We all have our own ways of surviving at the workplace, in relationships, in the community and in our own inner world. These ways vary and seem similar sometimes. We adopt and adapt to certain tips handed over by the marketed self-help professionals. Sometimes, we turn to our inner-self and get the real remedies.
But, Happiness still remains a quest, unending for all of us. We are yet to realise whether it is the journey or the destination that we are moving for. I came across Slavoj Žižek's words about happiness and as always, something pushed me to see happiness with a clear eye.
“Happiness was never important. The problem is that we don't know what we really want. What makes us happy is not to get what we want. But to dream about it. Happiness is for opportunists. So I think that the only life of deep satisfaction is a life of eternal struggle, especially struggle with oneself. If you want to remain happy, just remain stupid. Authentic masters are never happy; happiness is a category of slaves.”
We need to equate concern about education with compassion for education. If a teacher, a policymaker, a parent and a student is happy about the learning process, the purpose is served. Unfortunately, we have more of appointed individuals and less of self-driven hearts in teaching now. The ones who are having this job can certainly add competence to their being. The only thing these teachers need to do is to reject the status quo. This is no call for a rebellion against the passive system of Educational Policy in our country. But do we really see a future of and with this experimental methodology of handling education? We aren't sure of the results through the 'guidelines and circulars' that come each day to mark this or that occasion. But we are hopeful that our teachers are still going to make it worth in the classroom. The death of the teacher is a metaphoric warning for us; not for the administrators.
Are you happy with yourself being a Teacher?
An affirmative response to this question rejects all objections on us. It isn't about what age we are or what course we are teaching. It can be science or arts or medical or law. If you don't feel like learning along, it is going to be an unnecessary baggage on your students as well. If you take the best of yourself to the classroom, the kids will return the best. This reciprocity is the truth about learning. The prerequisite to wander on the less travelled path is to trust yourself with the purpose and trust your students. Because they have agreed to learn and designate themselves as students, you are a Teacher.
However, those who are off-track, they cannot be sandwiched between your disappointment and their dejection about the education system. You can forget and ignore them for a while. Focus on those who are willing learners. Once you capture them, the remaining might start getting back. And if not, the Serenity Prayer says:
God Grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Who aims at this wisdom is the one who stands different in the crowd of educators we have in a huge number these days. Isn't it true the one must be true to his work, word and friend! In our case, it is our noble profession and choice to be teachers which demand the utmost honesty. The pride of being a teacher gets us the requisite happiness in our job. Remember, we might get hired by them, but we don't serve them; we are meant solely for the kids in the classroom. If they feel we are worth their time, that is what we deserve to be paid for.
We also need to acknowledge that the students have a life outside the classrooms as well. We cannot fight with the existence of their being. They have engagements and obsessions; they do have their dreams and career plans as well. They have their moments of boredom as well as joy.
When we get a class-full of students and see it as a big number, it gets difficult to connect with each one right away. But, we can move from being a Ring Master to a Relation Master. Looking at the way they have been conditioned, it is not possible to take the risk of being a clown whom they see as weak. But, if you are prepared well, assured of your purpose and stand firmly on your conviction, they won't be able to deny you a presence. It is all about making them listen to you and identifying something in your words. Once they identify themselves in your words, there is no comedy, there is HAPPINESS!
The kids, their parents, our principals and policymakers- all of them around us- have lost the Sense of Humour. Along with the faculty of listening, we have also lost a refreshing sense of healthy sarcasm. As we don't bother to listen anymore, the chances to bear a smile on the faces are less. If we listen and cannot appreciate the 'light-hearted laughter' in the words, we are losing something inherently ours. Sarcasm and witty punches from the side of the teacher certainly make the classroom wider than the walls. The temperament is tamed and those who tend to feel bad by the TJs (teacher jokes) gradually see that it was about being happy. Tolerance is also a reward here, along with being quick-witted in responses.
Note To Students: You are Teachers! You bring the teacher out of you and assign it to the individual standing in front of you. Let them 'Borrow the Will' of the Student as the patients pick the Will of another Human Being in "Awakenings". The masterpiece must be watched by all teachers as we are also the doctors who operate on hearts and minds.
As a teacher, we need to create moments, memories and remembrances.
One day when the students will publish or speak their memoirs of learning, a small mention,
even a tiny footnote will make it worth.
Moments Matter Most- For you and for them all!