The joys of teaching

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As we look forward to celebrating Teachers’ Day on September 5, teachers tell NT KURIOCITY what they love about their profession, and the challenges that come with it

RAMANDEEP KAUR  NT KURIOCITY

Every job has its own challenges and so does teaching. But the joy that comes with the knowledge of having been instrumental in a person’s success in life makes it all worthwhile for the many teachers.

“The love, respect, and sincere gratitude that students have towards a teacher, is something that sticks with you for lifetime. It is the pride and satisfaction you experience knowing that you are a nation builder,” says assistant professor, St Joseph Vaz College, Cortalim, Priyanka Regina Fernandes.

Associate professor, Department of Economics, Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science, Margao, Rupali Tamuly also attests to this. “The success of a teacher lies in the success of students. The highest award a teacher can receive is when a student achieves success and acknowledges their teachers’ contribution for the same,” she says, adding that two decades in this line has taught her that the teacher’s role has no boundaries and limitations and she takes pride in the responsibility of shaping their future in the right direction and providing the nudge when required.

“It is a very tiring job as I’m on my feet the whole day, yet it is enjoyable too. It keeps me fit and healthy,” says sports teacher at Navy Children School Airport Road, Dabolim, Jovita De Cruz.

And teachers also admit that they are especially grateful when their students remember them even after many years.

“I have students who come running to meet me even years after they have passed out. The love and affection that they have is worth a million!” says associate professor, Department of English at Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College, Assagao, Shanthi Muninathan, who adds that being around her students also makes her feel young at heart.

Teachers also feel happy when students take an active role in classroom learning and discussions “When they ask questions I feel as if I am flying. I want all my students to participate in all the events whether it is workshops, seminars, inter class and inter collegiate competitions. This will help develop their overall personality,” says Shanthi.

When this whole-hearted participation does not happen, teachers admit that they feel let down. “While thinking or preparing for a particular topic there are so many things, I accept from students but only a few respond and others are least bothered. There are some students who take this subject (computer) for a ride,” says Neha Subhedar, a teacher at Regina Mundi High School, Chicalim, adding that extra hours of preparations, finding out proper videos pertaining to the topic, etc, is not an easy task.

Indeed, says professor, OB & HR Area, and Chairperson – Placements, Goa Institute of Management, Venkatesh Naga D, some students look only at the short-term view on learning and career decisions. “But at the same time, it is their individual decision. Everyone has the right to make their decisions, discover and experience their life,” he says.

Associate professor and head of Department Of Mass Communication, Don Bosco College, Panaji, Nikita Chodankar, also admits that sometimes it is difficult to cope up with the present generation of students with the change in their lifestyle and well-being. “We try our best to engage ourselves with the students and understand them with their difficulties and problems, but yet at times we face difficulties in adjusting to their needs and wants,” she says.

But even so, she enjoys the interactions and the sense of passing down knowledge and good wisdom to her students. “It feels great to be an educator to hundreds of students who aspire and become great personalities and I love sharing my knowledge and experience with my students,” she says.

Venkatesh also agrees. “It makes me happy when I receive feedback from old students that the knowledge and skills gained by them has helped them in their jobs.”

What’s more, a lot of times, admits Neha, they also end up learning from their students. “I proudly tell them I have learned something from them and thank them. And acknowledging is a different feeling all together. I really have a good time with all the students though getting at their level is a task at times but once you get there you win hearts,” she says.

Indeed, as assistant professor- Accommodation Operations, VM Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education, Raia, Lorna Syanora Fernandes puts it, teaching is a mixed bag of emotions – scary yet wonderful and rewarding. And one of the highs for her has been the bond she shares with the students. “I often play the role of mentor, friend, and almost consider myself a second parent to my students. It is fulfilling when my students give me the thumbs up for guiding them to a successful career,” she says.

And with classes now going online, associate professor, Electronics and Telecommunication Department, Padre Conceicao College of Engineering,Verna, Niyan Marchon feels happy when he gets to do a lot of productive learning and work with students in spite it being an online class, and sees the students respond enthusiastically.

But the digital medium also comes with its own setbacks. “The inability to interact and see the faces of my pupils personally, has somehow caused a strange sense of sadness. Walking through empty corridors devoid of laughter and student chatter is a big downer for me,” says Priyanka.

Similarly, Niyan too miss that personal interaction with students, especially with the project and lab work. “We miss to see them each day actively participate in extra-curricular activities in college which cannot be substituted by the online mode,” he says.

The same goes for Lorna. “But it’s good to be able to connect with my students even if it is the online mode for now,” she says.