Teacher’s Diary: 'I was preparing myself to see my student falter... but there was thunderous applause'

As part of its recently launched longterm project Teacher Connection, Gaon Connection invites teachers to share their fond memories and unforgettable experiences. Here’s a fond memory of a primary school teacher, Himanshu Verma, who still remembers the gleam in seven-year-old student Shraddha Singh's eyes. Read on to know what happened on January 25, 2018, which Verma remembers till date.

Himanshu VermaHimanshu Verma   21 Jan 2023 1:37 PM GMT

Teacher’s Diary: I was preparing myself to see my student falter... but there was thunderous applause

 Children can teach a lot to grown up adults only if we are willing to listen and learn. Photo by Virendra Singh

January 25, 2018. I remember the date clearly as it was a day ahead of the Republic Day and preparations were underway for its celebrations at our school situated in Lakoda village in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district.

That was the same year when I had just taken up my job as a primary school teacher. The students in the village belonged to underprivileged families and their academic knowledge was below expectations.

This incident that I narrate involved a seven-year-old student Shraddha Singh who studied in class second. She walked up to me and expressed her desire to participate in the performances which were tabled for the Republic Day celebrations.

I handed out a short poem to her which she was expected to memorise and perform the next day. However, the girl didn’t seem content but I didn’t pay much heed to it initially. I barely understood what troubled her and got back with training other students for the preparations.

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But this child walked up to me again and requested me to assign her a lengthier poem. I was a bit unsure if she could handle a long poem as it had to be memorised and performed the next day itself.

However, I then wrote a speech for her which was two-page long and asked her if she was satisfied with it. The gleam in her eyes upon taking the paper from me was an unforgettable sight. She quickly returned to her friends in a giffy. I wasn’t sure if she would be able to memorise the speech in such a short span of time.

The next morning, when the celebrations began and the students started performing their poems and speeches, I was waiting for Shraddha but it was more of an anxious anticipation. I was preparing myself to see my student falter.

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To my amazement, Shraddha read out the entire speech fluently and it was an experience I would never be able to forget. The entire school resounded with the thunder of claps of the audience. I was witnessing a child’s yearning to learn and excel in life. I found it miraculous to believe that this child went back home and memorised the speech overnight! Such was her motivation to do something good, to accomplish something in life and it was sheer inspiration. Children can teach a lot to grown up adults only if we are willing to listen and learn.

If you are a teacher and wish to share your memorable experiences with us, send a mail on [email protected] or send a WhatsApp message on 95656 11118.

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