No, this blog is not about the book or the movie ( both are fab though!)
Just a few minutes back, I agreed to teach my mother’s student in 6th standard, Maths over the weekend. Also, I asked my mother to be on the look out for more such potential students, willing to learn maths from me on weekends.
So, tomorrow will be my first day as a teacher, and this is what my blog today is all about: It is going to be about teachers who have influenced my life in more ways than I can imagine, and it is going to be about those few teachers who have made me feel that ‘Teaching’ is the best job to be in.
I will start off reverse chronologically.
My first semester at IIT-B, I was taught “Computational Methods in ChE” by Prof. Patwardhan. And, from the first class he took, to the last class of his that I have attended (which was yesterday in another course offered by him), I have been mesmerized by him. He has incredeble knowledge in what he is teaching, is always so very sure of himself and explains the concepts in such a lucid way that you really do not have to go back home and read the stuff again, and all this to some of the most complicated subjects in the worlds. Some day when I become a professor, I would want to teach the way he does!
Another prof at IIT-B who taught me “Advanced Transport Phenomena”, Prof Khakkar, is very special because and only because of his organization. Again, this was another class in which you just needed to pay attention and the concepts are clear. But, coming back to his organization, every class, he would clear the board, divide it into three, and start writing in the most beautiful of handwriting ever achieved by man on blackboard, and he would organize his writing in such a way that you need not have to look back in your notebook for that formula or proof, even if he had done it few classes earlie. Also, he had planned the course to the last detail. Sometimes, I have the feeling that he knew where he would start and stop each lecture.
Engineering college was not much of a special place. Most of the teachers there were not there because the liked to teach, but were there because it was just another ‘job’. So, most of the classes were dull and boring and I hardly remember learning anything in the classes. But, one teacher in my engineering college stands out, not because he was a special teacher, but because he was there because he loved to teach. Mr. Kallur, was perhaps the most hated teacher in Chemical Engineering Department, RVCE. He had his own weird philosophy about almost everything ( I remember a class in which he compared a credit card to a suicide. He said, using a credit card is like killing yourself using the toughest nylon rope tied to the strongest branch of the strongest tree!!), was a strict disciplinarian (he would not tolerate a 30 second late entry to the class) and had a dislike for red (all the times I have been thrown out of his class, was when I wore a red shirt/t-shirt, pity red was my favorite colour). But, he sure loved teaching. He was not the most gifted of teachers, but would work hard and explain the concepts of the subjects he taught ( and the department more often than not assigned the toughest courses to him). Well, he is my inspiration because he taught because he loved to teach.
11th and 12th standard are pretty important time in a young students life. My fondest memories of studying in 12th standard in school are in my physics classes. Well, for me my 12th std physics teacher, Dr. P. Ghosh, is the face that comes to mind when someone talks about Feynman ( in 12th, i had not seen his photo, and somehow, based on rumors that Dr. Ghosh actually worked with Feynaman, I have attached him to Feynman permenantly). His classes were always filled with laughter and each topic he took up, there was an anecdote attached to it. More so, his method of explaining physics was so very unique and special, that I think, no one else can even come as much as copying 25% of his teaching style. ( I remember him going oh! irodovv baaba theke problem korabe amarke diye ( you are going to make me solve problem from irodov ( for those who dont know, Irodov has the toughest problems of elemenatary physics) amd then solve the most complicated of problems in a jiffy)))
I used to go to perhaps the worst place in India, promising to prepare students for IIT-JEE. But, even here, amongst the ordinary teachers, stood out one teacher. I still dont know his name, most of us at IIT-study circle, just know him by his initials, DN. He made me start “LOVE” mathematics. It was a pity that he did not teach us for long. But, his Co-ordinate geometry and Integration classes are the BEST classes I have ever been to.
I am probably very lucky to have had some really amazing teachers in junior school. Top of the list is my history teacher, Krishna Mam. I still love history.
Then are all my english teachers, Chanda mam, Sougata mam, who have created in me a huge hunger to read and read more and appreciate what I read and of lately write too ( equal credit to amma also!). Reading is one hobby that I am really proud off and of late I am feeling a bit sad that I am not “making” that much more time to read.
I believe that to anyone, their English and language teacher ( How can I forget Ganga mam) will be very important. I say so because, they teach liteature and interpret it to us, and in many ways, they interpret to us LIFE.
Finally in my list are two of my Geography teachers. Acchala madam and Sutoma mam. They taught with “PASSION”, and that is all that I have to say about them. Those geography classes were the the most intersting classes in school.
I will die a satisfied person, if 20-30-40 years from now, a budding student writes a blog like this and includes Prof Kaushik there.