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Thursday, December 3, 2009


A sixth standard student committed suicide. The reason- he fared badly in science for his second term exam. The boy's parents have filed a case against the school management and the science teacher.
A plus two student hanged herself to death, the reason again being low grades in the annual exam. Here the parents and the school management come together against the girl's class teacher. Anyway, in both the cases, the teachers are dismissed. Now such cases have become so ordinary in our schools. But why? Why are they happening again and again?
Today I watched a beautiful movie, "Dead Poets Society". It is about the strong bond that a teacher and his adolescent students share: a teacher who guides them to be free thinkers, who advises them to swim against the current, who introduces to them the beauty of the term 'carpe diem/ seize the day'. Through his 'unorthodox' methods of teaching he instills in his students a love for poetry, literature, a sense of confidence, unity, courage, team spirit, what not... . The denouement of the movie is similar to the real life incidents I mentioned above. The fate of the teacher is no less different from those of the ones above. But the reason for his expulsion is wrong, completely unfair and reprehensive. I don't want to delve into the details because I really wish that everyone should watch that movie.
While watching this movie my experiences as a teacher (however limited) with my students, their parents, the school management, everything just flashed by. Whenever some mishap happens, it is so easy to put the blame on the teacher and then to shush the whole issue. Do you think a child, when he fares badly in a particular subject, gets so scared to face his teacher that he simply goes and hangs himself? Is that the only reason behind his putting his life to an end? What if it was about his parents' dreams; the burden of not reaching up to their expectation, of being unable to face their wrath and anger?... . The agony of peer pressure, undesirable comparisons made by his parents and yes, even teachers? The element of force played by his parents to see him excel in subjects he likes the least. When a child is driven to suicide, we the parents forget what we did to his morale, we fumble and blame the next available person, his teacher.
I wish we had a curriculum where everything was not valued in terms of marks, marks that are put in numerals. As the students reach higher classes I wish they had the freedom of choice, and we as teachers the wisdom of guiding each of them with the right choice; every student, every individual, is blessed with some kind of potential by the Almighty. I wish we lived in a society where people realized that no area of knowledge is inferior. Then the life of these young ones would not have been nipped in the bud.
I wish things were different. What about you? Do you think the outlook of our society should change? Please let me know your views.


  1. Dear Susan,

    Well said! For a minute, it opened my eyes too. Glad that a similar one came to my mind also two weeks back, eventually ending up at my blog site.

    What you said is absolutely true. We, parents see the picture from one side only.

    Having said that, I am not completely OK with the quality of present teachers. I happened to discuss about my school and the teachers, with one of my schoolmates less than 24 hours back and we both voiced the quality of teachers when compared to those during our days.

    We need to teach our children to give respect and take respect.

    I look forward to an upgraded level of teacher-child relationship.

    Thanks for opening up!

    Best Regards,

  2. Further to your reflection on the subject, I believe, a more practical and contributory evaluation in the teaching methodologies that sustains the overall development and functionality sans theoritical "empowerment" among the learners should be observed. A teacher should be not just a plethora of knowledge bank, but a guide and mentor who can venerate the sanctity of imparting values in an imbroglio society.

    Prem Joseph Thomas, Ampattu

  3. Firstly, hello! And thank you for visiting me today at my photo blog. So nice to meet you and find your place of beauty and thought here in blogland. You post strikes a chord. I have only my own school experience to draw on, as my husband and I don't have children. But from what I personally experience during school years, and what I see of the children in my life and what happens to them. There seems to be a disconnect between the whole teacher-student-parent relationship. A whole give and take and respect seems missing. I worries me that there is such a huge gap. Grades are the focus and sometimes standards are very high. What about inspiring students to be well-rounded individuals and not just about marks? And parents ought to be more involved. But I shouldn't say too much here as I know so little on this topic... But wanted to say I appreciate the rich variety you present here at your blog. :o)


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I am someone who loves almost everything that is related to art-be it writing, painting, crafts, music, dance; Yes,anything that can enliven my spirit. I am originally from Kerala,India. Currently I live in the US.