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Teachers as leaders

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Why do I remember the name of my Math’s Teacher.

Few days ago my school friends at Facebook carried out a quick pole on the names of the teachers from our school days which we remember. The winner by a big margin was Pintoo Sir, our Mathematics Teacher from class 8 to class 10. Each one of us remember him as if we just left the school yesterday. He does have a good name but we all remember him by his nick name Pintoo. He never objected when we started calling him with this name as he told us that it brings his childhood back whenever we address him by his nick name.
Being a teacher myself in my initial days of professional life and my present engagement in the domain of education I pondered about what made Pintoo Sir so special among us. He is a great human being indeed, someone whom one can always fall back upon. But there were other teachers in our school who were also great human beings and still we faltered in remembering their names. Puzzled, I asked my friends why all of us remember him. The unanimous consensus was that he made us to fall in love with Mathematics. I don’t remember if I had Math’s phobia but certainly I started loving math’s from the first day he took our class. At the very beginning he made us understand that Mathematics is a legacy and it integrates the social and cultural life of ours. Though now I understand, it integrates even the political life of ours. And this simple yet deep feature of Mathematics as explained by him made us to fall in love with this subject. Some of us fell in love at the very first sight of this feature and some took a while, but all of us were in love with the subject till the time it was with Pinto Sir.
What did he do special? I suppose it’s his attitude towards the subject which brought all of us under its influence. He made us enjoy our understanding whenever we connected it with concepts. It was as if we discovered something new. With him division is not always inverse to multiplication or multiplication is not always repeated addition. Yes, in class 8 we revisited these concepts along with him. And the love for Math’s started from there when we understood the basic concepts and got exposed to the world of mathematics which has its foundation based on these basic concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
He worked with us to develop deep knowledge in Math’s. He made us confident as we went on accumulating the knowledge each year and encouraged us to apply it even at the remotest possibility. The connection between acquiring knowledge and its application made us keener in knowing math’s more closely. He never divided his class room transaction based on quick learner and slow learner, unlike the present teaching learning system in many schools but always taught the whole class equally. This equality of treatment made all the class believe in themselves. This self confidence in turn helped us in doing well in other subjects like history, which was annoying to many of friends including me. In fact I got a letter mark in history in school final and today I want to thank Pintoo Sir for this. He also taught us fewer Math’s topic and spent a longer term on each one to ensure we have digged deep into the topic and its concepts.
In a conversation with him after our school final when asked by some of us what motivates him in working with his students with so much of passion, he said that it is the believe of the school authority on him ,his love for the job and the love of the students . He said that he takes time to plan and prepare for each of his class and also takes feedback from other teachers. In a lighter note he said that this exercise of his made some other teachers to follow him who liked to depend on their yearlong teaching experience rather than doing planning and preparation for the class.
This is Pintoo Sir, the one whom all my school friends remember. What did he do things differently that we still remember him? Nothing…he never did any things differently , rather followed the simple and the straight forward root which we often fail to identify in pursuit of doing things differently to make the teaching learning process communicable to the students. Don’t know even if my students whom I thought in my initial days will ever remember my name when one day they also do a poll like the one we did. But now as I understand the reasons why we all love Pinto Sir, I will certainly equip myself with all the attributes of becoming a teacher who is loved by all of his students.

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