Commentary

On Teacher’s Day, a student recounts a ‘life-changing’ experience in the classroom

Representational Photo.

Traditionally, Teacher’s Day is a cherished date for the masses to remind themselves about the goodness of their teachers. But it’s equally important to recall ‘life-changing’ behaviour displayed by some teachers that alters the impressionable minds of the students forever. Here, a student recounts a classroom incident which badly changed the life of her friend. 

It was yet another routine day at school when I entered the classroom in a hurry. I was late by two minutes. Trying to avoid the glimpse of the teacher, I quickly settled down next to my friend’s seat. Aberrantly, it was our Mathematics teacher clinching an assignment, full of complex formulas, disconcerting the routine.

Conventionally, biology would be the introductory class, but this day seemed a bit different. It was only after a lapse of 2 hours that someone slid the door of the classroom, and thus entered our biology teacher.

Smile was the best asset he used to wear. By and large, his smiling face used to be the source of strength for all the students. But this day was different.

As he started delivering the lecture, rage became quite perceptible from his eyes. His indifferent behaviour deputized as an indication of the upcoming hassle and kvetch.

Promptly, after delivering the lecture, he started posing gobs of questions at the students. Trying to hide their faces, all the students avoided eye contact with the teacher. It was an unnecessary grilling based on the hard to answer questions, meant to derail the normal studious mood of the classroom.

Pointing towards a girl, the teacher asked her to get up, and began throwing a volley of questions at her. Unable to answer a few of them, she invited the teacher’s wrath.

Reciprocating with discontent, the teacher angrily yelled at the girl, scolding her in front of all her peers. The teacher’s approach at that very moment was quite offensive. While it jolted me and shocked others in the classroom, it simply rattled the poor soul.

With tears rolling down her face, the shuddering girl swiftly left the class, downhearted and crestfallen. From that very unfortunate day, she didn’t turn back to the place. The incident streamed a storm of queries in my mind.

Was the teacher trying to interweave his personal and professional life?
Is it justified to harass a student emotionally in front of her fellow classmates?
The teacher must have fussed up in a tussle with any of his family members or friends?
Or, he may be facing any adverse problems in his personal life, or something else?

Whatsoever might have been the case, it doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the issue. There could be no other moment in one’s life than a teacher, who holds the highest stature in a student’s life, making a prediction to her/his student that (s)he will ‘do nothing in life’, thus dooming all the talents and capabilities of a student.

It adversely hurts the sentimental and psychological well-being of the students.

Majority of the students have been victims of this harassment cum intimidation. I’ve myself seen how some teachers tend to display their negativity towards students by passing snide remarks and sarcastic comments, thus humiliating them in front of their classmates which ultimately leaves a drastic impact on their mind.

Being a revered figure, a teacher has got the potential to make the life of a student by backing and encouraging her/him. At the same time, however, (s)he has a power to ruin the life of a student by discouraging her/his abilities.

And therefore, teachers must stand by their responsibilities while taking utmost care of the tender mindset of a student to refurbish the lost legacy of the treasure-trove relation between students and teachers.

In the meantime, ebbing the things even more, it has become absolutely obfuscating to catch a sight of my humiliated friend for the last three months, while the teacher is back to his normal mood.

Substantially, after the dust has settled now, a question has remained in my mind: What was the point of that unreasonable rage which forced my friend to suspend the classes?

I don’t know the answer.

Maybe, people give a benefit of doubt to the teacher for exhibiting his rightful raged side. But then, what about the student? How much is too much for these young impressionable minds to take, for none of their faults?

Therefore, on the day when we’re celebrating the Teacher’s Day, some thoughts should be spared on my friend’s case, too, lest another humiliated and tearful student falls into the same fate.

 

Mir Seeneen is an independant writer from Srinagar. 

Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position and policy of Free Press Kashmir.

 

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