Stories to go back to

Usha Raman

If you’ve leafed through the issue before coming (back) to this page, you know we’re taking a different approach to celebrating Teacher’s Day this year – by celebrating the students who make us what we are (at the cost of repeating the message on our very evocative cover). All the stories here, in different ways, talk about those magical instances inside the walls of our classrooms where learning happens, in multiple directions. We learn about children’s minds, we gain insights into behaviour, we discover interesting new ways to deliver content and skills…and we find out so much about ourselves.

Any job that involves sustained interactions with people offers opportunities for continuous learning, and teaching is no different. Every group of students brings new lessons for us, and new reasons to laugh with them (and get mad with them). Perhaps this is the case with any number of professions. But what makes a schoolteacher’s job particularly rewarding is that we have a chance to see how those seemingly insignificant, everyday interactions with young minds play out over time, and how they unfold as the children make their way through school – and through life.

So here we turn that gaze on ourselves, to see how those interactions have unfolded in our own lives, on our own ways of seeing and doing. Even as we acknowledge that every child is special, there are always individuals who stand out in our memories for reasons that become clear only when we begin to reflect on how we have been shaped, and more importantly, how our practice has been shaped. Whether it is the wisdom that comes out of an innocent’s mouth, or a particularly sharp insight that a teenager delivers, unfiltered, or an offhand observation from a habitual back-bencher, there are moments that make you stop and think: “Now why did I not see that before?”

I like to think that these stories are the Teacher Plus version of the “Chicken Soup for…” series, a set of heartwarming reflections that affirm the joy of what we do, stories to go back to when we feel particularly disheartened, pushed to wondering whether our work makes any sense. We enjoyed putting them together, and hope you enjoy reading them!

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