Saturday, 30 April 2016

An Open Letter To My Students

My Extended Family!

It's a wrap. A year has passed, so swiftly. Summing my year at S.P.I.T, it was an amazing year, work wise, touch wood.

S.P.I.T is family to me. You, the students and the people I work with are a part of my daily life. By God's grace, S.P.I.T has been such a fun place to work! When people around you are so welcoming and cooperative, you are bound to feel comfortable always!

And you guys, I always saw you as friends.

Harshal Mahajan and Ashwin Mishra requested me to blog about my experience at S.P.I.T! And nonetheless, I gave it a serious thought. I write, I own a blog, I have been a contributing author for three anthologies and this gave me a kick to write something. 

Here's a letter wishing you all the best ahead, for your final board exams and life.

I may or may not teach you ahead, but the fact that I am emotionally connected to all of you and S.P.I.T makes me pen this down.

I always wanted to be someone - I needed, when I was younger.

Many might not know, Engineering was never my plan; yet I took it up, did a Masters and I am happy with what I do now, because teaching was always a noble thing to do, for me.

I could identify myself in many of you - how some are sincere yet fun loving, full of energy, chirpy - that's how I still am!

I believed in delivering quality education, I am of the opinion that any of you, if any of you, had to take external help for the subject I teach, it is a slap on my face. It somewhere means, I am lacking in what I do. 

Many of my friends, discouraged me when we all discussed our future plans, post B.E. They would snub off the idea when I would say, I want to be a Professor. They were of the mindset that no one comes to college to study. I did want to change that stereotypical mindset and break the cliché. And it was so good to know from some of you that since I was going to teach you, you didn't take classes for that subject. I was so humbled, for the trust that got built between us, made me know, wherever I am going - I am going right!

Having been associated with S.P.I.T as a student too, I understand what environment you are in. And believe you me, S.P.I.T is a place to flourish. The grass is greener on the other side, always. But you are in a very good space, trust me. Do not believe anything other than this. Do not end up believing your friends are in better colleges. You have got the best! And, no, I get nothing to endorse S.P.I.T!

I am very fond of all of you. Even the mischievous ones. I never wanted my classroom to be a terrorized environment where people are forced to shut up and be what they are not. Some did misuse this aspect though and after a point, I realized I cannot change them. 

But, my experience has been very, very nice. You have made me feel super nice with some lovely feed-backs throughout the year; some of which were overwhelming at times! To get a feedback like this, helps me grow personally. This is my report card, in true sense! 'A' grade again! Consistency, becomes a habit.

My friends tell me they can't believe students can be so nice to teachers, when I tell them about you guys. And at times, it becomes difficult to digest for me too. But I then realise, I have been nice to you too. What goes around comes around!

Some of my readers might have started judging me for giving a lot of 'bhaav' to the students. I don't think teachers like these, exist in a large lot these days. But, I believe the college is because of the students and so are the teachers. I wish every teacher caters to students' needs first. It so much helps to boost the teaching learning experience.

I have mentored and counselled some of you, in ways I never thought I could. I have discovered the counselor in me, I have comforted few souls and got comforted in return for the things that troubled me at some point in life.

Leaving S.P.I.T for a few reasons would definitely not be welcoming, for me atleast. I am feeling as if I might have to not go home.

As a teacher (who observes a lot) it becomes a daily routine to see the same faces every day, start knowing them, getting to know their habits and nature to an extent by simply observing them. And knowing how they will react to a thing you say! And I always knew, what I would do/say can cause what impact. So I avoided the things I knew would not be taken positively. To be honest, I don't appreciate stress and negative vibes around. I tried my best to keep things smooth and not to trouble anyone, just to gain sadistic pleasure!

I disliked a few students for making chaos in the class, the dislike which was purely momentary; even they know, I never held back any grudges ever. And the next day, I would be found laughing with them. Well, they know who I am talking about!

Either I am too sweet or I have a problem of not giving back to people the same that they give me. But teaching has taught me to be patient, sarcastic, and forgiving.

I am no one to preach you, but, I have a brother of your age and so I know what goes on in your head at this stage of life, but know that -

1. While there is life, there is struggle. Life is not going to be easy always. And, sometimes, it is not going to be fair, either.

2. Life will take its own way. I too met good and bad people, but I knew, what I had to take from them. Every person shall teach you something, just take the 'right lesson' from each. Get inspired from good role models (because there are bad as well) who can be beacons of light to help you.

3. Take charge of your life. Trust yourself, because each one of us has an indomitable will power. You will realize many of them are against you, but no, each one is with themselves.

4. To speak with candour, I always, advocate- Reach not just the top of your game, but also manage to stay there! Consistency is the name of the game.

5. Ask silly questions - That is when your concepts become clear, don't stay in self doubt.

6. Follow your passion and do what you love. Never settle for anything less.

7. Truth is always the right path, may not be the easiest though.

8. It doesn't take much to be kind. Make the world a better place!

9. Truth shall prevail, hard work shall be recognized, persistence in the right direction brings results, shortcuts in life have a short life.

10. Life is a balance sheet and in the end, there always is profit and everything tallies.

As I lock my cabin these days, the thought that I might have to leave this place is obnoxious. I will miss turning left from my cabin and entering your classroom.

I have had funny incidences in your class, that I would smile over even after the day was over!

My convocation! The highlight of my day is in this photograph below! Thank you to all, who made it special. You came up to greet me, said sweet things and clicked pictures with me. Always so grateful for the adoration you have showered me with! 

Over the time, my work helped me triumph over many apparent insurmountable obstacles of life.

SE EXTC 2015-16 will continue to remain special for me, as it was the first batch in my teaching career. And, you were awesome!

I hope all of you, get good placements and do what really is your calling! Thank you for the cooperation. Coming in huge strength, even on a non-instructional day, really marveled me. I hope you remember me, and I hope, I was instrumental in creating a positive difference in your lives.

For those of you who have been meeting me for the last week, saying "Maam, don't go. Is this your last day? We really wish to have you around. And it feels like home, when you're there." These things melt my heart, really. I will miss each one of you too, if I have to leave. The missing part is mutual, trust me.

It was for people like you I prepared hard for the lectures. Who actually paid attention and valued my efforts. Initially, when the subject was allotted to me, I was apprehensive if I would do justice to it; given the fact that very experienced faculty takes up this subject usually. But, that is true - I have worked really hard for Analog Electronics II and your class did push me to become better day-by-day. Thank you, for bringing out the best in me.

My parents always taught me, "wherever you go, go with all your heart. No chair, no position is forever, your work creates a ripple effect, and the memories you collect all the way will last forever!"

A Teacher’s job is extremely demanding! He/she has to have thorough technical knowledge, good oratory, command over communication tools, organizational skills, ability to learn and evolve and above all, a passion for teaching! A Teacher’s occupation is perhaps the most responsible one, as he/she handles the most sensitive, most vulnerable and most valuable resource - the young intelligent minds.

I hope, I did my bit, now is your turn - give your exams the best shot and make me proud.

Until we meet again,
Stay humble. Stay blessed.
Best wishes, always.


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