Saturday, July 2News That Matters

What my first class as a teacher taught me

A year back or so, I was given a task to teach a novel to students of 11th and 12th standard. The text which I enjoyed to teach after a while, however, seemed difficult to tackle primarily, as one has to orchestrate with the new ways – they say, “Old habits are tough to break.” Many a time it has happened with me that subconsciously I have tread those routes that I was not supposed to take, given that the routes were carved in my psyche.
I was used to the old texts of 11th and 12th, almost had memorised them all, given the span I had been teaching for, a decade almost. When I was a fresh pass out from Kashmir University and was assigned the task to teach the class of 11th standard, I was confounded and perplexed, as the students whom I was supposed to teach looked elder to me. It would be a sort of dishonesty, if I won’t admit, I was anxious being a young chap who knew nothing than the books he had read and considered them the reality. When I tried to teach the way I was told to teach, I felt I was a failure; the methodology and pedagogy did not work. That’s when I realised that presence of mind is more important than the teaching aptitude I was taught in my professional degrees.
Once an affluent man was asked by a journalist, “How did he become that successful?” The man replied, “Right decisions.” The journalist asked again, “How did you take right decisions?” The man answered, “Well, because of experience.” Not being satisfied with his answer, the scribe questioned again, “How did you get that experience?” The man smiled and replied, “I got it by wrong decisions.” One should never be afraid of wrong decisions as they are the foundation of success. Things take time, one has to get synchronised with things, as Sheikh Saadi Sheerazi (AR) says, “Things are difficult till they become easy.” For a kindergarten child, holding a pen is difficult, but it is easy for a kid who is in nursery. A man should never lose hope and become dejected.
Change is the law of nature, every creature of the universe goes through change. I once came across an Arabic saying, “I suffered, I learnt and I changed.” Suffering is part and parcel of life. However, one must not be sad or gloomy as the darkest chapters of life provide the best lessons and always are the greatest phases which prepare for the toughest trajectories. Comfort zones never hone the skills of a person, comfort zones are toxins which ruin a person gradually. The safe-haven is the most cunning foe, though liked and adored by everyone. One should always fear it. When my students ask me what keeps me so positive and motivated, I reply, “When the disastrous has passed, start rebuilding your life and never look back.” And, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” So, you are born to win, provided you start believing in it, as everything in the universe is based on belief and faith. That’s why it is said, “Faith can move the mountain.”
—mufti.jameel97@gmail.com

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