On Teacher’s Day we bring to you a collage of three lovely stories narrated by students as odes to their favourite teachers during school. Teachers, who changed the way they looked at life and left indelible impressions on their lives.
Utsav Ghosh writes an open letter to that teacher who coached him after school and who was one of the few sources of unconditional kindness and empathy he came across, growing up.
Thank You, Ma’am for being there.
I came across a lot of teachers since nursery class. Most of them have been kind to me but some of them have been extremely mean to me from childhood. So, I didn’t have any sort of attachment towards any of them. Nor do I have any hatred and have never misbehaved with anyone. But it was not the same with Devashree ma’am.
From Jan 2013, me along with some of my friends started doing tuitions for the arts subjects under Dr. Devashree Bhattacharjee, faculty of English department of a very reputed college since we would be appearing for the tenth standard board examination the following year. It wasn’t the first time I was going for tuition. I started taking tuition since the previous year for science subjects but that was similar to regular classes at school.
It was a beautiful winter morning when I went to her house for the first tuition class. I found a peaceful ambience which is extremely rare for tuition classes. There were four of us and ma’am herself.She gave us some easy grammar related questions, and I solved them all. She used to give us classes three days a week for one and a half hours. Months passed by. We had our unit tests and mid term at school. Astonishingly, I scored pretty well in all the three papers because in the ninth standard I had scored extremely low marks in those subjects as I didn’t find interest in studying those at all. I realized that the way ma’am used to teach us was not actually the regular way of teaching, but she made us fall in love with the text that she would teach. Gradually, we became very close to her. We used to discuss things related to our neighborhood, society, current affairs, mythology and many other branches of knowledge.. One of the primary reasons for which we used to love ma’am was the care she gave us. She would offer us snacks as well as other homemade delicacies since we used to come at six o’clock early morning without breakfast.
Months passed by. We started preparing for the board examination. I was weak in the composition part , so ma’am would give me homework essays on certain topics. One such topic was ‘ Me and my Classmates ‘. One thing I should mention is that I never had good terms with most of my classmates. I had to face a lot of harassment from them since childhood. Sadly, all that started when my class teacher of second standard surprisingly called me HALF-GIRL-HALF-BOY and guess what, the whole class went on teasing me by that name, ridiculing my behavior, calling me TRANSGENDER, etc., etc. This went on till high school. I used to feel so miserable that I started hating myself. I wrote all my experiences in the essay and submitted to my ma’am. She was extremely moved after reading my experiences.
From that day, she used to repeatedly tell me to be the way I wanted to be,to do what makes me happy, and to not give a damn about what others said and to not get intimidated by them. She used to share some of her own experiences where she had faced criticism from people for the choices she had to make in life and how the narrow-mindedness of people had affected her, but she overcame that phase.She continued to guide me for all the three years I took tuition classes from her. At the end of my higher secondary school, I was totally a changed person. Once I entered college I became extremely free – spirited, ‘ a happy – go – lucky – person ‘. Till date, I feel that I am the happiest person in this world. I couldn’t thank her personally because I am always at a loss of words.
Through this piece I would like to thank you, Ma’am for all your guidance, for always being by my side and making me a better person.
Utsav is a wonderful human being. That apart, he is a student of economics at Gurucharan College, Silchar in Assam. He is also interested in computers and wishes to pursue studies in the subject of computers further.
Akankha Sengupta,presently pursuing her B.Sc in Fashion Designing from Bangalore, talks about her favourite teacher in high school whose guidance helped her grow as a person.
Someone rightly said that teachers are the ones “who plant the seeds of fundamental knowledge and sprinkle them with profound love and patiently nurture their growth to produce tomorrow’s dreams”. They impart knowledge to us and also teach us the importance of moral value. They are mentors and guides who help us to make crucial decisions about our professional field and also illuminate the paths of our lives in general.
It was exactly the same with my class teacher as well as my English teacher Ma’am Sudheshna Roy, those were the best two years of my school life and I feel myself to be really lucky for being her student. She was not only a teacher or mentor to us, but also a best friend. She knew how to mould herself, when it came to teaching, she would be strict and want every student to pay attention, listen very carefully to what is being taught and be disciplined towards the work or the assignments which were given to us and at the same time she could be a best friend with whom we could share anything. She would patiently listen to us and come up with some magical solutions that personally helped me a lot to evolve into a better person.
