A battleground called classroom

A battleground called classroom

Then one might wonder on the use of past tense. I don’t regret teaching... period, but the fact remains that of late I am scared of the children! Sounds infantile? I am afraid that many of today’s students are potential health hazards to teachers.

Some of them practically get away with murder. They can be irksome, abrasive, delinquent, and negligent but as far as the management is concerned, they are kings.

Besides, being a teacher, I have successfully brought up two young adults. I have always drawn a line when it comes to their behaviour with teachers. I have assured them that if they feel that they know better than their teachers, they can try standing in front of a whole bunch of supercilious young brats and try doing a better job. Each stage in the teaching profession has its own problems. The young wards, though very charming can be devils if they set their minds to be one. Their constant complaints and bleating of ma’am can get grating as the day goes by. The terrible teens can be extremely difficult to handle for an over-worked teacher.

Change in perception

When I was teaching literature to a young teen and said that winter is considered bleak and pessimistic by poets and spring epitomises love and optimism, his disdainful, “are you nuts?” put my hackles up. He went on to add that he loved lying down on the snow for hours together. I think he had not heard of hypothermia. Naturally, I could not smack his smug face but I had to use my wits to put him down gently using kids’ glove.

There have been rapid changes in the perception of teachers and their methodology over the years. Despite the same, words like “you are dumb!” can surely not be spoken. It wouldn’t take a teacher too long to laugh and say, “Yes, definitely else I won’t be teaching you!”

For the skeptical readers let me assure you that the above scenarios are not figment of my imagination. I am sharing the experiences of teachers. A few children feel and act as though they are doing a great favour by sitting in the class! One of the leave vacancy teachers of a well reputed school  heaved a sigh of relief when her serving time came to an end. She voiced her thoughts heatedly, “if the principal had paid me to warm my seat, she should have been clear about it. If she wants me to take lessons, then let it be by my terms! It is so belittling, when you are treated as worn furniture.”

Many might disagree with me, but I maintain that it is easy to be judgmental when you don’t have to deal with rudeness as a part of the pay packet.  Today’s children know their rights. They know that the teachers can’t use their hands (even for a light tap), can’t use angry words or cannot throw the child out of the class even if it is beneficial for the class.

If a teacher dares to be different, parents are at school gates ready to believe their child rather than seek explanation. I had asked a young parent if she had never raised her voice or hand on her child. I am not her favourite person, but isn’t it so true that parents who cannot handle one or two children find it so easy to find fault with teachers who take care of roomful of brats? It is like asking to trek over a strange terrain while being blindfolded.

As a young colleague of mine said, “I don’t want to ponder in my old age and wonder if I have been responsible for the person who has been involved in some anti-social behaviour!” Sensitive portrayal of teaching profession as in Do Dhooni Char is really welcome and I think I would continue to teach… for there are wonderful young ones out there and I would like to feel that I have made a difference in a few lives even it is just one!