he is lacking…u r only talking about college teachers. Look at schools who adopt innovative teaching. as a student I only used to stay awake till 1 am when i had an exam on the next day but now it is an everyday routine.. I wish u had done some research before pulling all the teachers down and keeping us all in the same bracket. ur blogs are awesome but don’t write something just to be different from others.

      • AkashGautam

        Hi Jaya,

        You would never find me saying ‘Teaching is an easy job’. Teaching is the profession that leads to all other professions 🙂 .. and I am one too. I know how difficult it is – to constantly innovate, create new content, be interesting .. and then do it day after day!

        I am glad that some are doing it. But as Abhishek rightly points out above, this is just a very small fraction. I address the majority here.

        Akash

    • Abhishek

      Not sure which India are you talking about,The one in some A grade schools in Delhi/Bangalore and other metros.Being a students few years back i completely am in agreement with teh article.Also it’s not just about schools it’s about colleges and if you belive that over 100000 teachers from over 9000 colleges in India are undergoing workshops,u need to check on the facts.

      • AkashGautam

        I agree Abhishek. This is what I experience during my travels & sessions. And this is what I am trying to change.

        And as you rightly pointed out, tier 2 and tier 3 cities have an altogether different situation. My learned friends may not have taken note of the fact yet 🙂

    • Deep Sagar Verma

      Hi Sonali,

      Thanks for writing something different from rest of the frustrated followers. Being a Teacher in NIFT, I agree with your points. Teaching jobs are not that easy which it used to be in our forefather’s day. Students are more acquainted with technology and internet usage. One should be well prepared, otherwise no student is going to attend the class.

      I totally disagree with this article. No one is perfect in this world, teachers are not exceptions.

      Akash Gautam, whatever you learnt and trying to do I am very sure, there is a little bit of contribution of teachers.. And come on, don’t say that you are self made person.
      The background we belong , we always respect parents and teachers. I hope you read it and start thinking in a positive way.

      • AkashGautam

        Hi Deep,

        I agree with Sonali & I agree with you too. Times have changed, students are more adept at tech than their teachers & they do move on faster. But somewhere, this isn’t about tech or materialistic teaching at all.

        I believe you really have missed out the main idea. I talk about teachers who mold their students into extra-ordinary beings; who inspire just by their stories and presence & ways of putting their point across.

        I nowhere claim to be a self made person. My other posts will tell you that; if you decide to read them after writing this comment 🙂 … We all have special teachers who always command respect and a reserved place in our lives. I have talked about those who do not – in the post above. And you may wish to disagree as much as you want to, but a larger section of the teacher community isn’t like that!

        Akash

        • Deep Sagar Verma

          Dear Akash,

          I have not read your any other posts so far. I too agree that some teachers are like that. Should not we come with a solution rather than discussing problem.

          Deep

  • Shubham Mishra

    Very true Sir … this is feeling of every student ….

  • aparajita

    Every word written in this article is true. Teachers in India may or may not know their subject matter but the most important thing they don’t know is how to teach. I have personally experienced that either some teachers use their peppy behavior to lure students to like them like by being over friendly or the other kinds use rudeness and rebukes to win over the students because they definitely can’t win them by their teaching abilities. Even it happens that sometimes the topic a teacher teaches in classroom seems so difficult and confusing but when I used to read it my self it appeared so easy so its obvious there is something wrong in their way of teaching or his/her concepts are poor either way it gives rise to bad teachers

  • Himanshu Khurana

    Well you have always proved to be a great teacher Akash Sir…through your blogs,vocab dhaba and your words you have taught thousands of us what the four walled classrooms we have been sitting almost our entire life didn’t teach 😉 Happy teachers day 🙂

    • AkashGautam

      Thanks Himanshu 🙂

      Best Wishes…

  • garima

    hello sir!! i m studying in one of IIT’s.. here some profs left no chance to make their lecture boring.. bcoz they are placed at such high positions (like profs,deans) in IIT and think whatever they r doing, it is right.. hope this article somehow reach to my profs..
    One more thing, in future i m planning to go for teaching profession.. i ll take care of this thing.. so that my students ll bunk their youthful stuff for my class 😉

    • AkashGautam

      Hi Garima,

      I am sure; the fact that you realize this will help you to a great extent. Just remember – learning is the most profound thing, and one should enjoy it while it lasts.

