“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Whenever I reflect on my life, these words by Ruskin Bond come to mind.
As a B.Tech. Graduate who decided to ditch the luxury of a corporate job and embraced the challenging and exciting life of a teacher, my choice was questioned and critiqued by peers and elders alike. It is appalling how in a developing nation of billions, education is given very little value by the public as well as the government. While the idea of equality in education is lauded, teaching as a profession is neglected and belittled to the core. Little do they know that as a teacher, I have learnt more from my students than I could have taught them!
As a teacher, my mind set has been challenged, proved right and wrong several times since my training. I have learnt the value of building relationships, I know and consciously put into practice the values of love and gratitude for everyone and above all, I have realized that everyone is correct in their own way and it is just our limiting mind sets that prevent us from fully acknowledging the other person’s worth and/or point of view. In the faces of my students, I have found the courage to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, the inspiration to be my best self as a teacher and a role model every single time I step inside the classroom and the conviction to stick with it when the going gets tough. I have found myself out of my comfort zone countless times. There were days when I felt like have taken the wrong decision or ‘This is not for me’ or ‘I just can’t do it’ or ‘Teaching is just not my normal self’ or ‘I didn’t sign up for this and so, I don’t have to put up with this’. At that point in time, I just needed to show up at school for one more day and look at those 50-odd sets of eyes brimming with enthusiasm over what they might learn that day. In those silently raised hands, I have found volumes of strength and the wisdom that one person can make a difference and bring about change.
I don’t know what awaits me next- the challenges, the pressures, the work load, great friends, unique experiences, new adventures, a wonderfully happy life or feeling like a dismal failure. Probably, all this and much more! What might change with time is the intensity, perhaps. However, I know that with each passing day my passion will grow manifold, my days won’t end at 12 a.m., my life force won’t wait for the weekend to unleash and my passion and creativity won’t be limited to a single mind. The power to make change possible is within all of us. All it takes is taking one bold step forward.