And, we students have this typical thinking that some teachers are very partial. Apparently it’s not true all the time, because for Sudheshna ma’am each and every student was equal. She has and always will give the same amount of love and care to every student, no matter if they are new or old. She has guided everyone in a spectacular way, which I can’t describe in words.
I remember, when I took admission in class 11, I opted for computer science and with that subject I struggled a lot as I didn’t have computers in 9th and 10th but she always supported me to work hard and gave me strength to keep on going. Somehow I wasn’t able to cope up with the subject inspite of working hard and with that my other subjects were getting hampered too.
On the last result day of class 11, she personally talked to me and my mom, and asked me to drop the subject, as she saw that despite working hard, I wasn’t able to cope up and my other subjects were getting affected as well. She beautifully explained that when we are concentrating on one thing too much and not getting any productive results other things suffer. We should keep the burdensome thing aside and get going on other things. As a result, afterwards, I gradually started to concentrate more and started getting good grades. She explained to me just like a parent does to his or her child.
She has always inspired us to be a better person both in academics and as human beings.
She is truly an inspiration to all of us. Even now whenever I visit her, she always looks at me with the same affectionate glance the way she did when I was in school. Because for teachers, we will always remain their beloved students no matter how much we grow up. They will always have the same love and affection towards us.
She is and always will be my motivator.
Akankha wishes to be an eminent fashion designer and travel around the world one day, and make her teachers proud.
Ishika Chatterjee who has just graduated out of school with a dazzling ISC score sheet in the Humanities , writes about her favourite teacher:
A great teacher doesn’t just help you to get good grades in academics but also inspires you to be better than you thought you were. Over the years in my student life, I’ve come across several teachers and I am in awe of the passion, creativity and knowledge they bring to their students. However, one name,in particular, comes to my mind whenever I’m told to nominate someone who inspires greatness and has brought about a change in me and that is, Ma’am Indira Sengupta.
I never thought that I was great at the sciences and none of my teachers made me think differently until I met my high school chemistry teacher. She was young, energetic and was determined to make her students love the science subjects as much as she did. She took me under her wing and soon I was able to understand concepts which I thought I would never be able to grasp. I was leading experiments with concepts and always had the maximum number of queries at the end of the class, so we spent a lot of time discussing over them. She taught me how to never give up and helped me see beauty in the challenges and how wonderful it feels when you finally overcome your fear. She taught me how to believe in myself and to know that I could do anything that I put my mind to. She was constantly on a quest for continued improvement so that she could be her best self not only for herself but to imbibe greatness in the students too. Ma’am Indira not just taught me content but also taught me about myself.
We children face immeasurable amount of pressures in different life circumstances. For some,home life isn’t a happy place. School can only feel like their safest second home when teachers like Ma’am Indira are there to guide us through obstacles in life.
I remember,I was going through a very traumatic experience when Ma’am Indira told me that I should invest my aggression in something I love and strive to achieve the best outcome. That is when I started penning down short stories from my life and improvised them with some imaginary occurrences. The arts sustained me. Crafting stories that conveyed my plight I encountered in my life and through my recovery process, brought beauty to the ugliness.
Ma’am Indira helped my life to become stable and gravitated towards more joyful proclivities,I veered away from regurgitating trauma.
Ma’am Indira has always played an important role in shaping me and whenever I’m in trouble,I seek her guidance. I remember that she told me to keep hustling because nobody’s going to do it for me. She is the reason behind my stable academic results and a stress-free life. Keeping in mind, the keys to succeed in life that she offered me, I have become a better person and have been successful enough to have got admission in my dream college, pursuing the subject I love. I owe her all the credit for making me so confident, versatile and to believe in myself and follow my dreams.
Ma’am Indira was more than just an individual who has knowledge and shared that knowledge. She was a mentor,encourager, confidant, counselor, believer in dreams and so much more. She pulled me out from things I didn’t know I had.All I can do for her is to show her that I implemented everything that she taught me in life and I didn’t let her advice go in vain. Whenever I get an opportunity,I thank her and publicly recognize the role that she played in bringing me to where I am today.