• anjali mohapatra

The journey of life!

Updated: May 13

Life is a journey. Nobody knows when, where, and how your destiny would carry you on that journey. I never thought in my life that I would work! I mean- I would enter into the ‘service world’ but eventually I did. When I looked back to my past, I feel so thrilled.

I started my career at late age- as a teacher. Luckily my first job began in a renowned school. That was the first experience in my life! It was so thrilling! I was a bit nervous when I entered the classroom comprising of forty-five to fifty small children. It was class sixth. Some of the children were quite smart, naughty and mischievous. Their naughtiness doubles especially if they meet a new teacher. When I took that profession I decided to impart some ethical sense in their delicate brain through ‘a good quotation’ as ‘thought for the day!

Math was a tough subject for the children whether in lower or higher classes. First day! As I entered the class, the children started making their usual screaming, funny sound and randomly throwing scrunched paper ball. They were habituated with the banging sound of the duster on the table top or the screaming sound of the teacher ‘Silence, silence please’. They expected the same reaction from me too. But instead of any such action, I stood there silently for two three minutes. Simply I stared at them. The buzzing sound slowly mingled in the air. The whole class turned into pin drop silence.

‘Are you done, children?’ I spoke very politely. They felt ashamed of their own deeds. I was surprised to notice a very rare act of a child. That kid stood up and drooping his head said, ‘Sorry miss! Next time we won't repeat this.’

I smiled at him and very fondly addressed all the kids introducing myself to them. There is a proverb- if you can mould the children in a classroom then half of the battle is won! And I was successful in my venture within fifteen days. My class began in that momentarily grave atmosphere but as time lingered their faces bloomed like full moon. I felt contented!

However the first day passed with sweet experiences. When I came back home, I smiled myself thinking about my childhood time in the school as a student. The relationship between teacher and student was so different now and then like- heaven and hell! We never dared to argue with the teacher whether she or he was right or wrong. Except some exceptional naughty children, all behaved decently. Nuisance in the classroom had occurred very very rarely like- once in a blue moon! The fear feelings that I had in my childhood turned my mind long back that if ever I would be a teacher, the children would be very free and frank with me.

Once I was teaching them a basic algorithm for a very big number division. As I explained and put a number on the quotient side, a cute boy with chubby cheeks, short height, fair complexion stood on his seat said, ‘Miss, not like that.’ I was surprised. I asked him to come forward and solve the division. He solved in a wrong method. When I explained him correctly, he started sobbing and said dad had told me that method. I chuckled and cuddled him softly said, ‘Oh dear! Your papa is right. You must have forgotten a step but doesn't matter. Even so many times I failed to learn this long division. I did wrong for time and again. It's ok. Everybody does mistake. You are excellent.’ Somehow with these words he was pacified and went back to his seat.

I appreciated the boy’s courage in front of the whole class. They felt jubilant and never hesitated to ask me any doubt. With my assurance they became quite open to me. Day by day I accumulated my confidence. One day another student rushed to me when I left the class as my period was over. He stammered behind me ‘miss’. I turned around and asked him what he wants to say. He said in a broken voice, ‘Miss, I couldn't understand the problem sum that you explained. I hesitated to ask you in the class because others would laugh at me. Can you explain it me alone in some other time?’ I ruffled his hair said, ‘Of course I’ll. After school you stay at your class room, I would explain you so that you may not feel any offence. Is that ok for you?’ He became happy and went away.

School was over at 4 O clock. After school teachers stay there up to 4:30 pm as per the rule. I remembered what I told that boy. He was waiting for me. I was happy at least the boy felt so free to ask me any difficult questions he had.

Once I had a proxy period in class 8th. When I reached there, the children were in their peak mood- screaming, shouting, moving around the classroom leaving behind their own seat. I was a stranger for them as I was not bestowed with any class in their section. I didn't know any of them either. Straight ahead I went to the black board, wrote a proverb. When I turned my face towards the children still they were busy in their naughtiness, though it was diminished. I started explaining the meaning of that proverb. Gradually, the noise stopped and they paid their attention. But as you know, eighth class children are neither fully grown up nor kids anymore. They are adolescents. Mischievously a student asked, ‘Miss, can you explain one quotation I would mention?!’

I chuckled. Softly said, ‘Of course dear. Anything, any quotation.’

He shuffled his almanac and asked a complicated one. I explained it. Then all the children listened to me very enthusiastically. They became happy. When I was about to leave the class, the same boy stood but this time very humbly said, ‘Miss, can you explain some more if you come next time?’

‘Of course, I’ll,’ I smiled at him and waved my hand to the class.

Within thirty days, my short stories in the pretext of ‘thought for the day’ dragged children towards me and built confidence in their mind and I truly felt contented being a teacher. I felt blessed being a teacher and got a chance to mingle with my sweet little children.

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