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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Last dream

Why are the very best of my ex students so scared to take up teaching as a calling/vocation?

It goes without saying that since I have been a teacher by conviction, and have taught all sorts of things to people over a wide range of ages for more than three decades, and it has given me so much satisfaction, pride, an unusually wide reputation, a very great deal of respect, and a  comfortable living besides (which could easily have been upgraded to affluent if I had worked harder, and in a metropolitan city where the fees are far higher), I do very badly want a lot of good and bright young people – especially those who have learnt from me what teaching might be – to come into this profession, and especially so at the school level, where most of our real education takes place for most of us. Some say it’s too risky, some that it requires too much knowledge always ready at hand, some are too frightened to face students’ criticism and questions, some insist that it calls for too much self-discipline, orderliness, assiduity and patience, considering which it doesn’t really ‘pay’ enough… and it doesn’t make me happy. Partly because I know they are not right, and partly because even if all that were true, some of them, some of the best of them, should, must take the plunge: because it is a truism that without many good and a few great teachers, no country can hope to progress and prosper, because teachers make every other kind of men, be they politicians or tycoons, doctors or engineers, artists or scientists, parents or policemen…

My last and best dream is that I should be able to start a small thing with my most favourite, best persuaded old boys and girls, then spread out a countrywide chain of enfranchised tutorials – the only difference from the familiar sort lying in the two facts that a) we would teach how to live good lives, not merely how to get a ‘good’ job, which after all is a trivial aim of education, and b) my colleagues/partners would be committed to teaching as religious men are committed to worship, not merely in it to make a fast buck: though, the way I see it, if the thing does come to fruition some day, there will be more than enough money going around to make us all deeply contented.

How many of my ex students are game? You don’t have to commit publicly on the blog. Use email if you like. This year I shall want to lay the foundation stone, even if only metaphorically speaking, meaning that I want to get the most interested ones chatting and planning together on the net to start with. All else can follow. That, by the way, would be both the best way to express their love for me and pay me gurudakshina…

This is my last and best dream. I might die with the dream unrealized, but so what? It is good to die with a good, clean, big dream. And I know that my fellow countrymen don’t stand to lose anything if my dream does come true. Besides, it would be sad if I could not pass on the baton when my time’s up.

P.S.: In the few hours since I posted this one, several interested people have been talking to me already, via phone and chat and email. I want to start the thing properly off by setting up a discussion forum, to which membership will be only by request or invitation. What would be the best way of doing that? Launch a new, separate blog? Or...?

P.P.S., May 28: Well, no time like the present. I am taking advantage of my mid-year break to set the ball rolling. I have now set up the forum in the form of a blog, which readers can access by invitation only, and I have sent off invitations to a tiny set already. Now I am waiting for responses...

11 comments:

Debarshi Saha said...

Respected Sir,

Warm regards. I stand by your side, Sir, and dream the same dream as you do. May the 'Shubh Aarambh' commence! I shall strive to be of service to the best of my ability, Sir.

With best wishes,
Debarshi.

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Sir,

Teaching is something that I have always enjoyed (although I have done it in a very limited scale till date). I am all with you in this matter and hope to give my best to transform your dream into reality. Getting to know and learn from you has contributed to my growth in so many different ways and I am still in the process. It would be wonderful if I now have the opportunity to be with you in your endeavour to spread it countrywide.

With regards,
Saikat.

With regards,
Saikat.

Sayan Datta said...

You can count us in, Sir.
Forget how much the endevour will pay or when; to work with you and within that sort of a group will be reward in itself. It will also give our life meaning and that alone will make all the effort worthwhile, whatever happens from here on.

Rashmi and Sayan

Abhishek Anand said...

Respected Sir,

It is great to hear that you want to leave on a journey that is essential for our country's development. We need tutorials which impart real education.

I was very happy and excited after reading this post. It might be too early for me to say so, but I would like to echo Mr. Datta's opinion that working in that group will itself be a reward.

As of now, I wish you all the very best and hope for your success.

Yours faithfully,
Abhishek Anand

Aritra Roy said...

Sir,

I also want to be a part of this journey and in the process learn from all of you. I'll put in my best efforts and will try to impart whatever I have learnt from you. Participating in this endeavour will be a reward in itself.

Yours faithfully,
Aritra Roy

Abhirup said...

Dear Sir,

I am sorry for not noticing and responding to this blogpost faster. I shall be glad to be a part of what you are planning, and contribute in whatever manner I can.

With regards,
Abhirup.

ananya mukherjee said...

Dear Sir,
Sir I know it is too early for me to say this but you can include us in your noble endeavour.It will certainly be a good learning experience.
with regards,
Ananya and Sunandini

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Too young, far too young, my dears. There are people a decade older who have said they have nothing to contribute, though elsewhere they like to think they are very smart and worldly-wise! But thanks all the same. And who knows, many years down the line...?
Sir

sayantika said...

Dear Sir,
I am glad that you invited me. Although all my experiences with teaching have been rather bad and I decided against taking it up as a career, I shall try to contribute to your project.
Thanks and with regards,
Sayantika

Percipient Shameek .... said...

Dear Sir ,

I shall be glad to be a part of what you are planning, and would try to contribute in whatever manner I can. It would be a good learning experience for me...

With regards ,
Shameek..

Vaishnavi said...

Dear Sir,

I don't know if I can be of any real help, living all the way down in Chennai but I would love to be able to do whatever little I can. Do let me know Sir.

Regards,
Vaishnavi