Anyone can learn from a book. But a #TerrificTeacher can make the difference between passing an exam and learning a life lesson. The Better India salutes those for whom teaching is not a job but a higher calling.
The years we spend in school are when we learn, grow and most importantly discover ourselves and our full potential, and there is no one better than a teacher to help in this process?
A teacher’s role goes way beyond the classroom and plays a vital part in shaping a student. Here are eight teachers who have pushed the envelope far above and beyond their call of duty, for the sake of their students.
Head Teacher, Primary School, Gamdidgaon
Gamdidgaon is a tiny village located in the state of Uttarakhand and Madhulika Thapliyal is the head teacher of the primary school and is assisted by Pavitra Rawat. This Firstpost report beautifully illustrates the passion and commitment that Madhulika has displayed towards her vocation, and the deep bond she has established with the community.
A teacher since 1993, Madhulika moved to Gandidgaon 11 years ago. Her day begins at 4:00 a.m., and once she completes her household chores, she leaves for school. Taking note of her fine teaching methods, the report states that the children are completely at ease around her, and do not like to miss even a day of school—even during the unforgiving rainy season. Madhulika places importance on social values and communication, and upon observing the children, who freely express themselves, it is clear that her efforts are paying off.
2. Usha Rani
Headmaster, Government High Primary School, Kothanur
According to The Hindu, the Kothanur Government Higher Primary School in Bengaluru lacked basic infrastructure, when Usha Rani took up the reins as the headmaster, around six years ago.
Ms Rani decided to act immediately and do something about this. She began with inviting alumni, NGOs, and donors to the school, committing them to improve the school infrastructure. Her efforts were successful, the building was renovated, and Ms Rani ensured that the teachers were endowed with the right tools and computers.
Ms Rani didn’t stop there. She mobilised funds for students who had completed Class 10 and continues to do so. Her good work has also taken her beyond the walls of her own school, and at least six schools in the vicinity have benefitted from infrastructure development, thanks to her network of donors.
3. Rajan Thalore
Headmaster, Nandikkara Government HSS, Thrissur
It is because of Rajan Thalore’s mindful training, that the students of his institution traversed floodwaters, to help those stranded, reports Manorama. Thalore started a professional training centre for swimming and disaster rescue in the secondary school last year, and all the 150 students aged under 15, have become ace swimmers and were capable of cutting across the strong currents of the Kurumali river, and no surge could drown them.
This isn’t the first time his foresight was useful. In 1996, he was posted as the Malayalam teacher in the Government Higher Secondary School in Kadavalloor, when he invited percussion artists to the school and set up a Panchavadyam training centre. As a result, the tiny school won the second prize in the state-level Panchavadyam competition, the following year.
4. Panchaksharaiah B Mudholmath
Associate Teacher, Government Higher Primary School, Neeralagi, Gadag
With 15 years of teaching under his belt, Mudholmath was worried, as the academic stress students faced continuously grew, as society became increasingly competitive.
The Hindu reports that in order to change this, he introduced the ‘no bag day,’ in his school every Saturday. This brilliant initiative was not only about easing the physical burden of students but also introduced changes to an otherwise mundane timetable. Several extracurricular activities, like seminars, folk games and quizzes kept the kids engaged, and interested in school. The rule has been in effect for over three years now, and Mudholmath’s initiative has been so successful that for many students, Saturday is their favourite day of the week!
5. Shri Basruddin Khan
Headmaster, Government Middle School, Tappan village, Mewat, Haryana, India
Earlier this year, Mewat figured at the bottom of the Niti Aayog list of the 101 most backward districts in India. As stated by this report in the Times of India, around 20% of students drop out of government schools in Mewat, and in this scenario, the work done by 54-year-old Khan is nothing short of stupendous.
Khan has helped populate vacant benches, bringing down the drop-out rates, and even spread healthcare awareness about vaccination in the Muslim majority district. He also roped in Udaan, an NGO, to launch a program that was aimed specifically to ensure that girls don’t drop out of school.
A teacher since 1993, Khan has worked in schools in three villages—Jharpuri, Siroli and Tappan—in the Mewat district, and has managed to make a dramatic difference to the attendance in every single school. Khan has been posted at the Government Middle school in Tappan for the past five years. His efforts were praised by PM Modi in a commendatory tweet, on September 4.
6. Rameshappa G
PE Teacher, Government Junior College, Vijayapura, Bengaluru, India
With minimal resources in hand, Rameshappa, a PE teacher, helped hundreds of students make a State-level mark in athletics, reports The Hindu.
Apart from ensuring that a 400-metre running track was constructed in the school, he also roped in donors to provide shoes and jerseys, Rameshappa ensured that those who played got their share of required nutrition as well. His efforts have resulted in around 104 of his students participating in State Level athletics, with 6 participating in National Level meets. Kudos to him for recognising the value of sports in shaping a young individual’s mind.
7. Rameshwari Lingwal
Head Teacher, Primary School, Gyansu, Uttarakhand, India
Posted to the school since 2010, Rameshwari effortlessly juggles her commitments at home, along with ensuring that her students are also taken care of. A fine example of this is the instance when she, along with her colleague, Darbeshwari, purchased uniforms for some boys who belong to low-income families, using their own money.
Rameshwari was awarded the Rajya Shikshak Puraskar in 2015, and believes in the concept of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and told Firstpost that as a teacher, she has carefully observed every child in the school, and knows them well.
8. Susheela R
Science Teacher, Government Model Higher Primary School, Bengaluru, India
Susheela R is a mission—to get rid of her student’s fear of numbers and fractions before she retires.
Employing unconventional teaching methods by using ordinary objects, 3-dimensional models, flashcards and audio-visual guides, Susheela explains complex mathematical concepts to students, reports The Hindu.
Thanks to her efforts, her students are looking at Mathematics in a new light, beyond the regular number line!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)