Rekindling the joy of teaching

Rekindling the joy of teaching

Undoubtedly, reading gives us many thought-provoking ideas. These ideas, at times, prove potent enough to entirely change the course of our life in a positive direction.

Once, while sitting awfully idle at my home, I held a collection of John Milton’s poems. To keep boredom at bay, I causally began to thumb through its pages. The anthology contained one of my favourite poems On His Blindness. Even a hurried reading of that small poem infused a new passion into my life.

Someone aptly said that literature gives wings to your ideas and sometimes you set new ideals after finishing a good read. The concluding line, “They also serve who stand and wait” resurrected me like a phoenix rising from the ashes. 

I realised I, too, could make a small but significant contribution to the society with my intent to serve and rise like phoenix. For a moment, I was at a loss on how to add meaning to my bland life. I told myself, “What if I don’t have any job right now? I am a trained teacher, after all.” The idea was beginning to take shape in my mind, though it was still in its embryonic stage.

Deep in cogitation, I was standing on the terrace of my house the same evening. All of a sudden, I happened to view a group of urchins playing on our street. My half-baked idea finally took shape. And I could wait no longer to execute it. That night I kept restlessly tossing and turning in my bed waiting for the sun to rise. As the day broke, with bated breath, I reached the nearby slum.

The sight was somewhat similar to the previous evening as many half-clad shabby-looking kids were loitering aimlessly about. With my steely resolve, I intimated the parents about my plan and proposed to teach their kids every day from morning to noon. The broad smiles on their faces indicated their approval. Much to my delight, one of the parents living in a ‘pucca makan’, a cemented house, offered to clear up some place where I could set up my classroom.

Now, the infrastructure was ready for my community school and no government affiliation was needed to go ahead. The next day, when I reached the venue, a class of more than 20 students was waiting for their first experience in formal teaching. The eager, excited faces of the innocent kids ignited my spirits all the more. A long-time hibernating teacher was back to form with a bang. 

Almost six months have rolled by. My students are learning a great deal of new things, and gaining more knowledge with every passing day. Delightfully, the number of students has also doubled and so has my enthusiasm. Though I don’t receive any remuneration, there is a profound sense of inner satisfaction and that is ample compensation for me.