I never thought about becoming a teacher, although I come from a family of one. The thought of talking and standing in the middle of the classroom just terrifies me. But I became one, reluctantly. There were bad times that I consciously and unconsciously forgetten but I also had moments, good ones.
Teaching in an academy of 90% boys is a challenge and they are not just boys. Their life is boring – like monks isolated from the outside world. They rarely have any interaction with females such that the longest they ever have the whole week are with the female instructors in the classroom. This is a circumstance that makes it interestingly different. A woman like I am, in a male world is an open opportunity for them to have a little fun and give in to their raging hormones. I’d be lucky if they are in their first year as they are wont to doze off the moment they land their butt on their seats, but I rarely teach their level.
Sometimes I allow a little bit of playfulness to help warm the classroom mood a little. So here are one of the things, I collected and kept in my memory lane.
There is a designated class marcher for every section who accounts and renders report to the instructor. But in one of my classes, one student (who is not the real marcher) often takes the marcher’s responsibility. While rendering his report in a salute, he stares into my face in a deep trance and delights himself probably in the sight of my mole in between my eyes. I hear his classmates chuckling and jostling him afterwards.
Sometimes, when I enter the class, I see the boys elbowing each other. But what is good about them sometimes is that they are generously honest about their compliments, like noticing my smooth and clear skin and my smile.
In one of our trips, I asked one of my students what he is going to do immediately after graduation. Much to the chagrin of the my co-worker slash bully, who made it a point to sit between the student and I, and was watching my every move, my student sheepishly replied, “I will marry you ma’am.” I laughed so hard at the joke while the bully was so appalled she turned bitter white.
One day, after a naughty class of giggling boys, I was left a note with a chocolate. The note reads:
27 June 2006
You’re very beautiful, Ma’am.
A token of my admiration to your goddess-like beauty, ma’am.
It was such a funny surprise that I went back to the office laughing at the idea of a ‘goddess-like beauty’ while I melt the chocolate in my mouth. The guys are so capable of foolish flattery that borders on the hilarious. So, I kept the note and chocolate foil for the wonderful memory but I wished that the chocolate was more and bigger.
These are the happy moments I had in my eight years stint as a teacher. And these memories serve their best into my old age.