random thoughts · school

Happy Teachers’ Day

As one more Teachers Day goes by, and he goes over the greeting cards, those cells in the brain that store specific memories get activated once again. It amuses him as he sees himself get transported to a classroom trying to explain math or analytical reasoning concepts. He feels tickled as he is unable to relate to the person he was, the time when he was committed to and passionate about teaching. That was the time when he trained students for CAT at a coaching institute. Times have changed, and he has moved on to a different role. Mental note: Different is not true because what he does now is more of the same, i.e. what most people do post their B school exit.
As he mentally thanks the ex-students from the coaching institute, he wonders why coaching institutes are looked down upon by many people. The debate around making changes to the IIT JEE system had a lot to do with coaching institutes and why they are IIT students’ producing factories. If we look at our country that is so passionate about cricket, we have great things to say about the coaches of Dravid or Sachin, about how Wasim Akram gave tips to a Zaheer Khan or Murali’s tips to R Ashwin. Taking a look at the statements from Michael Phelps, an all-time great or Usain Bolt, after their successes in London Olympics, we cannot ignore their sincere heartfelt thanks to their coaches.
He says that when it comes to competitive exams, many students need personalized attention to tweak their approach and small changes in approach make a huge difference. He remembered how he had helped one MBA aspirant to skim through the Quant section in CAT better and identify the easier questions first. His simple suggestion helped the student gain admission to IIMB. If coaching institutes help students to crack the system by helping them to understand it better, the exam system needs to reinvent, get smarter and not sit and complain about the proliferation of these institutes. Another point that he makes is that the students who clear these exams deserve full credit. Ultimately, it is their hard work and capability that gets them an admission into the hallowed portals of the IITs or the IIMs, isn’t it?
He wishes to point out that many of us thank our Teachers from schools and colleges but miss to acknowledge the contribution made by some very good part-time or full-time teachers at these centers.
Apart from wishing his own school teachers, he also wishes to thank some of his students who make sure he gets reminded about those teaching days nearly 7-8 years ago.
Happy Teachers’ Day to all those who teach or coach with passion and make a difference to one or more students! You are truly awesome and great!

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