Today is Teacher’s Day and five 20 something teachers tell us why they decided to give up high-paying jobs to be the change they want to see
Bangalore: Puneet Shankar
Physics teacher, Bangalore International School
(He holds a B.E. in Electrical and Electronics from MSRIT, Bangalore)
“The four years I spent as an engineering student at what is considered a top institute in the city, really opened my eyes to what education actually means. Education involves enabling a human being to think independently so that he/she can live a meaningful life. Unfortunately, that meaning is completely lost in our rigid educational structure, which today only focuses on churning out marching ants who measure their success by the size of their paycheque. Most of our professionals are only qualified on paper. This grim reality inspired me to leave the corporate sector and take up teaching. Now, I can help produce free-thinking individuals who constantly seek higher levels of consciousness, and it is this awareness that is possibly the only solution to stem the rapid de-evolution of our society.”
English, Math and Science Teacher, Utkarsha English Medium School, Pune
(He is presently a Program Manager with Teach for India and is a former Teach for India Fellow. Prior to joining TFI, he was working with KPMG in International Taxation).
“I believe that education is the basic right of every child and is the sole reason I decided to teach underprivileged kids. Teaching is probably one of the most difficult yet satisfying jobs. Children have a short attention spans and delivering engaging content everyday, getting them to absorb all the information and matching their levels of energy can be difficult! However, that warm feeling of satisfaction when you see the change you make in their lives and the unconditional love and respect you receive from your students makes up for all of it.”
Biology Teacher, Indus International School, Bangalore
“If done correctly, teaching is far from being monotonous! No two classes or children are ever the same. It’s always a challenge albeit a good one. My current school allows me to bring creativity in spreading knowledge. The pace at which kids these days grasp knowledge and apply it is absolutely fascinating to witness. And to know that in some way I play a part in moulding the future generation is exhilarating.”
English, Math, Science and Social Studies Teacher, Gurukul, Pune
“I think I always knew I wanted to be a teacher like some people know they want to be doctors or engineers or musicians. When I started teaching, my career choice sent ripples across my little social circle. One kind ‘aunty’ came up to me and matter-of-factly asked me when I was going to get a real job! The truth is I have one! I’ve found a teacher’s life is an adventurous one. Each day is filled with challenges as diverse as your students themselves. Each week is speckled with successes that often go unsung. They've said it so often it probably rings raw in your ears; but being a teacher is truly rewarding.”
Math Teacher, Baldwin Boys High School, Bangalore
(He previously worked at Northern Trust in Investment and Risk Analysis).
“The truth is anyone can become a teacher, but it takes an individual with the passion to teach, to awaken the soul in a child. Every child is unique, shaping them is a gargantuan responsibility vested in us teachers and I enjoy doing that most. Alongside my corporate job, while teaching the guitar I realised my calling to be a teacher. When a student walks up to you and says ‘thank you for your investment in my life', I feel good about leaving my corporate job, the handsome salary, delightful incentive cheques, big bonuses, et al. I am a teacher today by choice and not by chance. Teaching is a fun job too. There’s never a dull moment in the classroom. But the best part is that we build bonds for life and I’ve come to realise we don’t just teach but we attempt to change this world for the better, one child at a time!”