We may not realize it but there are times when all we need is that knowing look, a gentle smile or an encouraging prod that enables us to reach for the skies. I have had the pleasure of knowing many, many souls who have encouraged, motivated and mentored me. Some of them were my teachers. My Maths Sir who called me his 6-star student. Acing that Maths paper and maxing it were not only a personal quest for perfection but a wait to see his delighted smile and “I knew it” look. My English teacher who pulled up a top student (me) just because I had used funky pet names in a letter. Somewhere my love for English is a tribute to her unfailing standards — just the correct pronunciation, spelling and method would suffice even as we groaned and grumbled studying Shakespeare in class.

The benevolent Chemistry professor, just a few years older than all of us youngsters in our undergraduate class; his warm smile and friendly chatter could make the worst of students study. I can still recall the Principal of my Lucknow school who on a random visit to class glanced at my Hindi book. She quickly corrected the curve of ha for me. I have always written that letter perfectly subsequently. All tiny examples of the huge impact that a teacher with compassion, knowledge and vision can make to our hearts and minds. They may move on but they live on in my memories as a source of inspiration even to this day.

Yet, these days I am encountering the other kind of teachers way too often. Some of them are not technically teachers, more like bored homemakers filling their time. This is not to demean homemakers but anyone who takes upon a profession without being trained in it. With schools mushrooming, trained teachers are hard to come by. And sometimes even the trained ones lack empathy, vision and an ability to mold as they are stuck with cobwebs of old thinking and methods. And well some are just bad teachers.

The incident I am narrating here will show you this type. My elder son, who likes to save his time from lunch break and read in the library, was disturbed since the past few days. His school librarians who used to nurture his reading habit had quit. In their place were two new librarians who wanted the place run differently. The children could no longer read in the lunch breaks. The children were only encouraged to read in the library period that they got once a week not even in free periods. And they were discouraged from borrowing more than a book per week even if they had read the one borrowed.

Well, rules are rules! So one has to abide by them. But the strange part is that the rules were something they created out of their errr hats. In the last Parent Teacher Interaction, we requested the librarian to allow my son to read as he enjoyed referencing and even reading encyclopedias. For some reason, this ticked off the librarian. She felt that the son had “complained” about her. After he had taken a Chemistry book higher than his grade to read, she even picked up the book and asked him questions to satisfy herself that he had actually read the book! She made a sour comment every time he went to borrow a book and refused to take a book back even when he had read it. She wanted him to keep it for a week. As he was preparing for a quiz, he wanted to borrow some academic books for reference. But this lady was just being rather nasty and mean to him.

After suffering enough, my husband and I decided to pay this lady a visit. I was extremely polite to her explaining that my son really enjoyed reading. I don’t see how a librarian could see some harm in a child reading more (what was more anyway?). I wanted to hear her side of the story. She said that she felt that the child could be troubling her by borrowing books on his whim and fancies. She did not want him reading reference books of 9th and 10th standards. What we failed to understand was the problem in that? Shouldn’t she be nurturing his interests in the subjects he was interested in instead of laying roadblocks for him? I even suggested that she could have discussed about his reading habit with his teachers to assure herself. My husband even told her that he did not see any harm in a child picking any subject book for reference even if they did not really understand it. Shouldn’t we all endeavor to read on things we know nothing about?

Well, she had no answers for us. She just assumed that my son was a mischief maker. That he was borrowing books to trouble her. But after our little chat, she agreed to allow him to borrow and read books.

This entire incident left me baffled. A librarian who hates children reading books and actively discourages them from reading? It is like having a beautifully kept house and not letting your children play for the fear of upsetting your perfectly kept cushions. Or not letting the child ask pesky (perceived) questions in class to satisfy his curiosity so that the chapter can be completed in time. This is a very parochial view of imparting education.

It scares me what these teachers are forcing the kids to become — passive receptors and not independent thinkers.

Are you also noticing this trend among teachers?



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81 Thoughts on “Teachers, without vision?

