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!
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!