My first brush with teaching was when I was in class eleven. A group of girls from my area were my first students. Knowing that I was a good student they would come to me for difficulties and the days on which they did not come, I felt a sense of emptiness. Gradually their tribe grew and with it my fondness for teaching. I also realized that teaching gave me an unparalleled satisfaction of having done something noteworthy in the day. Before I finished my graduation I had already decided to become a teacher.
The euphoria when my students score well, the deep sense of satisfaction I derive when I see my students do well in life and the selfless abundant love and respect I get from them, is what keeps me going.
I teach Undergraduates and post graduates. For under-grads, apart from teaching them what is prescribed in the syllabus, I also try to keep them updated with the current developments in their subject. While teaching Business Law, I give them examples and then encourage them to come up with their own examples. This activity helps them in gaining conceptual knowledge and also helps me gauge how much and how correctly they have understood what is being taught. I try to bring in humor in my class, shuffle students from their seats, pose questions on topics covered in previous class, make them draw flow charts; in short I keep them alert and active in my class! For post grads, I don’t teach, I discuss the subject with them. We take up presentations, research projects and case studies to ensure that the subject is well understood.
Education should be like `Kalpatru’- it should be able to give a person whatever he wants. Although in India, we recognize the importance of education not much has changed in the way we provide education, particularly higher education, to our youth. In the commerce stream, the way the syllabus is designed and the manner in which examinations are conducted encourages ‘rota’ learning leading to mediocrity. Introducing compulsory internship or summer training at undergrad stage would help.
What improvements would you suggest?
- We need to focus not only on providing knowledge but on knowledge combined with training that makes youth employable.
- There is also an urgent need for development of newer skills among the work force.
- Training in cognitive skills is also recommended, so that students especially those from commerce arts and social science stream adopt a more practical approach.
- ‘work experience’ should be made mandatory for getting any undergraduate degree.
I find most youngsters have a casual approach towards- life and career. Yes, they want to excel in life, are more competitive than what we were in our times but I find the spark missing. The resolve to rise after every setback is missing.
A word of advise for them… Like I always tell my students, “learn to deserve before you desire” and to deserve some-thing you have to work hard. Never ever give up. The struggling worm of today is the beautiful butterfly of tomorrow.