Deepa M. U., Teacher, Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School ,
Deepa works as a special educator at PSBB school in Chennai. She has a Diploma in Montessori and specialisation in Educational Technology. She has worked as a resource person in many capabilities, with NCERT.
Contentment Brings Happiness
I am proud to be a teacher because as I start to pen this article, I realised that it's been two decades since I took my baby steps into this profession. The world thinks that teaching is probably the most comfortable and suitable profession to women as someone said it’s very noble.
Well, I'm being honest about bragging that I'm a fourth-generation teacher in my family. So, it's too obvious that I'm proud to be a teacher. It still doesn't sink in me that I've grown twenty years older since I started my career and that my students of 2003 are all adults!
Initially, I assumed it would be a cake walk for me when I started my career because teaching has been my passion. Every other day we face new challenges. Thanks to my wise colleagues who have guided me to sail through. However, with each passing year with different batches of students across different grades, I have grown up as a learner. Every student of mine has taught me something. A lot of students have inspired me to be a better teacher. They taught me how to teach them. They taught me how to stay composed. Remarks by students, "Ma'am, you're so kind", "Ma'am, you're so pretty," etc. not only made me feel good, but also made me a kinder person, smile more often, build more patience and accept others the way they are.
There has been no peaceful sleep ever since I started teaching because there's always that feeling that I could have done better in a particular class. I could have handled a particular child better. I could have helped a parent understand their child’s difficulties better and so on.
The beginning of each academic year feels like getting into motherhood for the first time. It becomes my responsibility to give my best and be at my best, so the children remain hale and hearty. It feels like I have conceived in June and would be delivering them into a better world by April when it’s full term. June and July months have a lot of glitches, there’s a lot of adjustments and accommodations to be made. New learnings happen when I need to understand each child. By September-October, it starts to feel a bit comfortable and by now our new routine is all set. The real bonding gets initiated between us. By February when the final trimester is almost round the corner, the anxiousness builds up. I need to make sure the children are ready to take the plunge into the next set-up. The children start feeling they’ve grown up and don’t want me hand holding them. The level of anxiety reaches its peak by April when preparations for the D-Day [The Open-Day] is on. The sense of letting go of a part of oneself gives a low feeling. Once the final day is over, the joy gets multiplied many folds for a lot of reasons only teachers can relate to. One of them is to see your students celebrate their success.
Even when I'm physically sick, I push myself to go to school because being around children gives me energy. When I'm back home, I may look tired, pale and lifeless. But there's an intrinsic motivation that I have something to do for the next day and that I need to deliver my best the next day keeps me going. Today, I proudly say that I'm alive because I'm a teacher and I feel sane because I'm a teacher.
There’s almost another two decades for me to retire officially, but I would want to learn and teach until my last breath because my children (biological and not biological) are my lifeline.
Although teaching is the least paid profession, I must admit that there’s so much contentment. Being a teacher has made me more humble and more humane. It’s been my strong belief that contentment brings happiness. So, undoubtedly, I am happy being a teacher.