By Nasira Jabeen
While still young the prospect of becoming a teacher is not particularly appealing to almost everyone. In the mind of every learner, there cherishes certain high aspirations, like becoming a doctor, an engineer, an army officer and official other than related to teaching profession.
And when at school when one grows a bit mature, some develop the taste for the profession, obviously out of their wish to be one like their favourite teacher. But this too is in rare cases, for most still soar high at school. Soon they alight on land from their flight when they encounter the difficult medical and engineering test and get disappointed.
Same is the story with me. After passing through all these experiences, I opted for Economics for my further academics and career. This too was not with a proper bent of mind but seeing some of my friends already taken Economics I chose the same. But as luck have it something or other happened, and I substituted English for Economics. Only then I began to see my way clear ahead of me. Before this, I was like a seed which is carried away by the wind before settling to bear some fruits. After setting my foot in the realm of literature, I started making up my mind towards teaching profession, not because I found a connection between the two, for I had started liking literature for its own sake too, the expression of imagination, emotion, the way thoughts and ideas are clothed, the style and all the works of art had excited my spirit and I have had the feelings of becoming one like their creator too and such feelings further inflamed upon entering the University with the same subject. But these remain feelings only, for of course I was not gifted with the genius of Shakespeare to proceed in the field and carve out a name.
The only alternative left with me, i.e. adopting a teaching profession was thus due to the fact that the professors, lecturers who were teaching us had also learned literature and had become teachers. So the idea settled deep in my mind and the career is pursued with no other intervention. Interestingly enough, not once I thought of teaching in a school or college, it never crossed my mind. I wanted to become one like my university professors, despite the knowledge that it needs further achievements and experience. I knew this too that whether I be a lecturer or a professor or a school teacher my job is to teach, I will become a teacher anyway. But this was my whim or whatever or may be their inspiration upon me was so great as to make me think like that. Further, my other sudden desire was to achieve what I wish as soon as possible. In fact I had applied for a semigovernmentUniversitytoo, but before the announcement of my final result, on which basis I was not short listed.
Thus coming towards the world of reality, very soon I found myself entering a private school and college in my hometown. So with the ways in which I was taught and with the attitude with which I was treated, I took my first novice step and entered a class which was of second year girls’. The lesson was, ‘The Blades of Grass’, by Stephen Crane. I carried it on smoothly but for a moment when I felt something, either the feeling that I won’t be able to talk for so long or the situation seemed ludicrous but I felt like stopping the lesson there and then and letting myself out in the open air. But this was not for too long, it vanished in a flash as it came. I overcame the feeling.
As days passed by and towards the end of the fourth month of teaching there I had developed enough confidence in me as a teacher and had begun to take interest in my job. The variety of students, their unique nature and intelligence, their different ideas, their naughty, serious, sober and innocent faces had also a contribution in my interest apart from my own satisfaction which I used to get when I felt that I was doing justice with them.
Thus I became a teacher through dealing with the students and through learning from various small experiences and incidents. I impart to them the knowledge which I received from my teachers and observed from the outside world. Keeping along my own peculiar style I tried to bring humor in my class recalling how we were energized whenever we felt bore.
When I left the platform, where I started my career and joined AKES, I felt that my previous way of teaching was not much activity based. I considered it as a reflection of the traditional way of teaching which we as students were being exposed to. And through this thought too I tried to become a teacher in the real sense.
Throughout my seventh month of teaching, I become more familiar with student centered and activity based teaching and learning, I encountered various challenges which helped me to continue with the profession successfully till now and I am hopeful of carrying it on with further achievements.
(Ms Jabeen is Lecturer in English at the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, (AKHSS), Kuragh).