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Talk to a teacher, any teacher, and they’ll have a story to tell, whether it’s a quick anecdote about a single student or a huge epic about the challenges and rewards of life as a teacher. You can be sure of one thing: it won’t be mind-numbing. Don’t believe me? Nor did I before I read the cover story “School as an organic unit” by Anandhi Kumar (August 2007).

I appreciate the issues raised in the article and as expected it came from a teacher who is clear that things should shape themselves. We do find several small incidents happening around us but never care to learn lessons from them. The idea of thrashing out issues at the meeting table is amazingly noble.

However, I am afraid most people perceive schools as buildings used to teach students. For any it is a run-of-the-mill profession. The number of private, profit-making buildings sprawled all over the country is an example.

The school has to be unquestionably an ‘organic unit’ which offers numerous fulfilling experiences. The progress, from ‘me’ to ‘our’ and allowing others to ‘become’, is indeed schooling.

Success therefore is, according to John Maxwell, “knowing our purpose in life, growing to reach our maximum potential and sowing seeds to benefit others”.

I feel proud to be a teacher. It gets even better when I see and read such articles. The inner passion which drives me comes from the character of Santiago, a Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant Marlin, the largest catch of his life, in the award winning novel ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by E. Hemingway. He represents the courage, strength and endurance of the human race. He, like all men, struggled with faith (the fish) and both hated and loved life (the sea). The thing that truly defeated Santiago was his pride.

Suryaveer Singh
Geography teacher & Head of Dept. Social Science, S. D. Public School, Pitampura, New Delhi.

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