Humility & Appreciation - Penta BHIS


‘I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.’

Ms. Cooper
The young Ms Cooper started on her first teaching job. On the first day at school, she thought that she knew it all. Not in the sense that she had mastered the art of teaching, but she was well aware of the dos and don’ts. Ms Cooper was very careful about ‘going by the book’. In the staff room, she could easily gauge whom she would like to have as a mentor to look up to.

In the days that followed, she comes across a no-nonsense Math teacher, Mr Iyer. Despite his strict manner, he was greatly appreciated by his students. The way they greeted him or made it a point never to bunk his lessons, made Ms Cooper want to learn from him. How was the class able to appreciate this highly learned teacher? Were the teenagers not alienated by his immense knowledge?

She came to glimpse a part of the answer, one day. Mr Iyer was so immersed in the task at hand that
Mr Iyer
he did not hear the bell ring. His students came to the staff room to call him. Embarrassed at his own late-coming to class, he apologized to them in a courteous manner. Neither did he presume that his students should accept his delay in coming to class nor did he excuse himself for this lapse. This humility was a part of his moral make-up. No wonder, his students reached his class on time!

He also gave Ms Cooper friendly advice, “It is not necessary that students have to like me, but it is necessary for me to like and accept all of them. That is important.”

She was humbled by his words.
He even told her of his ‘happy folder’ where he kept all the notes, thank-you cards, work from a challenging student, letters or emails from former students and so on. Even if his house were on fire, the ‘happy folder’ would be the thing he would save first.
Happy Folder😊
Ms Cooper followed his advice and created her own happy folder which grew in size over the years. She was lucky to learn from the best and the more experienced teachers around her. She remembers her starting days - no idea how to control her class consistently, or plan lessons in challenging situations or teach students effectively while engaging them or deal with daily conflicts in the classroom.

But who said Rome was built in a day?

She soon found something good in every student and appreciated it, owned up to an honest mistake (without making excuses!) and found appreciation from her colleagues.

She always remembers to mention Mr Iyer, now that she mentors new members in her team.

Penta @ Billabong International High School, Thane
- Jeeji Sanjeev, Sanika Joshi, Arpita M.G., Muskaan Menda, Radhika Anand, Supriya Naravankar & Bhavani Swamy.

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