My Success Story as a Teacher

As I pen down to write my ‘success story as a teacher’ I want to dwell on two aspects –‘success’ and ‘teacher’.

For me success is a journey and not a destination as Ben Sweetlands had perceived. In my life too, I have
similarly perceived success as a journey and not a destination. This journey has been going on for many
years and is still going without wanting to know its destination. Once I look for the destination my success story will end and that is the reason I want it to go on.

Prior to charting out my career path others had discovered the ‘teacher’ in me. These ‘others’ were none other than my own teachers and my classmates .The former gave me the opportunity to take the stage in my stride and voice my opinion fearlessly to the world in front of me. The latter were ‘taught’ by me to make them understand better the subjects they lacked in understanding.

But my interest lay elsewhere. My passion was to give vent to my creative side by joining theatre. But destiny had some other story written for me and it landed me with a job as a teacher.

Prior to taking up my first task as teacher I apprised myself on two questions which I put to myself. I asked myself what I ought to look for in the job – whether to what I get from it or to what I become? I chose to look for answers to the latter.

As I focused on the query of what I was becoming as a teacher the path of success unfolded itself. But since I was not looking for a destination my success story still continues to traverse with me.

I found that the more I gave, the more I got. This was not in terms of material gains which my job as a teacher could offer to me but spiritual happiness. This I got when I interacted with my students. Their thirst for knowledge, their enthusiastic responses, and their unconditional love left me in a state of Nirvana. What the great seers attained after many years of hard penance I achieved it in a say 45 or 35 minute interaction with my students. This experience itself is the daily dose of my success story.

I had mentioned earlier that my passion was dramatics.  At times this thought would make me feel saddened but I did not wish this thought ever to take a toll on me as a teacher. Fortunately for me I attended a workshop conducted by Barry John, a well known theatre director in Delhi. In this workshop I discovered how a teacher could use skills in dramatics to teach History, which coincidentally happened to be my subject. This workshop transformed my life. I took my passion which I had thought

I had left behind and transplanted into my students lives. I directed a series of plays based on historical topics and made the students sensitive to the past. Through dramatics I attached imaginative wings to my students wherein they breathed like yesteryears historical characters. I achieved what I always wanted to when I was taught History in the most dreary and unimaginative manner in my school days. It was then that I had vowed to myself that if ever I would take teaching as a profession.

I would take teaching of History to a new level. I said to myself that I would make students treat the past not as a dead but a vibrant past by making them find close resemblance to their lives. This promise I could keep intact by teaching History through play way method.

The above experience was a journey in itself. I got to relive my passion and the students got to discover their talents. Some discovered great oratory skills, some found themselves as good narrators and others got a chance to act out the historical characters be it Akbar or Ashoka. There were others who found themselves engaged in writing scripts and some others who may not have liked History lessons but enjoyed giving background scores for the plays on their keyboards. At the end of the day our practice sessions made us bond with one another. The students started imagining every event taught in the the class by placing themselves in the protagonists shoes. What else I could have asked for if not for the smile of the students with my history lessons.

My goal as a teacher is to translate response into results. Some teachers teach for others to learn. That is not me. Some teachers teach for others to accomplish. That is me. I would like to end by sharing my secret recipe for my success story as teacher :

Passion – to keep going further

Hope – for a new morning

Will- to keep crossing the milestone

Strength – to set new records

Power – to set new benchmark

Spirit – to touch new skies

Intention – to change the times

Inspiration – to go beyond myself

Thanks to God I am bestowed with these gifts that enable me to translate “My Success Story” from this page to real life.

Shobha Sundharam