Inheritance of a different kind

An advertisement of a cement brand featuring Amitabh Bachchan in which the actor  narrates in his resonant voice as to how we can see the reflection of our parents in our children; feel their presence in the mannerism of our offspring, touches my heart. Children inherit physical attributes and traits of their parents and also of their grandparents through the genes. But here I am referring to inheritance of another kind– the traits that we acquire from our teachers, the values we imbibe from them and the influence a teacher has in shaping the personality of the students. Not only do we learn a lot from them but also tend to emulate the style of the teachers whom we admire and hold in high esteem. I can feel the touch of my economics professor in the way I conduct myself in the class and deliver the lectures, a stamp of my Ms Pamila Bedi, whose legacy I carried on as an economics teacher.

As I go down the memory lane, I fondly remember my teachers from the  school days. Mr Vyas kept the class spell bound as he dramatized the scenes with all the action and histrionics while teaching prose and poetry. Equally mesmerizing were Ms Handoo’s lectures as she unraveled the mysteries of history in her soft and gentle voice. I consider myself fortunate to have been taught by some of the best teachers. Each one of them had a distinctive teaching style but it was the passion for teaching which was common to all the remarkable teachers. They had zest to learn and zeal to teach, a sort of missionary zeal. I can’t say that teaching is in my genes but can proudly state that I have inherited the love for the profession from my teachers.

My teachers have been my role models, from whom I learnt how to make the students comprehend the subject in a lucid manner, how to hold their interest and curiosity. From them I have learnt how to humour the students and also to reprimand, when required. Undoubtedly, teaching is an art that I acquired from my gurus, but the most important lesson being a good teacher teaches from the heart, not the book.

A good teacher is one who inspires and guides the students, never encourages rote learning from notes, but is a facilitator in learning.  In this age of knowledge explosion, information is just a click away but a virtual teacher is no substitute for a real tutor who connects and engages with the students. ‘Google Guru’ can never replace a good teacher in flesh and blood since a teacher not only imparts knowledge but is also a torch bearer for the students who motivates and guides the students. Teachers are the role models whom the students tend to emulate.

Today I look back with a deep sense of gratitude and thank all my revered teachers for nurturing me into what I am today. On this Teachers’ Day I remind myself of my responsibility as a teacher in shaping the young minds, not only educating them but also inculcating human virtues and values in them. It is quite possible some of my students may be looking up to  me as their role model and I must set a good example.

(Published in Chandigarh Tribune on 5  September, 2019)

19 Replies to “Inheritance of a different kind”

  1. Fortunate to be taught by greatest Teachers of KV School, near Defence theatre Jalandhar Cantt. Studied in same school from 1967 to 1978. Golden memories of those days with most inspiring respected Teacher still fresh.
    My most favourite class teacher was Madam Indira Bhatia from class 1st to 5th.
    She always cared and was strict like mother.
    Best Regards to all my most respected Teachers.
    Narinder Singh
    Jalandhar 9988406822

    1. yes, Narinder, we have been blessed to have been taught by wonderful teachers. Though I didn’t have the privilege of being taught by madam Bhatia since I joined the school in class ninth. But i still fondly remember madam Duggal , another motherly figure remember.
      In fact , this piece is my humble tribute to all my remarkable teachers.

  2. Have no words to thank you, dear child, for surely your undeserved praise.
    Many times l have been told that I made a wrong choice by choosing teaching, and that, too, in a mere local private college, as a profession. But affection and appreciation of a student like you has not only vindicated my stand but compensated me for my efforts, whatever worth, million times over.
    God bless you and all students like you.
    Pupils like you make teaching an ecstasy rather than an agony.

    1. yes ma’am , you could have achieved much greater heights with your capabilities but then, all your students would have been deprived of a truly great teacher.
      I feel blessed to have been taught , guided and motivated by a truly passionate and dedicated teacher like you. I have always felt that I am carrying on your legacy as an economics teachers . I owe you so much ma’am…
      Loving regards

      1. Rama, I read every article of yours with great interest. But this one is special. Also being a teacher myself, I have the same feelings. I became a teacher by choice. Really appreciable piece!

        1. Thank you so much Sanjiv. ‘Dil se likha hai’.I know you are a sincere , passionate teacher.No wonder it touches a chord with u.

  3. I think my entire being resonates with this article because when it comes to passing on the knowledge I’ve gathered in Archaeology or History and in Literature and Economics, I find I am more my teachers’ daughter than I am my parents’ child and when I extend the opportunity to children I have taught to reverse roles on a particular archaeological site, I find, much to my surprise, that my “acquired trait” from a beloved and much admired teacher has passed on to this kid I took in just a couple of months ago. We all talk ceaselessly about what lamps of learning teachers ignite and use a thousand such metaphors on Teacher’s Day but as a student for life and a teacher-in-making, I feel that if we recognise what we truly learned from a particular teacher and thank them for that (because I am the most impatient person outside my little lot of borrowed student rooms and sites and all my patience really comes from my teachers!) then Teacher’s Day would truly be meaningful. After all every teacher deserves to know how a student has been touched by their presence.

    1. Shriya , you are brilliant .The way you pen down your thoughts with clarity is amazing.It’s a role reversal – so much to learn from u Shriya . God bless you.

  4. It is a very sentimental article.Really ‘Google Guru’ provides only knowledge/information where no emotions are attached.I also remember my teenage college days a lot. I was new in the city.My teachers were very affectionate,supported and encouraged me without any discrimination.I am fortunate enough to be able to connect to my teachers at this age.Thank You teachers.My very sweet memories related to MCMDAV college!

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