  1. Bhavana Rao on August 26, 2014 at 11:08 am said:

    Terrible! Really this is a shame!
    If I may?
    My husband keeps on remembering fondly about his high school which allowed him to read any books at anytime and this made him so many books including very heavy read such as Radhakrishan’s Indian philosophy during his high school, yes high school. He too was into quizzing and has hosted many quiz in later years, including his days in IISc. He is 8 year senior to me and I do not have same fond memories of my high school, It only wanted students to get ranks.
    I dont know where’s the education is going to?

    • Yes, it is a shame, Bhavana. Thank you for sharing your experience. Luckily, we could talk to her and sort this out. Else, I would have reached out to the Principal who is always supportive. But yes this does make me wonder about teaching and teachers.

  2. It’s sad really…It’s as if they are doing it out of spite and that too with children…very sad…Teaching is not for everyone and sadly people don’t understand that … It’s like an easy way to earn money these days..nothing more!

  3. I agree – this is quite terrible. How can they stop kid’s from reading what they’re interested in? I used to spend every other minute in the library reading up on stuff, when I was at school. I guess it’s all about marks and ranks now!

    • It’s not even marks and ranks, Sid. They have grades these days and no ranks in class. There is no demotion till 8th Std. as per CBSE schools. The co-curricular activities have increased. But somewhere the approach to teaching is still antiquated, not across the board but with some educators. This lady did take the cake though.

  4. I have been planning a post on libraries for children, in the books and reading series on my blog. In fact, I had saved this one for the last. Your post has made me hurry up with it 🙂 Teachers these days unfortunately treat their professions as mere jobs and not as a vocation. So where is the chance that they would provide inspiration, be an inspiration and motivate children? Teaching like other professions is becoming more technical and less subjective or inspiring. Ask any teacher and she/he would tell you about the ‘teaching seminars,’ ‘conferences’ and the like and less about getting to know the child, his/her temperament, understanding their problems and giving individual attention to the children who need them.

    I will stop now. Will mail you once I post my article 🙂

    • Look forward to your article, Zephyr :). I agree with everything that you say. Teaching is no longer a vocation. There are some wonderful teachers even now but their tribe is certainly dwindling.

  5. A lot remains to be done when it comes to education! Imagine this happens in a school which is probably an elite one! What can one expect in government run or assisted schools, Rachna?

    • I shiver to think, Rahul. Just today I was seeing a news feature where schools in Rajasthan (government ones) had not taught their students tables and alphabet even in 4th standard!

  6. Omg.. such shocking teachers.. Reminds me we had such draconian rules at our school library too.. Nevertheless I would pester my parents to buy the books rather than going to the library …

    • My school library was just for show too. I buy a lot of books, Simple girl. But of course, it is better to read Reference books in a library well stocked. Especially when we pay for it.

  7. Rachna I agree with you but then again it is multidimensional thing. Teaching is something which you are born with a flair for. I have been a teacher myself (2 years full timer) I never had a teacher’s training but the students loved me. Why? because I never being trained improvised a form which made me go to each of them and encourage them and be their mentor. It was a mix of good and bad. My class looked indisciplined because I let their creativity flow. They interacted voiced their opinions (my range was from class 3 to class 10). but I found some of them had absolute disregard for any kind of learning. I remembered a time in my school where we showed sincerity when a teacher was sincere. look at the teacher student ratio. If in a class of 50, there are 25 students who are unruly the rest 25 sincere kids become the victim. Because of RTE and all a teacher cannot even ask these people to leave (they do not want to study and won’t even let others study) So, what happens is the rest 25 also suffers. We have a tendency to generalize. The librarian had stereotyped your kid in the category of mischief makers without even a proper incident of mischief. Looks like everyone is running out of patience. My take when you enter into the education line be absolutely sure to rid your mind of prejudices and be very patient and reach out to each one of them. Also the pay scale is of a concern. The teachers in high end private schools are not that well paid. so, any topper generally is not a teacher these days. They do not change their style with times.

