Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Power of Teaching~

Reflecting back on the entire semester of GEDI and PFP classes at VT, I sense that my intention and attitude towards teaching have elevated from the desire to help others (students) find beauty in engineering in a way that I have found, to something even higher. And, that something higher is ineffable enough for me not find a noun suitable for it. I can try adding adjectives to what teaching means to me right now: a purpose for my awareness in this lifetime, something more akin to worship and the journey to higher self.

In My Past-Life

(Pre GEDI and PFP life): I have been a self-studying self-built person for most of my life. Most teachers in my undergraduate education to me were like the priest in a temple/church/mosque/anything-else to whom I pay respect and pretend to listen. My real spiritual development happened outside the holy-moly walls of the pious shrine/building. 

That is how most classes were for me- I attended them (mostly).  I tried not to sleep. I pretended to listen when awake. I tried not to read something else. (Facebook etc were not the thing yet.) I freaking tried all of that above. My real learning happened when I pored into books in my hostel room, in library, in the park, in our athletics stadium.

And, that is exactly the reason why for a long time I have held teaching as a pious profession. My belief has over time reinforced itself with the plethora of note-reading, no-eye-contact-please teachers that I have had. The more my teachers  performed  sadly in their theatrics and interest in teaching, the more convinced I became. 

The reason for this reverse reinforcement was this: It appalled me that the beauty I find in subjects is something that most of my class will probably never experience, because most of them need teachers to show them the beauty. 

So, I would take time and teach my classmates. And, the fire (and the zeal) built on itself.

This Life:

Now I am almost towards the end of this wonderful GEDI and PFP experience. My intention for teaching has risen over the desire to share the beauty as I perceive it to instead waking the genius in my students (and not transferring to them my genius image of the subject.)

I am thrilled. I am inspired. The power of teacher is not only in showing students what the subject is and how freaking exciting and beautiful it can be, but also in awakening the genius in our students. It is in helping them be more self-aware. To help them come vis-a-vis to their self-potential and self-inspirations.

Teachers are powerful. They have this magic wand that they can use to make the future stronger. They instill seeds in their students. (Seeds of what, everyone in the class chooses.) They sit in positions where they can make great service to society as they try to live with high ideals (/model them.) Think Henry L.I.V. Derozio.

Teach, Prey, Love:

In most Indian systems of philosophy the teacher (Guru) is often referred to as a blessing or someone above God. In fact there is a beautiful couplet translated as:

"Guru and God both are hereto whom should I first bow
All glory be unto the gurupath to God who did bestow"

Oh my gawdliness! I can not wait to get the chance for waving my wand in a formal setting! 

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