The Joy of Teaching
Teaching is a passion for me. It fills me with joy and feeling of self worth. My first formal teaching started when I was a Research Fellow, CSIR at Sabour. I had a notion that the teacher should communicate effectively, control class room and sound like an authority. I do not think so now. I feel a teacher should be sensitive to feelings, humane, focused on learners and open. My real test of teaching was at Tirhut College of agriculture, Dholi. (An unit of Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa). I had joined My first formal appointment as assistant Professor of the sewing for two years.
As I Look back at Life, I feel I was cut out to be teacher of social science. I took up Master’s in extension education because the subject seemed interesting like music. The more I involved myself the more it pulled me. However, I took up my first job in a NGO- Seva Bharati in West Bengal and Worked for three years organizing training. It was a combination of bield extension and non-formal instruction. I realized a gap. I was not fully involved, some thing was missing- the contact with academics. It dawned on me that I need students classroom, reading, writing ………… and not just moving around managing activities. I developed an intense longing to use my field experience to make extension teaching more processional. I was eager to go back to theory with new enthusiasm as I was able to relate field experience with theory. Books seemed more interesting. This was birth of a new teacher. Providential help came in the from of an appointment at Tirhut College of Agriculture, Dholi (Rajendre Agricultural University)
My first formal class room teaching probably happened in August 1977 .That was the time I had been doing research beyond Master’s degree as Research Fellow of C.S.I.R.I began to teach sociology, extension and extension evaluation. It was struggle of sorts to read, absorb and then try to explain terms I myself could not comprehend well. I was asked to teach a basic course to under-graduate students. I was living in hostel and was in constant touch with students.Thus, felt certain stress within about going to teach, if they ask me questions I can not answer or if they create indiscipline in the class. Will they Listen or interfere with my teaching. Am I capable to manage? I entered the class with throbbing heart, self-doubt but thorough preparation both of the subject and my appearance. I wanted to look impressive, neat and imitable. It all went very fire the first day but my materials got exhausted in thirty minutes – students were interested to ask question. I felt a hitch to expand my answer – I felt I had nothing from within to tell and expalin. I was confined to what was written in book. I had a realization that to be good teacher,one most have field expose. Somehow I nurtured a desire then onwards to gain practical experience so than I can teach with right knowledge.
Significant influences on teaching.
I am sure there are many more influences on my teaching than I can recall. However, some incidences are fresh in memory which transformed my style of teaching. One thing for sure I had liked teachers who created interest and at the some time handled the students tactfully to lead to modification of behavior To. Strict or Liberal teachers did not impress me much stymised in early childhood because of too many restriction by significant others. I remember my Hindi teacher from highschool who used good language told stories points and slaved the subject with everybody realities. However, science teacher who used drawing and clearly indicated different components in terms of actual objects made me enchanted. I had a Zoology teacher in B.Sc. I year, who would draw instantly and showed dissections, helped in carrying out the task. I was more attracted towards teacher with flow of Language, variety and charm in personality in terms of human interest.
I recall a particular incidence that radically transformed my idea of teaching. I was taking part in a training as Associate trainer which was being organized by an international group. They called themselves imaginal educator and used variety of non-formed ways to create a situation in which people interact, express and enjoy. Even Lectures was much more…participative with explanation and clearly visible transition . Life like examples and intended to stress on the key points use of drawings, chart, block-board . Lectures were use systematic and goal oriented. I felt an urge in me to become a teacher who can motivate others to change and learns things end equip them for Life- I saw scope for using the voice of behavioral sciences in teaching. I ……… teaching is a craft. I must think about Language psyschology ,interest Levels and needs of learners tobe able to connect my teaching .
In another incidence a Canadian trainer of extension had come to organize training. His systematically formulated objectives, learning activities and , effortss to get acquainted with participants’ background and used. Structured exercises, role plays and practicals inspired me to think about instructional process differently.
Now I have become interested in instmctional objectives that involve learners and provide opportunities to participants to practice. I started organizing training on similar pattern without being much exposed to theory.
The third major inference on my teaching style and preparation as a teacher came at Pantnagar where two three American consultants on education exposed me to the human of instructional technology. I recognized my calling . I knew who am I and what I want to do. And that thesr is a science about what I am doing, which can enhance my craft. I got neck-deep in to the craft of teaching without any external reward. . I was …filled with emotion. I took each course with enthusiasm. It created in me an immense interest for the students. I can not remain aloof Like a doctor.I can teach effectively if I can motivate my student for which I must understand him. I became intimate to many students. I do not know if that helped the students or not. Some said in no uncertain terms it did. Some speak hyperboles about the radial change. I have no empirical evidence to suggest anything. I know for sure, all these effeorts filled me with joy.That is the joy of teaching.Life is blessed when it touches others and help them take deciisons they are capable of making.