    • Datta, I was a teacher for a year too and untrained. Not only was I referring to training but a flair and passion for teaching which you clearly exhibited. But many teachers do not. Your point about generalizing is very valid. All the librarian needed to do was to cross check with my son’s teachers about his behavior. But she chose not to and preferred to harass him. Yes, pay scales are a concern. But then teachers were not well paid when I was in school. It never was a profession for the cream of toppers etc. Frankly, I don’t think a great student is necessarily a great teacher. The school I send my kids to do pay their teachers reasonably well. But these days, it is more of a question of less trained teachers and more vacancies.

  8. How sad. This reminds me of my son’s teacher at Kumaran’s Bangalore. She admonished him and his friend for petty reasons. In fact she told me that the other guy was a bad influence on my son. Today the other boy is at IIM, Ahemdabad and my son has turned out well too.
    You are right, some teachers just want kids to be passive receptors.

    • So sad, Alka. I think some people who have no clue or passion for teaching get into the profession and then make life miserable for everyone. Thanks for reading and for your kind words about the post.

  9. today the idea is , it is a JOB, to get a SALARY.. and nothing more .. yes exceptions are there. People actually spend so much money to get jobs especially as a GOVT. Teacher as the future is secured so those who have given Lakhs to get that place will also need to get that money back.. and I am sure people are intelligent they will pay that much money to get a job only because they know they will get MUCH more back ..

    I can still remember my teachers and the pains they took I mean Mr. Britto my maths teacher actually came to our hostel for more than a week for an hour each to Revise , he was not paid , he did it from his own good will , he genuinly wanted us to do good in our 10th class board exam..

    Same for Mr. sharma our physiscs and the One I loved Christopher mam.. english SHE was beautiful 🙂 and this was a private school, salaries are not that great .. yet the teachers were good. .. and today whatever I am , I AM because of these hard working people who gave so much of their time over me , even when I did not pay any heed to them at that time ..

    The librarian obviously has some issues, baffling.. Reminded me of one incident , I went to India in 2002 and went to my old school after almost 15 years , I thought no one will recognise me , I mean I had long hair , a turban , and here I was hair cut, shaved as I went in ended up in the library, Now library was one place where we had our little love stories going on in school time 🙂 and Mr. Librarian with his small glasses half way on his nose.. recognised me .. and even told me some stories which i had actually forgotten 🙂 and NO i am not sharing them here he he he

    but it is sad things are turning this way .. How will the next generations talk about their own teachers in years to come ..

    • Enjoyed hearing about your teachers, Bikram. Actually there have been a few lovely teachers in my son’s life as well. But there are many more who go about their job in a lacklustre manner. It is just so sad. Teachers these days are definitely paid more than what they were getting paid earlier. Yet, there is no quality and no commitment to their jobs.

  10. Yes Rachna, I do see this “I dont care what you learn” attitude among teachers, while we think its their priority to make sure the child learns the maximum at school.

    Its sad that the librarian who just has to issue books has a problem in issuing books. Hope she understands after your chat and allows your son take books as and when he wants.

    Even my daughter, who always takes some story book from the school library says that there are certain books, which are not accessible to them. Why the big deal about restricting certain books to children ??

    • I have the same question. Why? It is an academic book. What could be the logic in keeping it out of bounds? Sometimes you wonder if you are insane because they definitely don’t make any sense. Thanks for reading, Uma.

  11. If I were a Librarian, I would love to see kids read and would do anything to encourage them. This just speaks of the passion she has for the job and the insecurity with which she lives. But you are right, these days you get too many ill trained staff to teach.
    You know, I personally feel one of the biggest jobs teachers do is when they shape 4-5 yr olds, because the seeds that are planted then give us the children of tomorrow. Those teachers have an important task on their hands.
    Believe it or not I heard from my relative that one day when she visited her son’s playschool, she found there a new teacher who just a month before she had seen as the receptionist at a Tata Motors showroom. She later got to know that the teacher had no inkling of what to do in a school but was there ‘teaching’ 🙁

    Its very sad to hear of all these incidents… 🙁

    • Ugh! Imagine. You are bang on when you say that they have no passion for their job. Why become a librarian if you don’t care about reading and encouraging reading. I can’t think of a bigger misfit. And who harasses children for reading? It took all my patience to talk with her gently. Because she sounded moronic.

  12. I don’t know if I can call such people teachers! If they are killing the spirit of inquiry, the natural curiosity to know in a child they are not fit to be called teachers. I find it really sad that such things are quite common these days. The outer reasons can be several, ‘rules and procedures’ being one of them. But the deeper factor, in my view, is simply that education as a whole has lost its purpose. It has become another cog in the wheel of so-called modern model of society and social success. How can teachers who themselves are products of such a system be expected to behave any differently than what this model preaches? Really unfortunate. But all hope is not lost yet. We still find some of the light burning in some hearts and minds, some light shining in some corners, and hopefully that will spread its shine far and wide to help change things around.

    • I am also clinging to the light shining in some corners as you mentioned, Beloo. Thanks for reading!

    • Beloo, as I read this post, I kept thinking about you. I remembered, with a feeling of deep solace, all the posts you wrote on Indian Education during the A-Z Challenge. Most of your posts were devoted to discussing the ideal qualities of a Teacher.

      While reading Rachna’s post, I kept thinking how her experience with this visionless librarian was exactly what you did NOT like in the Indian Education system.

      Your words have made a permanent home in my heart and mind. I must share this link for Rachna’s other readers…


      Thank you for the clarity of your thoughts and the illumination of your words Beloo. You are truly a teacher.

  13. Oh My God!! I cant believe this…here I am yearning and craving and trying to make my kid read at least a few story books, and here is a kid who LOVES reading..and a teacher is doing THIS to him…I cant believe it really!!! What nonsense..please please please keep telling your son that reading is an awesome thing okay?? and perhaps actually complain about the teacher to the principal???I know its a wrong thing to do..but but…if a teacher doesnt encourage reading who will???

    • Exactly, my thoughts, R’s mom. I am also struggling to inculcate the reading habit in my younger son. And here is this crazy teacher who is killing the same desirable trait in children. Oh yes, my son reads and now he reads daily in the same library. I had mentioned to the Principal in the PTI about this. Thanks for reading!

  14. Rajeev Moothedath on August 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm said:

    A wonderful post so true to life

  15. This is a really a shameful attitude for a Librarian, she is expected to nurture the habit of reading and not discourage the kids. I think she is not just lazy also does not understands her responsibility towards students. I hope the school takes some remedial action before she makes kids feel bad about visiting Library.

  16. Very sad state of affairs. It is certainly something that needs to be sorted at the school level and it definitely shows a teacher who is merely time-serving and with little interest in what she is doing.

    The problem, though, is partly with us too. We have created a society that values only money and we show how little we value teaching by the amounts we pay the teachers. Is it so surprising then that those who take up teaching are generally people who have failed elsewhere AND even those who come in with the idea of teaching as an avocation get embittered by the lack of social respect?

    I feel that we are extremely lucky that we still have a lot of dedicated teachers and am afraid that this luck may not last for too long.

    • I agree, Suresh. Though I wonder about the teachers in our school days. They weren’t paid well either yet they showed a lot of spark while teaching, not all though. I do agree that teachers need to be paid better. Good teachers are still respected in society. In the same school is Sid’s UKG teacher who is one of the finest teachers we’ve come across. The pride she takes in “her” boy warms my heart every single time. Now look at writing. It pays peanuts. Yet, many give up their cushy jobs to pursue their passion. It may not even pay as much as a teacher.

      • Ah! First, in our times, women working was rare and the most accepted occupation WAS teaching. Secondly, a person was respected for what he did more than what he made – as in ‘doctor’; ‘professor’, ‘teacher’ was not followed by what are you getting paid and why did you choose this instead of a better-paying job OR ‘teacher hi tho hai; gaadi-waadi kaise hoga uske yehan’ etc. You see, teaching has become like acting – you get respect ONLY after you get recognized as a good teacher and, when you are making career choices, you do not KNOW you will rank there. Easier to aspire to Social respect from money – which becomes readily apparent from the job offer – than to assume that you will get recognition as a ‘good’ teacher. In the past, the very fact of your being a teacher earned respect.

        Apropos writing – the thing is that no-one knows exactly what gets paid, remunerations vary, and so people do not, yet, have a yardstick for putting you down on that basis 🙂 Also, de facto, it is assumed to be extremely creative, and the reality of writing user manuals, say, is not widely known 🙂

        • I only know that teachers in my time, your time and today’s times are still more women than men. As a parent whose children study, I know that by default we respect teachers for all they do for our children. It is only when we come across someone as radical as the one I mentioned above do we wonder. My intention with this post was about the diminishing passion to teach, to mold young minds, to participate in the larger vision of a nation’s growth. The same way as scientists and researchers do. The same way as many in government jobs do. I know of many people personally who have quit jobs, started their own small startups, joined NGOs, turned entrepreneurs or become writers and teachers. This after they experienced cushy jobs and huge salaries. While money is often equated with success. There are many out there who are not in the rat race of making money. They are chasing their hearts.

          What you say about writers may be true. I was mostly talking of authors. And these days, people actually feel that too many substandard writers are getting published due to the dumbing down of literature and also ease in getting published. So, I don’t really know how many people get impressed if you tell them that you are a writer :). Nice having this chat with you.

  17. It’s a mess Rachna! Teachers are not at all well paid, well at least in the private schools. There being so many lustful beckoning of indulgences these days, only leftovers choose to become teachers. You will find very few people teaching who actually wanted to become a teacher! And when we do a work, feeling no compassion about it – this happens. Sad, but reality!

  18. What rubbish! Why would a child disturb a teacher? I think she is wrong and she is not fit to be a librarian. You are right, good teachers are rare these days. Most do it, just to fill their time.

    • And we have no say in who becomes the librarian in the school. We did inform the Principal though. I hope she will be more welcoming of children who read now.

  19. That lady is really stupid, I am sure. Who on earth wouldn’t want kids to read? If it were me, I would give the kid any book he wants even if he is troubling me on purpose. I am imagining how your politeness would have sounded in this situation…lol…morons they are out there. We are in deed lucky yaa…to get those kind of teachers we got. poor thing, our librarian never minded to lend us books even if it was not library hours. otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to read all the Enid Blyton books. Above all, less pay…very very few people who really love teaching become teachers…rest all, a means of living to them.

    • Exactly the reason why I was so baffled. Arre, sachchi, I dug into my deep reserves of patience while conversing with her :). What I though inwardly about her stupidity is another matter though. Yes, the flair for teaching is definitely on the decline now.

  20. Since when borrowing and reading books have become synonymous to mischief or troubling someone ? As as librarian she should be happy otherwise on having an ardent reader …something is really wrong with the whole system…. 🙁

  21. The brightest opt for careers in the Corporate sector. Tell me, how many of us encourage our children to take to teaching? The infrastructure is partly to blame – the teachers are overburdened, they have little scope for growth and the curriculum in our Universities is not in sync with the Industry standards. Why would anyone opt for teaching as a career especially in a society that judges a person by the salary he/she earns?

    We can’t just blame the teachers.

    • The infrastructure is to blame a lot. Too many schools opening and too few trained teachers. The quality is bound to suffer. For me, teaching like writing is a calling. How many quit cushy jobs to become writers for money? Expensive schools pay teachers much better than what they were paid in our times. Professors are paid quite handsomely. Of course, we can’t compare the salaries to Corporate jobs. But Corporate jobs demand your sweat and blood. Teachers get 2 months of paid leave every year apart from many school leaves. They leave school by 3.30 pm. In which Corporate job do you get this?

      Also, what happened to doing your job with commitment and to the best of your ability? Once you have chosen a path, should you not give your best? It fails me this approach of blaming low pay for bad performance. The babus give the same examples for corruption. You and I put in our heart and soul into something like blogging which does not even pay! So where is the passion to nurture dreams, build futures? And a librarian who finds flaw with reading really takes the cake.

      Teachers are still respected in our society. But shoddy teachers must not be!

  22. Ego problem is the culprit. Dedicated teachers are rare to e seen nowadays. And Children too are mostly pampered at home…they don’t heed to the teachers. This makes the teachers nervous to handle the children. On the whole the children are the ones who are affected mostly.

    • I don’t know about ego here, Sandhya. I feel she just lacks the vision, the larger goal of her job. Children not listening is a separate issue. But a child being stopped from reading is downright ridiculous. The other day a teacher was saying with an apologetic face, “We can’t even hit them anymore!” So you see how our mindsets are still rooted in old methods :(.

  23. Gosh! Such a sad thing to happen! A librarian not encouraging children to read is ridiculous. Now-a-days, the percentage of children interested in reading and/or visiting a library is so low, she should be more than happy to see the ones who are different from the rest and are inclined towards reading. Didnt you bring this to the notice of the Principal?

    • I did, Shilpa. He said he will keep an eye on her as she is new. Of course, he is very encouraging of any students who like reading. But her entire attitude was just so baffling and revolting.

  24. That is truly the tragedy of our times. Our teachers are the most important assets our country needs for a better future and they are one of our biggest liability. The librarian’s attitude is so dismal and I am sure there are so many teachers like that out there. Our education is no longer about learning, but only about passing some exams.Sad.

  25. It reminded me of my librarian who was so nurturing and my English Teacher – she was the first one who encouraged me to write stories! 🙂

    But, yes.. I faced such bad teachers in college.. I was asked why Im reading so much or why I’ve already finished doing the Maths sums..
    My mathematics lecturer complained against me because I used to finish the sums correctly!! :-/

    I can understand how hard it must have been for your son! The librarian’s attitude is hopeless.. and I still cant get over the fact that a Librarian of all the people would have a problem against reading!! Sigh!

    • Wow, your Maths lecturer sounds so crazy. Yes, the irony of it all hit me. A librarian objecting to someone reading! When I was speaking to her, I could not believe that I was extolling the virtues of reading to a librarian. It made me very sad that day. My husband was really upset too.

  26. The lady seems like a case of Career Choice Gone Wrong.
    I do not feel she should have been a librarian in the first, reading through her attitude towards your son.
    Being a teacher myself, I fail to understand her psyche.
    Sad for the entire state of the education system, killing the ability to reason and enthusiasm of the students.

  27. This is sad!! I guess the librarian feels her job is only to keep record and issue books. Encouraging children to read or nurturing their love for books is not her job according to her, so if a child wants more books than she deems necessary, s/he must be causing nuisance according to her. Glad that you guys sorted things out for your son!

    • Yes, I think so too. Perhaps she is just too worried about keeping her library neat and the books organized. Defeats the purpose of having a well-stocked library. I am glad that she has mended her ways now. Somewhere, we have to just keep speaking up for our kids. Thanks for reading, Priya.

  28. I love this post. It is after all, an issue close to my heart. My younger sister is training to be a teacher because she recognised early on the existing gaps in our teachers. A teacher’s work can truly be transformational and I am glad she has chosen to make this her profession, despite the pay scale in this sector being relatively low.

    Well, I do see hope. I see more people realising the importance of teaching children to think critically.. Hopefully, our education system will soon start teaching children to not just gather information in the name of learning, but to question, evaluate and analyse.

    • Hey Pepper, Welcome to my space. I am so glad that your younger sister is choosing teaching as a vocation. The comments I read made me feel as if no one was encouraging their children to become teachers. I wouldn’t mind if one of my sons wishes to take up teaching one day. Having taught, albeit for a very short period, I find it totally stimulating to be surrounded by young minds. Yes there are problems like low pay. But, this is one profession that rewards you handsomely. How many of us do not get sentimental when we meet our old teachers? I see hope too.

