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Becoming A Teacher..

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I am the kind of person who actually doesn't like it when someone questions me while I am doing some work. But recently one such question changed my views about life.

It was one of the worst days of monsoon here and my mom and her colleagues were seriously involved in a socio-economic data collection.Pouring rain and starved stomach really makes a person mad!! And it applied perfectly for me then. Holding a bundle of survey papers and noting down the details in heavy rain with an umbrella balanced on your shoulder is not that easy nor thrilling. And rarely, apart from this scene, we would a get a chance to get inside some homes and sit and take the survey. And there it goes again; little kids gather all around you and start questioning more furiously than we did!!

But one kid, about eight years old, stood beside me silently and watched me write down. I asked her some 'not so important' questions so that she will not think I am arrogant. She responded quite coldly, and I was fine as it gave me time to note down things. We got a steaming hot glass of coffee and I asked her to hold it for me. Five minutes passed and she came close to me, keeping my glass down, and asked in a very innocent tone, "Akka, how do u write things so nicely?? Can u teach me? I want to learn to write in English".(Akka means sister)

Though for the moment I said "sure my dear", I was actually not gonna do that, for I was very positive about the fact I was not gonna get time. But that day in the evening my mom told me that its not just her who wish to learn English, but that there are many other children like that. That made me think for a second and within another second I dialled my best friends number. I asked her, "Annu, shall we teach some children English??" and she told me"I am ready, but how is it possible??". I told her I would call her back and went straight into the kitchen and asked my mom if she would arrange the kids for the class. It was an yes. And I told myself that this yes meant an answer to her question.

Ideas doesn't get real unless we work for it. And working for such a cause in a society that has zero interest in learning, is not that easy as it sounds. Plus finding people who will stand for such a cause is even hard. Luckily I had five people ready for it with the cost of one phone call alone!!The beauty of doing something that your heart tells is, NO MATTER WHAT; THERE IS ALWAYS TIME AND ENERGY FOR IT. But the hardest challenge was to get children out of their homes to come for such a class. There was hardly two or three parents who supported this. And all thanks goes to my mom, for convincing people to sent their kids to learn English.

The first day of our English tution revealed to me that kids love those people who can sing and that teenagers of any place hate advices!! Though the very first thing that we told our kids were to practice punctuality. And let me tell you, they followed it quite well.:)

There were six of us, and we had divided the 33 students into 3 groups on the basis of age. The younger kids learned rather quickly and the girl who asked me to teach her was the brightest of them all. But dealing with the teenagers was tricky. We had to convince them first, then make them friends and finally teach them. Starting with reading exercises, we soon progressed to writing exercises. We did not focus on teaching them grammar or spoken English, because we believed that they should learn the basics of reading and writing first. And the biggest reason why we sticked on to that plan was because of a tenth standard student, who had two papers on English for exam,and did not know how to write his own name properly in English.!

After ten days of evening classes we had made the teenagers read English newspapers and the juniors to respond to questions in English. Big success.!! And as far as I am concerned, the biggest compliment I recieved was from Vinod, a twelve year old tribal boy, that coming for the class made him much more happier than cutting leaves and fetching grass for his cattles..

The biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that, sharing knowledge always makes us better human beings, as we recieve a ten fold more than what we give. And when we interact with more people, our outlook towards this world changes. It helps us to persevere the worst obstacles when we have our heart in what we do. Two of us used to come for the class at 3.30 after attending our special classes at school till 3'o'clock. These kids also made me realise how lucky I am and gives me strength to do greater things. They have made me realise that anything can be done, if there is a will and there is hope.. :)




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