Remembering the titans

Bhavana

A popular saying by William Arthur Ward goes, ‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ On Teachers’ Day, a few teachers in the City recall their favourite teachers, who have inspired them to become who they are.
Bhavana, a young teacher from Greenwood High has always loved children. A teacher for the kindergarten students, Bhavana says her mother, who is also a teacher, inspired her the most. “The relationship she shared with her students was amazing. Even after years, her students still remember and approach her.” She adds, “It made me realise how a person can change someone’s life so much.”
“When I was in college, I would take tuitions for slum kids. But gradually the hobby turned into a profession,” she says.

“Teachers are the ones who make us good citizens,” feels K B Kempegowda, the principal of Vivekananda College of Law. His favourite teacher is Chikka Honna Shetty, his primary school teacher at his village in Mandya.
“He would teach all the subjects to four classes with 60 students in each,” describes Kempegowda. “A speciality of his was that he would knock on our doors at 5.30 every morning, wake each student up and make him or her read.”
He recollects, “No one had a clock or a watch in our village. My teacher was the only person to have one, and he would write down the date of birth and maintain the records of every newborn.”
Another teacher Kempegowda remembers is Srikantaiah from his primary school, “Once my father was hospitalised and Srikantaiah asked me to stop attending college and take care of the agricultural activities at home.” But when Kempegowda joined college after two years and got a rank in BA, his teacher apologised to him. “He said he would have touched my feet had I not been younger to him. That was the generosity of a teacher, to admit his mistake.”

Preeti, a young teacher for underprivileged children, at Parikrama admires her mother, who is a teacher herself.  “I’d often mimic my mother,” she laughs. Mrs D’Souza, her English teacher from school is another favourite of hers. “She was be a strict disciplinarian in class, where as outside, she was a great friend. She was so admirable that one couldn’t help but be a good student.”
As a student, Preeti used to love writing poetry but was an introvert by nature. “Mrs D’Souza was the one who recognised my talent and would read my poems. She encouraged me to write more.”

Sumita was a student of Bishop Cotton Girls’ School and teaches commerce in the Bishop Cotton College now. She has vivid memories of the former principal of the school Stella Samuel, who was her class teacher in 12th standard. “My accounts teacher always had a problem with me and even told my father that I shouldn’t sit for the board exams. I was so upset that I told Stella maam that I will never study again.” But Stella gave Sumita the much needed confidence. “She told me that I will surely pass, and should give myself another chance in case I didn’t. Just to prove her faith in me, I wrote the exam and got a first class.”
Today, Sumita has finished her MPhil in commerce and owes it all to Stella. “She is the one who taught me to never discourage any student. And I teach every account subject possible,” she laughs. “I have learnt so much from her. Now, my main motto in teaching is to never make any student cry.”

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