Shazman Shariff, NVPS, Bengaluru
Shazma teaches English and Mass Media Studies to high school students at NHVPS, RR Nagar. She is passionate about writing poems and articles, and often contribute blogs based on her teaching experience.
I am proud to be a teacher because I carry the trust of my students in shape of their problems, of their troubles and of their fears which they share with me, with a firm assurance that their secrets would be safe with me. A small clash with a friend, a perturbing misunderstanding with parents, an amorous entanglement...their minds carry the weight of a billion disturbing thoughts, which the adults may flippantly brush aside as balderdash; but for them these are serious concerns that would steal their concentration in the class, snatch their focus and leave them with a mind muddled and restless.
Apart from the academic transaction that happens in the class, the usual humdrum that revolves around writing lesson plans, planning activities, setting up questions papers, doing correction…for me, the realness of the profession lies in the communication that takes place between me and my students. If I take away the friendly conversations and the open discussions, then I am left with moments of dreary teacher talk and usual blackboard work presented to a bored audience waiting for the show to get over.
The appealing make over teaching has received at the hands of educationalist, now makes it a profession that pridefully flaunts the attributes of a counsellor, a guide and most importantly, a friend. With such an enticing job profile that demands so much from me, wouldn’t that be my sheer incompetence if I restrict myself to the textbook lesson with no care to go beyond and unleash the thousand thoughts and ideas that unfurl in the minds of my students? I deal with individuals who are discovering, aligning and shaping their perspective towards the world and people. They, with their newly acquired multiple curiosities - a gift of adolescence- are trying to find their niche in this world which offers tantalizing distractions. Aren’t they like wide-eyed children in a candy store, trying to mask the utter bafflement with a pseudo confident smile that people like us can easily detect with our experienced eyes. Their innocence makes them vulnerable and they at times end up making wrong decisions- it could be trusting someone too much, giving priority to things that can be pushed at the bottom of to-do list, nurturing obsessions entailing considerably harmful results...the spectrum of bad decisions is stretched out wide.
I must realise their decisions making skills are under construction that would go on for some more years, and at the same time their stress and emotion management skills can be summed up as work in progress; in this precarious situation, all I can offer is a patient hearing, bereft of judgement and make them feel lighter-till they burden themselves again. Their mistakes, mood swings appear unforgivable sins but if you just tear yourself away from the doctrine of morality that adults embrace after their fair share of misdoings, and step into the shoes of these young adults, then you will know the true meaning of empathy. The faith they repose in you is your prized possession earned with unfractured, unfragmented and undivided trust that forms the very foundation of the student-teacher relationship.