Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Today I saw a couple of lovelorn earthworms, wriggling together in the throes of passion near the kitchen. I picked them up with a dustpan and placed them gently in one of the pots to carry on with whatever they were doing. Hope they give me lots of babies for my pots. Earthworms are good for the earth as they aerate the soil. My maid always looks at me oddly when I do things like these.

It was much later that it struck me that what I had done was a direct result of a lesson taken by a science teacher long time ago in school. I guess all of us have gone through the ‘earthworms are farmers friends’ kind of lessons. What is amazing is that these lessons taught to us during our school days impact our lives even today. And Teachers made a big impression on most of us.

I remember being told regularly to brush my teeth in the night, without much effect. But the day teacher started a lesson on dental hygiene I was more regular at brushing my teeth than the clock. And then lessons in Nutrition...and I finally started taking an interest in vegetables. The lesson on intestinal worms and how they are contracted, made me rabidly fanatic about washing my hands. I still do it religiously. Taking baths daily, combing hair, eating right et al…everything was influenced by lessons and teachers than by a million lectures from my Mom. Such is the power that teachers wield.

I was lucky to have some really good teachers in school. Many of them were unmarried spinsters, totally dedicated to their profession. Many are still serving, the last of the genuine teachers left in the city.

Teaching is a Penguin act. Teachers have to understand complex subjects and regurgitate it so that students understand it. Therefore it is imperative that people with the right aptitude and attitude for the profession be selected for the post. Children emulate teachers sub consciously. Good teachers make for good students and I am not talking about the subject knowledge of the teacher but other subtle things, like the way the teacher interacts with students, the respect or dignity with which he/she handless his/her students.

And lessons in matters like respect for girls etc in school, will go a long way in shaping the way young boys look at girls and women in general. Teaching and school curriculum is a huge opportunity for the government to bring in radical social changes, but how many governments are using that opportunity? Not many I am afraid.


Jiby said...

u know what silverine, me and a friend were just talking abt teachers yesterday...we were talking abt how many teachers make the mistake of not respecting students as people with a personality and a strong individuality just like them and dont treat students as equals.

yesterday nite i cudnt sleep...so i decided to write a post and it had to do with my school and my teachers and the amazing set of ethics and values they filled us with...i was planning to wait for some time later this month when 2 of my pals get married to publish that post. what makes me so proud of the work my teachers have done is when i see the 45 odd guys who were my classmates and the fine human beings they have all become. it just cant be a coincidence!

yet another wonderful peice from u!!

Alexis Leon said...

Nice and very relevant as usual. The saying ‘matha, pitha, guru and daivam’ is very true.

How are the earthworms?

calvin said...

I know. And they know we know . Every thursday evening , I meet three of my teachers . They go attend some bhajans and while they are waiting for the bus home , I usually ride by . I stop make a screeshing turn and get back . And talk to them . One day one of them stopped mid-conversation and said , " you know , it makes us kinda happy when you kids come back and just talk to us about things " . I felt elated , and for once felt that i indeed have made a small repayment for their kindness.

Like Jiby said , when I look around and see the fine guys and gals that we have become , I am proud of their work.

PS: I dont remember much from the subjects they taught. I do remember much from other times when they tried hard ( like Samual L Jackson from Pulp fiction ) to keep the cool and be the good shepherds.

silverine said...

Jiby: Yes it is not a coincidence that kids trun out alright, there is definitely a lot of work involved in doing that. I am looking forward to that post :)

Alexis: The Earthworms have disappeared hopefully into the pots :))

Aashik: That is so nice of you to kep in touch with them. Thankfully my school is in the city so I drop in often. Love to be part of my school and help out during functions etc. The place has so many warm memories mainly due to some good teachers!

calvin said...

My school is aah 5 mintues walk from my Home :D . And you are making me feel guilty for not going there more often.

Dhanush said...

Sweet post.Its always a nice feeling when u go back and visit your teachers. Eventhough I am not able to do so on a regular basis, my mind still wanders on that scholl compund wall.

Post reminded me of To Sir, With Love

Maverick said...

amen to u :)
I too had so many good teachers all along.i keep in touch with all those i can .but miss the great ones that i had while i was in LP classes:(
the ones that left a lasting impression
and it always made sense to me when teachers advised :D

silverine said...

Aashik: tsk tsk !!!!

dhanush: Mind still wanders on the school compound wall? Why, was there a girls school next door? lol
I know what you mean, school memories just refuse to go :)

maverick: I miss school :(

Chirikudukka said...

Yes i totally agree with you..on the influence teachers have on us thoughout our life...but i think its most effective during the pre-k-middle school age. Once kids get to high school they have a "whatever" kind of attitude...for me the teachers that i remember the most and have had the most influence on me are the ones who taught me in middle school..that was the time when we look up to teachers for everything...ahh good old days!!

Dhanush said...

Nope. I was in a Mixed School :-) The most privileged one..

silverine said...

chririkuduka: You are right, it is in primary school and girls are more influenced than guys I guess. Good old days indeed :)

Dhanush: Lucky you!!! Did you get to do any studies??? :))

Fleiger said...

Teachers in school affect you more than your college teachers, in my experience. And you tend to remember them more. Reminds me of an great comedy article written by Pu La (one of the greatest Marathi writers) about his school days where he has written about his teachers and all... We had some great teahcers in our school, including a President's Award winner Marathi teacher. I haven't come across pure marathi than his in Pune (which is purest marathi speaking city)

College teachers are the ones we remember more for their idiosyncs/defects.

Fleiger said...

BTW, earthworms are Rs. 500 for half kg. (so your girl-scout act should pay, really) And they give excellent fertilizer. We have a whole cabinet in our garden for that purpose.

pophabhi said...

Teachers - really are foundations to our character. Especially the good ones.
I still wonder how all those students my mom taught remembers her in a whizz and pays their respect to her. Something I surely envy her for!

silverine said...

Fleiger: Well said about teachers in school vis a vis the college teachers, that's why lower class teachers should be good. And earthworms are pricey here too :)

Pophabhi: Your Mom must have a real good teacher, because students remember her till today :)

Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info »

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »