My time at the Union Christian College was very good, and each of the lecturers at the English Department has played a big role in defining me – it is something that I can never forget. I have already written about my days at the college (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/the-college-days-at-ucc/) which won a contest too, and I might come with a detailed tribute later. But for now, I would like to remember those teachers who defined my earlier days of studies at the school level. My memories about that time period remains less clear, but it is worth a try.
Among my favourite teachers, there are two who helped me with my English. One is Aleyamma teacher who was my all-time favourite teacher – I would give her credit for myself scoring very high in English for my tenth board exams. She was strict with her class, and always hesitated to give marks, and the best one could score for the English paper if it was evaluated by her – it was around eighty two out of hundred and sometimes nobody scored an eighty; not really inspiring the students to choose English as the favourite subject, but her level of teaching and valuation compared to the others was clear when the scores reached near cent percent for the board exams while the students who scored high in the local test papers and examinations got low marks.
I have had the opportunity to stand outside the class during her classes, but that only inspired me to work harder – from the way she managed the classes, it was all so clear to me. I tried to read more and make things work better, and I wished she had taught me English for a longer period of time. No longer being in her classes was the biggest miss for me after the tenth standard. Joseph sir who gave me tutions for English also provided the same, and he played a big role in making the English language and grammar interesting. As long as he taught me, I never had any doubt about which subject to study more than the others. But all subjects other than English were made so boring in comparison.
Another love for a subject goes to History, and the credit for that goes to Laila teacher who could come up with least boring History class that I have ever known. She had a special style of saying “Mao Tse-tung” and “Chiang Kai-shek” which made sure that the Chinese Revolution was never forgotten. I remember that I had once topped History for the first time and she was like “what took you so long?”. I could score high for the subject during the board exams too, and I was actually blessed with the certain fact that she was the one who taught me History throughout high school, a memory that I cherish. I don’t even remember seeing her in anger when teaching or dealing with matters of the class.
Then there was Uma teacher, who made the subject of Geography have any value. She also used to teach some English when there was the need, and I did feel that she made her points so clear with the class. If I have something of the subject remaining inside my brain, it is because she make me relate well with that subject which was never among my stronger areas. It is the base for Geography that she had provided, just like that base for History and English which were established. I managed to do fine with the subject for the tenth board exams, and make Social Science look nice in totality.
Then there was Martin sir who made an impression for my Plus Two, but the major problem there was that, as a Mathematics teacher, he came too late to make a big impact – there was no love left for me with Maths, and even for the Science subject, the lack of good teachers during the earlier periods of schooling deprived me of any love for those subjects. My favourite subjects were formed due to the presence of some good teachers during the school days, and they were English, History and Geography – those were the three subjects which made me interested due to having the best teachers, the four whom I salute, and my respect for the fifth who tried so hard to make my Maths better, but couldn’t 😀
This blog post is inspired by Sucheta’s writing (https://suchetabiswas.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/we-the-people-and-the-teachers-we-have), and reminds me that I should have carried over the inspiration and knowledge which were provided by these teachers. But unfortunately, I did lose most of it for some time, and could only partially gain a part of it back. It was rather a near-impossible task because of my certain inabilities. ***The images used in this blog post are scanned and cropped photos from my distant past – the schooldays.