By Brinda Roy Chowdhury
All along I have shared my singing videos and the nuances of the ragas that I perform in them. However, today I am going to write something very different. I have to thank Gayatri Rao from A Journalist Reveals to encourage me to write something about the other side of my life – teaching. The life of a teacher is a challenging one. As a small child and even as a college-goer, I was always influenced by my teachers, to a large extent. So today, when I find myself in the shoes of a teacher, I often think of my school and college days. I teach Chemistry and Mathematics in a high school. The subjects that I teach are often dreaded by many.
Though every subject has a different set of challenges, a teacher’s approach and handling the subject plays a primary and major role in creating an interest among the children. When I enter a class of a new batch, I often start with an interactive session and try to know how much they fear or love the subject. Also, I try to know the reasons why they love or dislike them. At the same time, one has to follow some traditional way of teaching like the lecture method, giving notes etc. Science subjects can always be made interesting with diagrams and practical demonstrations. Mathematics, on the other hand, needs daily practice. Since both the subjects had been my favorites, I get totally involved while teaching them.
I feel incomplete if I find a student unable to grasp the content. I keep trying and automatically I find the child responding at some point. While teaching is enriching, it has its own challenges. We cannot find much time for ourselves or our children at home. The time and energy we spend on our students are almost 24/7. Copy corrections, lesson planning, sorting sums for class work and homework, planning practical demonstration classes, practical file layouts, class tests, making question papers and many more activities draw away the entire evening time from us.
Also, since I sing, the voice is over-exercised many a time due to constant talking which results in a sore throat or voice breakage. So I try to make the children as attentive as possible to avoid much shouting in the class. Overall it is very fulfilling to see the students passing with flying colors at the end of the session and later coming running to me brimming with love and gratitude. I love my students and they become very very close to me in a very short time. I feel children need nothing more than love and care. In return, they give back a lot more love than we can ever imagine.
About Brinda Roy Chowdhury: Brinda is a full-time Chemistry and Mathematics teacher as well as a Hindustani Classical Vocalist.