She got an ATKT in her class 10 Mathematics exam and realized its not her cup of tea to take up Science. She took up Political Science in her BA because she didnt score high enough to get into English Literature. She did a BEd because she thought she could at least work as a teacher till she got married. But she continued to teach after marriage as well.
She started teaching English, starting her career teaching class 12 students, she slowly realised that real education actually starts at class 2/3 levels. And so she demoted herself from secondary section to primary section and finally ended teaching class 3 and class 4 students.
She was one of the strictest teachers in the school, but most students loved her.
She always admitted to the students if she didnt know something and that she would come back to them the next day with answers. She spent hours trying, discussed with her husband and children, searching for the right answers. She admitted that she was wrong when a parent explained to her that she couldnt expect little children to finish their homework the next day since they had a lot of other subjects to study as well. She always gave students 3 days time to finish their homework after that. She learnt from her children and she admitted that each batch she taught, inturn, taught her a lot of things!
She was a natural in teaching dance and drama for annual days to children. Her husband and she composed Little Red Riding Hood one year and then Pied Piper of Hamelin another year, in form of song and dance, and then led a group of loads of children to dramatic victory and standing ovation in the school annual days. Those days, teachers didnt have too much budget so her husband used his small lap casio to compose the song, recorded the song on a cassette player, using the old small tape recorder. The singers/playback were students themselves. She ensured that all her students got a chance to participate, enhancing their confidence. They would borrow around for the costumes, searching for that piece of saree which could be used as a cloak or an old dhoti that could be stitched into an interesting attire..
Though English eluded her in her BA, she went on to become an editor and author for the English textbooks of her state. She would spend hours trying to get the right lessons for the children, get the textbooks to be gender neutral.
Then she learnt when she was a lot older that she had a natural flair for story telling. She would look up stories from books, and then learn from her husband and daughter and go and dramatise them for her class 2 and class 3 students.
She definitely took her teaching to a different level. She was not just a teacher, but a mentor and a friend. She added a zing to her teaching and ensured she gave her best and a bit more to her students.
She is my Amma 🙂