My father was good enough at suborning my school teachers and sometimes the principals too and if none from the latter or former, a different school would always be a dynamic option.
I started to fail in Mathematics from the day it was introduced to me as a subject. Soon it was realized that I was too vacuous to study math. I was kept being promoted to higher and higher classes until I reached grade 9. I were to appear for my O-levels next year and subverting it couldn’t have had worked there, dropping math was not an option either. One friend of mine referred me to a Bengali teacher who lived near our house. A dark, slim-short man in his checkered lungi and white vest opened his door to welcome me. In a series of no more than three questions he figured out where I stood in math.
‘I might not call myself a mathematician but I assume a teacher should be judged by what he delivers and not what he knows’ were his words. Centimeters and millimeters were taught by using lentils and frequency curves through a thin water stream. He always had some technique to teach almost anything.
However, it was this meeting when someone in 14 years assured me an ‘A’. Likewise, the tables turned and I ended up with what was assured. Well this was just one peerless tutor I was sanctified with. This occupation has abruptly changed over the years.
Always ready to take credits and disown discredits, what would be of my answer if I were to define teachers of today in one sentence.
When a student’s success is a teacher’s acclaim then why not the other way round?
When a teacher’s job is to teach, a student’s job should be to learn and just learn. However, this does not happen. Teachers induce competition between students which leads to a kind of hierarchy and this results in students focusing less on the process of learning and more on scoring better grades. Once it’s the grade-game the students automatically turn docile and run to soft-soap their teachers. Teachers on the other hand enjoy this absolute submission and mark their students not on merit but face-value. Moreover, students who fail to follow this pattern are labeled as rebellious or disobedient at worst.
But then there are some excellent teachers who are too virtuous at tutoring but then again just tutoring. They fail to nurture and foster students and maybe that’s because they weren’t themselves groomed. I presume ethics and ethos shall go hand in hand with education. This applies to those who get too involved into educating that when they sneeze they wipe their hands on their laps and act like no one has noticed.
During the times of Prophets when mentorship was considered sacred and teachers were called your spiritual-fathers this profession was different. That designation can in no way be pragmatic to the teachers of this era where the whole educational system is itself commercialized.
Similarly, a teacher has to have some characteristics to fall under the umbrella of being called a teacher or treated as a ‘spiritual-father’. Even if it was easy-money or whatsoever the reason that brought them to teach us, they shall perform their duty with earnestness.
Penned above are a few opinions that based on experience have developed over a period of time. Nevertheless we still have some very down to earth and prodigious teachers. I have been blessed with some of the very best lately. May God bless them all.