Wednesday, May 18, 2005

To Ma'am With Love(and Admiration)

Yesterday evening was the Spring Program at my daughter's preschool and all the kids in her class were dressed up in bright and colorful spring dresses, looking oh-so-cute. Under the watchful eyes of their two teachers, they sang a few rhymes, danced to a couple of them and ended the program with a flourish, with a curtsy and a 'flying' kiss. The proud parents(of who I was one, ofcourse) were all looking on proudly, grinning, videotaping(remember the scene in Sixth Sense where the start of the school play sees all parents lifting their video cameras in unison? Shyamalan was right on the mark!) and snapping pictures.

Even as I was watching the li'l ones belt out those rhymes, I couldn't help being amazed at what their two teachers had achieved. It is soooo difficult getting a 3 1/2 yr old to do anything organized. I mean, it takes a whole lot of patience to get a single photo of my daughter the way I want it. But here were not 1 but 24 kids in that age group, standing in a circle, singing rhymes on cue and twirling around to the music with their partners. These are kids who rush to their parents on seeing them at the end of the day but not one of them as much as waved to their parents while the program was going on.

Not to take anything away from the kids themselves but I wholeheartedly admire what the teachers have done(and continue doing on a daily basis) - instilling discipline, teaching positive values, educating.... the list goes on. Any time my daughter comes home and shows off something new(like when she read a 3-letter word the other day), I am amazed at how the teachers managed to teach her the concept. When we think about it, its what the teachers are doing today that's going to be shaping the inhabitants of the world(and hence, the world itself) tomorrow. Gosh thats a lot of pressure!

Maybe because I spent more years with the same set of teachers in school(PSBB, K.K.Nagar), I remember them much better than my teachers in college.

- The English teacher who laid the foundation for my love of the language to this day with her wonderful command over it

- the Maths teacher was a very sweet lady but earned our class' collective ire one day by poattu koduthufying(some guys in our class were imitating other teachers at her urging and she revealed that to those teachers, landing us in big trouble)

- the Biology teacher who enjoyed the class as much as we did(her class was filled with excursions and field trips under the guise of 'specimen collecting' and she was the main reason I took the class though I hated dissections and knew I would never ever become a doctor!)

- the Physics and Chemistry teachers who were very brainy but equally serious and had a knack for simplifying even complex concepts(of which there were quite a few in both subjects)

- the Tamil teacher and her innovative methods of teaching(she made sure we understood the underlying meaning of a pazhamozhi by making us perform short plays that illustrated their meaning).

To these - and all my other - teachers I just want to say "Thank You". And to all teachers out there, a heartfelt "I really admire what you are doing".


At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for posting this news in an article like this. Just found this hilarious :)

Article from Times of India

BHUBANESWAR: Remember young Rishi Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker peeping at a sexy Simi Garewal emerging from behind the bushes after taking a bath.

The scene is certainly part of Bollywood folklore. And, if a principal of a city-based school is to be believed, such sensuous scenes could take place even inside a classroom.

"The unconscious exposure of body of a lady teacher during teaching could be an object of amusement for male students inside a classroom," observes Dr K C Satapathy, principal of DAV Public School at Chandrasekharpur here.

Disturbed over its effects, the school has decided to make all teachers, irrespective of gender, wear an apron while teaching from the coming academic session.

The decision, incidentally, came in the wake of a two-year study undertaken by the school, which concluded that boys in higher classes were 'losing concentration' inside the classroom when the body of lady teachers was getting even slightly exposed during teaching.

"Adolescent boys are most inquisitive about sex, especially after being exposed to sexually explicit scenes in the mass media. And they tend to lose attention when lady teachers unconsciously expose body parts during teaching," said the principal.

"By wearing an apron, the quality of teaching could improve. The teachers need no longer feel restrained to demonstrate during teaching," he pointed out

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

I know exactly what you are saying. Yesterday my older girl "graduated" from montessori (KG). That is one amazing program, the montessori system I mean.

At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post, Balaji!! I made sure that I visited my high school English and Chemistry teachers when I was in Madurai last Fall :) I couldn't meet my Geography teacher as she teaches at Ethiraj College in Chennai now. Maybe next year when I plan to spend more time in Chennai...

As for that article mentioned by maverick, that apron is not going to solve anything. Adolescent boys can see around corners. Trust me :)

Congrats to your kid, munimma!

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was the ultimate enfant terrible in school...thaz all i have to say here lest my friends see this post and ask me, "indha madhiri cute post-ku endha m---ukku nee comment elaam post panne??"

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

I used to work in a children's daycare, and I work there on and off during college holidays.. Its TONS of fun. And cant help but admire the teachers adn their patience with the children. Although I was a sub there... I was like one of the big kids there, I would always play with the kids... that taught me alots of patiences too... The thing is... I think its a two way thing... The kids teach the teachers something indirectly... while the teachers teach the kids directly. Its such a sweet deal!

And another thing is that... My high school science teacher & his wife, who was also my english teacher.. their 4 year old daughter was going to that preschool/daycare... Once when we went on a trip... I heard the english teacher say... "YOu know, I used to be Merino's teacher, now she's yours"


At 3:18 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

mav, they had a 2 year study on this?! wonder how exactly they went about doing the study! pasangala kedukkarathe indha madhiri perisunga thaanpa!

munimma, congrats! my kid went to a montessori type daycare. now she goes to a non-montessori preschool. one of those academically-oriented preschools where u only have indians and chinese!

gopi, same here. 3 of my school teachers attended my wedding, which was almost 10 yrs after I got out of school. goes to show how longstanding those bonds are. i relived many of those moments even as i was typing the post...

packer, thanx! no wonder they call it 'sundara telugu'

merino, working in a daycare with toddlers would be a dream job for me. I used to spend more than half hour in my kid's class when i went to drop her off and hated leaving to work. became friends with both the teachers and many of the kids there. I think I was sadder than my daughter when she moved to the preschool!


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