It happened in the month of May, I was commuting in a local bus transport to railway station. A young boy of about 18 years, with a heavy bag on his shoulders boarded the bus. The bus which was moving at a very slow speed of about 20 kmph had suddenly stopped as an elder person driving a bike in front of the bus stopped suddenly. Due this application of sudden brake by the driver, we all jerked forward and restored our positions. The young boy carrying the heavy bag fell forward on to the floor of the bus. I rushed to help him up. As a result of the help rendered, the following conversation sprouted between us.
Young boy (angrily) : these drivers don’t have the sense of driving. They drive as if they are on a racing track.
Me : But , the driver is going very slow. It is not more than 20kmph.
Young boy (angrily) : so what do you say, was it my fault ?
Me: absolutely yes.
Young boy (angrily) : how do know that ?
Me : it’s simple…. Momentum and Newton’s first law. Hope you have learnt these concepts in your school and college days.
Young boy : “oh.. our teachers only taught us their definitions and formulae, they didn’t teach us their application in real life. I never knew why we had studied so much stuff.”
I felt a sensation of pride in myself that being a science teacher, I was able to relate the situation to science concepts, but the young boy’s answer struck a chord deep in my heart. I just had a thought running in my mind, the whole day “ do I teach my students on why do they have to study about so much stuff “?. I felt that if his teacher would have taken little more responsibility in making the connections between the concept and its Real life application, this young boy wouldn’t have fallen down that day. The responsibility of making students to connect the concepts they study, to the real life situations solely lies on the shoulders of teachers. The simple mistake we do saying “ I have to complete the syllabus and revise again and again, so that they do well in their exams ” does a great mistake in their life than they unable to score well in their exams. A famous professor of physics from MIT Prof. Walter Lewin said “Teachers who make science boring are criminals”, and I think it’s time to question ourselves on the teaching methods we employ to push the stuff in the beautiful , creative and innovative minds of our future generation. In the current world, where the facebook is more interesting than text book, we as teachers have to lead these young minds to a world of happy and joyful learning rather than just scoring for some numbers.
I had an opportunity to meet Dr A.P.JAbdul kalam whose passion for teaching school children knew no bounds and he rightly said “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.”
I remember a profound statement made during our training session for the incoming batch of new teachers by our director Mrs Keerthi Reddy. They said “When our next generation is going to a different school unlike us, then why do you want be the same teacher we had”? This statement gives a boost of energy and enthusiasm in me every time I say, before entering a class of young minds eagerly waiting to learn for their life.