Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Teachers' angst

The January 2017 issue of Reader's Digest carried an article after my own heart: a collection of acid quips from long-suffering schoolteachers, titled Talking out of School, by Patrick Romain (pp. 86-89). Do look it up. Here are a few of my choice quotes - I hope the RD editors won't mind my using them:

1) His parents are professionally unemployed and have promised to make their kid work.

2) I didn't realize it, but according to the parents, I have two Einsteins, five Marie Curies and eight Leonardo da Vincis in my class.

3) The mother asked me more questions in five minutes than her daughter did in a whole term.

4) It's not in my class that Rodin would have found a model for his Thinker.

5) I was lured with the promise of becoming a teacher and ended up becoming a zookeeper.

6) This pupil has two saviours: the school bell and Wikipedia.

7) Is education getting better because pupils are getting worse, or is it the other way round?

8) In high places they talk about dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysorthographia and dyscalculia. In the meantime, discipline is my problem.

After 36 years at it, I can only say 'Hear, hear!' And I am thankful that my long-nurtured reputation as an ogre has saved me from the last problem, at least. I can always terrify them and throw a particularly noxious brat out.


Deyasini Ganguly said...

Hello Sir,
These are very hilarious indeed although I couldn't understand the 4th one. Also it reminds me of the few times you actually got us petrified when we failed to maintain discipline in your class. And one time I remember, I was at the brunt of your wrath. Somebody had done something and incidentally, I was late that day and you almost sent me back home. However when I look back now and maybe its too early to say but I really miss those days a lot. But I guess we never know what we have until we lose what we have.
Deyasini Ganguly

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you for commenting, Deyasini. One of the reasons I liked you was that you were honest about your failings, and that is a very, very rare trait, at least among Indians. The fourth item refers to the famous statue called 'The Thinker' by the 19th century French sculptor Auguste Rodin (you can see a spoof of it on this blog itself - look down the right hand column, and the original you can look up on the Net). The teacher in question is saying that looking at his pupils, one wouldn't think that Man as a species is capable of thinking. Now you know.

And I am glad to hear that you miss my classes, even though, despite living barely a kilometer away, you cannot look me up once in six months.

Best wishes.

Deyasini Ganguly said...

Thank you for your best wishes, Sir. My CBSEs will begin from the 9th of March. So I am going to need your best wishes a lot. These two years have passed by very quickly, almost in a wink. You had warned us of that the last day of our tuitions. I am a little too apprehensive these days because I don't know how the course of my life will change after these exams. I don't want to sound vague but I am really ashamed of not paying you a visit for such a long time. I promise I shall visit you soon after my exams.
Deyasini Ganguly