      Akash

  • listen to me

    i feel my teachers give a good amount of knowledge still i feel so dumb and lazy ..
    i feel like sleeping in class…
    just cause their voice doesnt appreciate my ears..
    what ever they say cant go inside me.. as they are always too low in their volume that their voice never appeal me ..
    i belive teachers voice should be something like “ek baar kaan andar jaye toh bahar na aaye “

  • Lata Kumari

    Hello!! Akash sir,
    I am a student of Ism Dhanbad, I have attended your seminar “Angrezi beat tey” and it was truly a phenomenal experience. I have read all your blogs and I must say they are utterly entertaining and thought provoking as well. You are a debonair 🙂 Thanks for giving my life a new direction 🙂 🙂 🙂 Happie Teacher’s Day 🙂 🙂

    • AkashGautam

      Thanks Lata 🙂

  • Varun Goel

    I do not agree with the views expressed in this article. You have listed all the qualities of an ideal teacher, and you expect all the teachers be like that. Of course that would be a wonderful world. But you can write such qualities about people in any profession (medicine, engineering, science, law, business, accounts). What about being an ideal student? Do we ever worry about what kind of student we should be??As a student, it should be our duty to grab every opportunity to learn. If we do not get it in first time, we should ask again. Refer books, discuss with friends… there can be many ways. In my college, like all other educational institutes, there were some great teachers, whom most people respected, some average, and some (as commonly accepted) bad. But like everywhere else, there were also all kind of students in my class. Some of those who wanted to study, would study even if teacher is not good, and those who wanted to sleep (after the nightlong counterstrike or AOE sessions), would sleep anyway. I have seen a wonderful mathematics teacher (who did whatever possible to explain his subject and to motivate students) in our class being slapped for no reason at all (this happened in a good private school in delhi during +2). As it goes in hindi, tali ek haath se nahi bajti. If we want to make a class successful, then a student has as much role to play as a teacher. But all we care is about making fun of him for small grammatical mistake or maybe different pronunciation. It is not at all easy for a teacher to come and stand in front of a class and make all of them happy. You can not expect all the teachers to be great in all aspects. But that is life. Its not all roses. We are supposed to make the best of whatever life throws at us. But how often do we do so??

    • AkashGautam

      Hi Varun,

      Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts. And you are absolutely right. In fact, I have no where in my article, mentioned that all teachers are like that. However, my experience tells me that majority are like that, unfortunately. I would love to stand wrong 5yrs from today!

      And as far as the point about students being who they are goes, you are absolutely right. I have written about how we as students go wrong, lose focus and direction, timepass & put cliffhangers on our lives by giving into the ‘ever-so-tempting’ temptations of youth; if you go through other blog posts i.e. … This also stands good for all others here who believe that I have vindicated teachers 🙂

      I am a teacher too. If I have learned this, and it helps my students, why can’t others. I agree that “taali ek haath se nahi bajti” and this, my friend, is just one side of the story. And I do believe, that even the most naughtiest of students who want to do nothing ever, have great respect for good teachers. Been there, done that! 🙂

      Akash

      • Varun Goel

        I totally agree with you that a great teacher is admired by all kind of students. But just admiration is not important. What is most important is that the student should understand and grasp what is taught to him. and for that, a student is the one who should have the right attitude. Of course, I do not mean say that teachers do not need to change their pedagogy, but for that even teachers need correct guidance. You are talking about majority of teachers, who live in poorest parts of our country. First of all, in most cases, these people do not have the correct qualifications to teach. They are kind of stuck in the job in which they are not good, and they are not even aware that they are not good. There is no one to tell them that they are doing it wrong, and what is the right way to do it. They don’t even think that there is a problem, let alone trying to solve it.
        I am not trying to argue with you, because I realize we both want the same thing, teachers with right pedagogy, and students with correct attitude. But the way you had written the article,it felt like a student was trying to correct all the teachers, blaming everything on them and not taking any responsibility himself.

  • nivedita

    its amazing! N definitely true, not givn u remarks bt jst acceptance and appreciation!

  • Abhishek singh

    thanks for understanding the situation of a student during the class when such type of God (teachers ) take our lecture . Hope this article show them mirror .Thanks you sir ….

  • Rashi

    Being into teaching profession I make sure to go through your blogs as they inspire us…. I had attended many of your workshop/seminars etc and believe me every time it is new learning experience….. thank you Sir and a big thanks to god who gave me a chance to come across your work!!
    thanks a tone sir…

  • Simardeep Singh

    One more thing I would like to shar3 teachers plays amost important role in making diffi5 subject an easier one
    ?Like 12 business subject was such a boring I used to feel headache and after my schooling I came to clg doing bba
    One mam made my business related subjects so easier I loved to read books and case studies of management

    Y bcoz of teacher teaching skills and innovative ideas..

  • saurabh

    Myself Saurabh Bamrada, I am the director of genius generation institute. It is located in the small village of uttrakhand, I love teaching n I m doing it since last 3years. I teach students, I play with them, I sing with them, many a times we go for long drive or anywhere just for nothing….. N if I will talk about institite’s education part then it is easy to guess bcz last year out of 32 students 10secured 9CGPA+ n lowest was 6.8CGPA…… I just want to b perfect teacher n I hope I m on right track

  • Nelson Sharma

    I feel it, I face it everyday in college. I am fed up of how teachers treat us like prisoners. I dont know how to deal with.

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