Sunday, April 27, 2014

U is for the unconventional

It is  not too often in life that we come across people that do not follow the norms and rules of life; Live life on their own ways. I am always intrigued by such unconventional people because it takes a lot of courage to do so and not worry about the judgement of other people. I, for one,am very conscious at times of what other people will think or that I should be following a set of rules.

One such unconventional person I remember is from my school days. He came as our Maths teacher in XIth grade. At that time, it was said he was just a substitute teacher.
An elderly man, walking with a stick in his hands, for his troubling back, Mr Dhayia, always walked with a limp.
But he had a way with the maths subject and his student. And right from the first day,he was different.
Not like other teachers at all. He always said "I do not believe in punishing the students for not doing the homework. If I  could make the kids do homework that way, I'd have taught the subject to a cow or a mule. I am dealing with human beings here who have the ability to think and take decisions"

Once, when he caught one of the students eating his lunch during the class in the back of the class, instead of reprimanding the student, he offered the student to take his time to finish his lunch and then discuss with him personally on the problems he missed. Because, again according to him, "a hungry student could never concentrate, especially on Maths problems"

He made even the toughest of maths problems on derivatives and integrals seem so simple with his logic and smart tricks he taught us to tackle those problems.

And before the exams, he always told us "You all are so prepared that you need not be scared of the question paper. The examiner will be scared with your answers"
And before every exam, he would be standing right outside the exam hall,  boosting confidence of each one of us.And he always said "You should be so confident that after the exams, you should be able to calculate your scores yourself"

He ended up staying for both our XI and XII grades and improved the maths grades for our class so much. I  stayed in touch with him for about a month after I left school. I still wonder where he is or how many lives he touched.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had an amazing teacher in my college years who said he only wanted us to attend his classes if we wanted to, and if attendance was what we wanted, he would mark everybody present. He also allowed us to bring tea or anything else and listen and join him in interactions (he never lectured, all his classes very interactive and he had full attendance).
He also spoke about bad effects of smoking but allowed those who wanted to smoke to sit near the windows at the back if they wanted to attend his class. This was in 1980s. :)