Changes, Choices and Challenges

Dedication: To my Nanu,Nani, parents, my mother in law , my husband, my sisters,my brother in laws, my kids, my relatives and my dear students

Born in the family of educators, I was not only born teacher but born to be a teacher. Teaching is something that come naturally to me. Yes it is in my genes.

I wanted to be everything except teacher because I wanted to break the trend of teacher’s child would be a teacher. But destiny has some other plans stored in for me. After completing my masters in computers application I got a one of the kind opportunity to work for a live government project. I worked for it for almost two and half years until my parents pressurized me to do B.ed. What has driven me to pursue by B.ed was that it was in special education mental retardation. My peers did it in the hope of getting a government job but my motive was clear that I wanted to learn as much as I can and teach as much as I can during my internship.

I still remember my first day in a special school, I thought it would be easy but it wasn’t. Not that any child there tried to harm me but I felt their pain and in-spite of that they were having a smile on their face. It still makes me wonder when god has taken almost everything from few of them, what is that makes them smile. We often grumble about not having proper shoes, bags,etc there was and even still contentment on their faces whenever I get a chance to visit them in the school. I got genuinely involved with them. I taught them curricular and co curricular activities. As a part of B.ed curriculum I had to teach kids from public school also. When I went there the kids were not given table and chair to sit instead they sat on daris. They were curious to learn but had very little ambitions.Having just one goal to earn money and be rich. Both the experiences have changed my life.

When I completed by B.ed S.E (M.R) I topped the university and even worked for a private school in Rajasthan. There I worked for almost six months where I taught 9th and 10th classes computers, took workshops of teachers on children with special needs so that they can be aware about them. I worked as an editor of school, supervised an N.G.O and even served as educomp coordinator. On the school’s annual day, the school gave me best teacher trophy for academic year 2011-2012.

But I had to leave the school because I got married in Noida. When I moved to Noida, I worked for The Millennium School Noida for three years where before leaving the school, School management had chosen me as the star performer of the middle school. Luckily it has integrated setup. So I was able to teach special kids also. My love for teaching and the school grew deeper and deeper. Whatever time I used to get I used to spent working for school. I never said no for any work. It is because of this reason I taught from Classes 4th to 10th computers. I had to leave my the school because I had conceived and had to raise my baby. But I couldn’t leave teaching.

When my baby was born I tried to return back to work but couldn’t go. I even tried to start taking home tuition but because no one knew me in my neighborhood as I used to spend most of my time either doing house hold chores or school work. My social life after marriage was till school. In my in laws family everyone is working so we hardly used to get time to socialize in neighborhood.

I started getting depressed. Having few accomplishments and good experience I couldn’t earn any money. Until one fine day I saw a classic movie Nil Batey Santa. From then on I started a small initiative Unnati to teach underprivileged strongly supported by my mother in law and husband. I got determined to teach my domestic helpers. I taught them after they finished their work. Even helped them to finish their work early. Even taught them while they were doing their work and when my daughter was taking a nap. Everything was going smoothly until one day my helper requested me that instead of them, I should focus on their kids. It was again a challenging thing for me to teach all of them without charging any money. Since then I never looked back. I am still teaching them and will teach them. It has been four years that they have worked hard with me. Everyday we learn something new , everyday they have a new story to share, everyday they have some problem but we all have one satisfaction that we have spent our day well. When often my kids complain it to me about their teachers for deducting their marks for illogical reasons. I always tell them to focus on leaving a mark instead of getting a mark. With them I teach few children who are from well off families. They initially had adjustment problems but now everyone is accustomed with the whole setup. I work on their holistic development. I make them prepare for competitions. I make sure to give them exposure of new environments and experiences. We celebrate their birthdays and festivals together.So that I can make learning fun for them. After two years of my initiative my son was born, I thought I won’t be able to continue teaching them, It was then my own students encouraged me to teach them and now it has been four years that I have been teaching them.

On this women’s day Cloud Nine hospital has felicitated me for my small contribution towards society.

Two of the ladies from my neighborhood have got inspired by me that even they have started teaching underprivileged kids. All this effort is a drop in an ocean, we all still have to go miles before we sleep. So on this teacher’s day I would like to wish my students Happy Teacher’s Day…. even I have learned lessons of life from you. so Thank You so much… . God bless you all

Story shared by...

Shreen Vardhan Sharma