The teacher

ImageA Latin Maxim states grammar speaks, dialects teach us truth; rhetoric gives colouring to our speech; music signs; arithmetic numbers; astronomy teaches us to know the stars — The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truthDan Rather.

Over the years I have official teachers, and people from whom I have learnt. I can remember quite a few of them, the best ones and the worst ones. Those who I realize in retrospect have had good or bad influence on me.

At school I was the rebel, I refused to conform to the norms, I was curious and was quite unabashed about it, and I read a lot.  Along my reading I learnt that things had to be classified, so here is my classification of my teachers. The Draconian teacher a teacher who is rigorous, unusually severe or cruel, with draconian forms of punishment, they still live in my nightmare.  These teachers were equipped with shrill voices, wooden scales, and harsh words; they also had the capacity of carrying tales to the parents all in the name of doing well. In today’s world we would call them control freaks, our time we got away with under the breath epitaph of Hitler.

What we did learn from them is how to break rules, and circumvent hurdles without being caught.

Then is the hypocrite teacher this is the teacher who say things and not honour them. They would have one set of rules for the Lodges and another for the Cabot’s, the plebeians didn’t exist in their reckoning.

Then is the person I would call the Guru Edward Bulwer-Lytton identifies them as — the person who suggests rather than dogmatize, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself, the purpose of this teacher is not create students in his own image but to develop students who can create their own image.

Along with teaching Maths and science I had teachers outside the school who taught me life and living.

If you insist then I would say Mr. Denis D’silva I have come to accept that he was a great artist, and there were few other great artists in my life. For teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is human is the human mind and spirit.

Working on this piece I realize that teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum of choice of text or special placement of students, the only autonomy they have is inside the classroom. This is something shared only by few other occupations like the police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institutional pyramid.

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