Today a former student wrote me a mail, which made me very happy. The gist of the mail was that she had attended an interview after seven long years of hibernation, though qualified as an engineer, tending to her family and had landed the job. She told me that, what motivated her and gave her confidence to attend the interview and succeed was my comment after she had made her seminar presentation 10 long years ago, that she had presentation skills, just as another three others. She went on to add that she will treasure my words to the very end! Of course it made me happy but honestly, I don’t remember the incident, though I do remember her face. That I could alter some facet of her life, albeit unknowingly and on hindsight without any intention, except to pick out good performance in different evaluation aspects of a seminar presentation, is to say the least, accountability. It set me thinking in different directions. Had I also upset someone in that class or in several classes where I had given immediate responses by any irresponsible comparisons or comments! I may not have, since one principle which I have tried to abide by, and also advised my junior colleagues is to find something good to say about every student and use that as the first weapon when a behavioral issue had to be addressed.
Another point I have tried to make often is the importance of the listener, rather the one who ‘hears’ as against the one who speaks. The listener decides based on several factors what to do with what we have spoken! About this in the next blog!
In this vein, the present seems to be very important. What is done in the past is over and done with. The only compensation, if there is a need for that should be sown now, learning from the past, for a happy future. Who knows which life we touch in the best manner possible! I have loved being a teacher especially because of such a responsibility, when a seed sown almost always grows into a huge tree giving more shade and fruits that one can ever do on one’s own. Hope all the teachers get busy finding out any good they can find in each of their students and keep it in their data base and update, use and maintain it in a recurring manner. We, as teachers , can change the world!