Traditionally, we have been made to look at teachers with admiration and respect, but what are you supposed to do when the same person who imparts education and knowledge, also contaminates it with taunts, mockery, and condescension. This teacher taught me two subjects - maths and science for three years in 4th, 5th and 6th standards in school. She would not only teach us these subjects but also take turns to mock the students while teaching them. In my case, she knew that maths wasn’t one of my strong fields and yet would, again and again, call me to solve questions on the blackboard. And when I wouldn’t be able to, she tauntingly asked the class to clap for me.
The efforts of the children who were not in her good books did not mean anything to her, because according to her, we wouldn’t be able to do much in our lives. I once remember how I went to her to get my doubts cleared and came back with the reply that “helping you wouldn’t make a difference, because you won’t be able to do anything in life”. I wasn’t the only who she bullied, she used to bully several children in my class. A lot of us would just spend hours in the washroom because of how afraid we all used to be of attending her classes. She did this to us for three years and the worst part is that despite regular complaints, our other teachers dismissed it and never paid any heed. I have come a long way and have managed to get selected in a really good course and college of my choice.
But I fear that a lot of other people, she bullied, may have fallen for the self-doubt she tried to force down our throats and might have believed her when she told them that they weren’t good enough. Even after 10 years, these incidents continue to remain in my memory.
After graduating from school, I wrote back to her on Facebook, told her that I got into one of the top Universities of India and that I am doing so much better than what she labeled me and how I am not a failure, and that I am a hundred times better person than she is. She called me a moron and blocked me as cowards do but I am not done yet!
I want to be an educator myself and I want to educate teachers so that we have fewer and fewer teachers like her in our society.