Who says teaching ends when you leave the classroom? It goes on for a lifetime. Teachers come in different forms, and some of them become unforgettable. They enter our lives as subject experts and soon take the shape of life mentors. Today’s ‘Teacher’s Day’, and we surfed the Internet and found wholesome accounts of people describing their favourite teachers and what made them so special. Take a look.
1. “I had recently been diagnosed with a neurological condition and was having a really hard time adjusting to my meds. She could see I wasn’t doing too well one day and let me nap in her office. Even offered to give me a note for my next class if I needed a little more time. She had more sympathy than either of my parents did.”
2. “He talked to us about taboo subjects and read stories/books about real life stuff that a lot of us had gone through or were going through and helped us understand feelings we didn’t know we were dealing with. He made me love reading and writing. I’d be afraid to see him again just because he probably expected more of me, I miss him and I hope he’s doing well. He will always be my favorite teacher; even though I hated going to school, he made it a little bearable when I did go.”
3. “My Malayalam Teacher, Jayashree. I am so so grateful to her. She gave me my everything. My love for reading, my passion for writing, my ability to listen to stories, the confidence to stand on stage. She took me out of my shell and just showed me the world. When, my math-teaching-class teacher would yell at me for missing classes for going to Art Festivals, Jaya ma’am would stand by me and say, ‘hey, learning is not just in textbooks and formulas’. She was so bloody right. I don’t use algebra and organic chemistry every day, but I tell stories for a living.”
4. “My math teacher for grade 9-12. She didn’t do anything by the book and taught each kid in a way that benefited them most. At the end of each unit she asked how we felt about it and how we could improve our experience with the next.”
5. “Mom. My brother and I were raised by a single mother in the early 1970’s. She consciously decided to go on welfare for a few years, and instead of working a paying job, she spent all day teaching us the basics of math and reading. She made flash cards, she made board games, she came up with funny word puzzles, all designed to prime our tiny little brains into rejoicing in the acquisition of knowledge. As soon as we were old enough to come home from school and be unsupervised, she went back to work. The long term effect of this is that I am now a happy, well-adjusted, relatively successful guy.”
6. “In the beginning grade 11 my mathematics teacher introduced himself by kicking the door open and said, ‘lets do this shit’.
7. “My 3rd grade teacher. He treated us like we wanted to be treated, with respect. He also gave us some humbling exercises. For instance, I was, in retrospect, the know-all douchenozzle. I was getting frustrated at classmates doing long division on the board and not getting it correct. I’d groan, “That’s so easy,” and a couple classmates joined in. The teacher decided to take the three of us up, put some algebraic equations on the board, and told us to solve it while telling the rest of the class to “motivate” us by groaning, “It’s so easy. How do you not get it?” for a good 5 minutes.”
8. “Ms. Vandana Tiwari. She is very kind and very sweet.
I can share my personal feelings with her. You know, sometimes situations arise when we are not in a position to talk with our parents even, about what we are feeling(specifically, the adolescence period). That’s the time when we start feeling depressed. But she was the one who showed me the right way and cared for me like her own child. She always said that if she could, she might adopt me. I feel some sort of connection with her and this couldn’t be expressed in words.”
– Soumya Srivastava, Quora
9. “My favorite of all time, and I’ve had many greats, was an older lady teaching my 9th grade English class. I was almost a moron and had lots of difficulties and was pretty much shunned by the faculty and disliked for causing problems for teachers. But SHE treated me like a human and coaxed good stuff out of me. By being gentle and showing sincere interest in me, she was able to get me to read in front of the class. She taught me how to write…taking me from about 3rd grade level, one dimensional simplicity to being able to express deeper more complex thoughts and ask deeper important questions about myself. She pretty much saved my life.”
10. “I was a very troubled teenager, who was very shy and bullied a lot, I couldn’t express myself at home or anywhere. I really sucked at English and after receiving very bad marks at one of my English unit tests my parents decided to send me for English tuitions, and there I met my English teacher, let’s call her Mrs.S, she was a professor at the local college and used to teach English tuitions because of her very bad financial situations. She told me on my very first day that I have to talk to her in English and I can talk about anything, so naturally I told her whatever was on my mind and I used to love talking to her everyday. I told her stuff that I couldn’t say to my parents and she used to help me out with my personal stuff. I got really good at English and eventually it became my preferred language to express my emotion. She is the most nicest human being I ever met.”
I’d like to mention Megha Mam, who went above and beyond to stay back with me after school for hours just so I could overcome my fear of Maths. Not to brag or anything, but I topped in the subject later on and, for a long time, actually considered specialising in Math as a prospective career option. Well, just how fast the life changes!