What I Learnt from the worst teachers of my life?

Last year, I wrote a post thanking my best teachers in life.

This year, I am going to write about the worst teachers I had.

The reason being, I read a couple of posts from my fellow bloggers for teacher’s day

  1. Remembrance
  2. Happy Teacher’s day – A rant of a former kid

and they moved me a lot.  The post was about bad teachers and the impact my blogger friends had due to that. Bad examples do leave a lasting impact on the kids.  I am here to write about my bad experiences.

Incident #1

I still remember that day. I was happy to have secured the 2nd rank in the Quarterly exams in my 10th standard. So my botany teacher came into the class and enquired about the ranks.

She asked who secured the first rank. As expected, a girl stood up. 😛

Then the teacher asked for her total marks. She said “603”. She appreciated her for the rank and the marks that she scored.

Then the teacher asked about the second rank holder.

I stood up proudly. She asked for my marks. I said “540”. I thought I would get appreciation.

But she started scolding me. She said.

“Unakku vekkama illa. Ivalavu difference ah? Athuvum oru ponnu kitta poi 1st rank a vittu kuduthutiye? Unaku vekkamaa illa?”

(Meaning don’t you have any shame for such a huge difference? And that too you have given away the rank to a girl? Don’t you feel ashamed of that?”

I was embarrassed. I felt ashamed because she had shamed me in public (in front of everyone).

I remember that incident till date.

 

I took it as a motivation and started getting 1st rank most of the time after that, just to avoid the embarrassment.

But that incident had a lasting impact on my perception about competition.

I would be always egoistic especially when it comes to girls. Indirectly it had started to impact me psychologically.

I can give you an example. Generally, I will be happily riding my bike at my own pace until some girl overtakes me. The moment that happens, I get excited with competition with the opposite sex. And until I overtake that girl, I would drive at crazy speeds and won’t really care about how many cuts I give to others. Once I overtake, I get that peace of mind.
I also competed with boys, but the adrenaline rush was much lesser.

It took me years to come out of that habit, but when I looked back, I believe this incident had a major impact on my thought process and my behaviour.

Learning :

Never tell anything sexist to your students/kids/friends/juniors.  They might get influenced indirectly.

Incident #2

It was 8th standard. We were a bunch of friends sitting and the teacher asked one of my friend to stand up and explain some concept. He stood up and we were teasing him by repeating his words and also the teacher’s words. My friend got irritated with our behavior and especially my behavior and told to the teacher “Miss, he is repeating your words.”

Till that point, I thought that teacher was cool headed. Or at least not as hot headed as the other teachers.

My friend is the class topper, but I came around 4th rank.  But I was known for being notorious, at least not the good boy that teachers want.

She asked me to come in front of the class and she caught hold of my tie and began beating.  She didn’t stop till she had at least given me like 25-30 hits with the wooden scale.

I was crying and asked sorry many many times.  But she only left me after she felt satisfied.  I saw the devil inside her, that day.

I believe that I didn’t deserve the beating that I got that day.

I was angry on my friend to have told the matter to the teacher, but I was more upset and sad with the teacher the way she treated and embarrassed me.

Another notable fact was that, she didn’t even ask whether I said such a thing.  She straight away assumed that the topper had told the truth and I had made the mistake.

All these had a deep impact on my life, as I decided not to judge anything based on the outer perception and to drill deep into anything.

Learning :

-> Never judge anyone/anything without hearing the full story.

-> Don’t overreact to any situation

Incident #3:

Same 8th standard.  Tamil period. Teacher enters with answer sheets in hand.  She hands over them to each of us individually, embarrassing the low mark getters.  But one thing was peculiar that day.  She said, she would give the answer paper of one student at the very last.

When she finished with the other papers, she took the paper and made the student (a boy) stand up.

She embarrassed that boy for the essay he wrote.  The topic was Noolagam (Library).

Instead of an essay, he had written a story something on the lines of

“There was a library in T. Nagar.  One day, one guy went to the library and he lighted a cigarette in the library despite the warning.  Unfortunately the cigarette fell on a book and it caught fire.  The entire library caught fire and the fire spread to the nearby stores till the entire area caught fire.”

Then he wrote a poetic line “T. Nagar, Thee nagar aaga kaatshi alithathu.” (meaning T.Nagar had become Fire Nagar) “

Everyone in the class started laughing and the teacher gave him 0.  He got beatings too.

I still remember this incident and I was thinking it as an extremely embarrassing situation.

But of late, I had come to a conclusion that the boy had a writer and a story teller inside him.  How great it would have been if the teacher had told him that I will give you 0 marks for this, but you do have a good creative brain.  You can try something on those lines.”

Somehow the teacher failed to see the potential in him as a creative person while only focusing on his limitations in the language.

Learning:

Don’t see things only from your perspective.  And don’t focus only on the negatives.  Try to see the positive side even in the negatives.

 

Teachers can inspire people, at the same time demotivate people.  Whether teachers know it or not, students are getting indirectly inspired to do things.  Their minds are shaped.  Their futures are getting shaped up.  This is applicable not only for teachers, also for parents, college seniors, school seniors, team leaders, managers, politicians, businessmen, etc.

I know teaching is a tough profession. I am grateful for all the teachers, but you can’t discount the fact that bad teachers also exist.  Belated Happy teachers day to all the good teachers out there.

I will finish this post with the CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) word/picture prompt.

To teach is to touch a life forever, don’t touch them in a wrong way.  Be an inspiration.  Never be a bad example.

 

What have been your bad experiences with a teacher? Please feel free to write about it in the comments section.

Recenly, I have started a new series “What I Learnt” where I share my learnings about multiple things.  Feel free to read and comment.

About Writing

What I learnt as a Writer by handling a criticism in a matured way?

What I learnt from writing an anonymous message on whatsapp that went viral?

How I tackled (and still tackling) my Writer’s Block? [aka RIBO]

About parenting and life

A day when my son taught me something important 

What I Learnt from the worst teachers of my life?

7 comments

  1. Great post Raja. Your experiences are truly a set back for any kid. I completely agree that a teacher has a great influence on kids and that why it’s their responsibility to handle the future of kids with utmost care. Well written!

    1. Thank you very much Vandana. I hope somehow things get better in our education system. Thanks for your support and encouragement as always 🙂

  2. I loved the quote in the end. Never be a bad example, you never know how effective in the wrong way you can be on someone.
    I have had my share of experiences with the teachers too, and honestly I am not proud to share them either..

    1. Hmmm, true, influence can be good or bad. In fact, bad influence is easier, I believe. Thanks for your comments, Moushmi. Keep visiting.

  3. That;s totally an eye opening experience of how these experiences have created a set back in your school days…Even i have had bad experiences with some of my teachers which has impacted my life a lot

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