Principal´s Desk

Neetu Singh Bais


Sinhgad Spring Dale School, Chanidvali

Some rush eagerly forward looking ahead to a brand new day, some follow the general hubbub and hustle along, some disdainfully condescend to converge with the teeming masses and some are downright hesitant, even unwilling to proceed to captivity. Teaching, perhaps is the only occupation where two sets of identities are being constructed simultaneously - the worker and the worked upon (not counting cosmetic surgeons and their successes or disasters, those whose self worth depends upon the superficial!). Within the process of teaching lies the potential to build from the very foundations. From the moment that the child, following the teacher, mimics a swaying flower in the early years of kindergarten to the powerful readings of Marc Antony ’s speech in High School, every student yearns to be. Be something. Something that is distant, elusive and spectacular. The child yearns, and the teacher inspires. With every new story that is added to the child’s treasury of knowledge is a new milestone of understanding achieved and a new goal to set sights on. One day, it is astronomy that fascinates and the child has decided upon being an astronaut; another day, it is the moving lines of Keats that has the student firmly decided upon a career in writing; or yet another, it is the stunning simplicity with which the laws of Physics disentangle the mysteries of our existence that settles him upon choosing to be a Physicist or Engineer. Whatever realm of education it be, it is constantly adding to the child’s perception of himself, with every new facet being seemingly possible. The beauty lies in the growing child ’s belief that he can become whoever he wants, and the fodder for these dreams is doled out by the daily endeavours of the teacher. The appreciation or criticism by the teacher allows the student to add that dimension to his personality which tells him that he is good at Math or wonderful at art or just barely passable at putting together an essay. At every bend, the teacher feels the weight of future responsibility, of scarring the child for life or raising him in his own esteem and thus turning him into a confident and capable individual. What happens to the teacher meanwhile? Is she simply a vessel of identity construction? Does she devote her existence to the moulding of a perfect generation? Just as every act of generosity makes us feel a little better about ourselves, she too thrives in the blooming of her students. A student who turns out to be a fine individual is the boost to every teacher ’s ego; he is the testimony to her capacity as an excellent educator, and hence the proof of her own identity as a successful alchemist of the soul. Perhaps, her identity is built by the fact that she has let so many bloom and grow. Within every student’s grateful smile is her promotion to her higher self, and within every ‘Thank You’ note is a notch of deep-seated confidence gained. The teacher’s identity works in conjunction with that of her students; and there is perhaps no greater joy or boost to the morale than looking at a strapping young lad or a poised young girl and thinking to yourself… ‘Not badly done there. Not bad at all.’