  29. Teaching is a privilege and one never forgets the teachers who encouraged us to be our best always. Could not believe your son’s experience with the librarian …. really! …. and she is a librarian.

  30. Rachna, you’ve correctly stated that, compared to about 30 years back, fewer teachers these days have a passion for teaching. However, that is something that can be said for almost all professionals in India: doctors, engineers, lawyers, … domestic help, drivers, etc.. This is true of our society.

    In my opinion, the problem is quite complex. Broadly, it can be attributed to 2 reasons:
    a. We, as a society, have become much more materialistic. Career choices are made on the basis of earning potential. Hence, lower paid professions like teaching are the last choice of most people. Hence, the standards have fallen more in such professions.
    b. In a lecture in 1998, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw had said, “The problem with us is the lack of leadership. … I do not mean just political leadership. Of course, there is lack of leadership, but also there is lack of leadership in every walk of life, whether it is political, administrative, in our educational institutions, or whether it is our sports organizations. Wherever you look, there is lack of leadership.”

    • Pro, like many others have pointed, low pay scales is a problem with teaching being lucrative career option. What I wonder is if there are no takers for the immense responsibility and passion that teaching provides. Besides good schools pay decently. Also teaching is still heavily bent towards women who are mostly nit the sole bread earners. Actually teaching with its lesser hours and many holidays provides a good opportunity to earn, indulge in your passion and yet achieve a work-life balance. So, I really wonder! I do.

  31. I dont know what’s going on with teachers these days. Thankfully when I was at school, I had wonderful Librarians, and I was fond of them (they were also fond of me) because my Father told me and my sister to start reading books and every week both of us used to go to the Library, the sister was a fast reader and used to reach books quickly and get new books. I used to accompany here every time she went. After a point, they used to recommend books for us and suggest new authors for us. I owe my reading habit to my school Librarians.

    It’s really shocking to read this, more so because they had their own assumptions and created a scene unnecessarily!

    • How lovely for your sister and you. You know the school has such a well-stocked library especially reference books. I hope the Principal is being watchful of this lady. One good thing about the parents of our generation is that we are not afraid to speam up.

  32. Cant speak from personal experience but yes, have heard from friends with kids who said that they were observing a total lack of commitment these days from their kids teachers as opposed to our times.
    Assignments were created which was way above the intellect of the child and designed almost entirely for the pleasure of the staff, knowing fully well that it was the parents who would make the assignment in the end. Similarly, there was no attempt to nurture talent or encourage special efforts… just finish off the day and walk off..

  33. Rachna, What can I say? I am too exasperated for words. And also disgusted… because the repercussions of having such teachers are long range. Thankfully, sensible parents can undo the damage done to the child’s spirit by such teachers but even they can’t undo it all. The rest of the parents would not even notice anything amiss let alone take some action. I despair for such kids… poor things.

    But perhaps they will learn to break out of such silly restrictions.

    I live with that hope. 😀

    • Absolutely agree. I don’t think we can ever substitute the teachers no matter how hard we try. So any damage done by them is almost irreparable. I live with the hope that we see more of the inspiring visionaries than the kind I wrote about. Thanks for reading, Dags.

  34. Sadly, your post points to a larger malaise in India, Rachna. We have simply stopped applying our brains. Skill and expertise have been sacrificed at the altar of convenience and shortcuts.

  35. First of all, as you said there is a lack of trained teachers and the motivation too. I remember that I approached the supervisor of my son’s school. After a school picnic the students were taken to McDonald’s for refreshments. I told her that as teachers they are encouraging kids to eat unhealthy and junk food. She asked me, ‘what else should we give them? Thali food which is costly and what they anyway eat at home!”
    I saw no point in continuing my conversation with her. Do they think the same for their kids too?

    • Exactly, Janu! With such parochial thinking from educators, we are left wondering what to even say to them. Because something which seems perfectly logical is so beyond reach for some of them. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience.

  36. This is ridiculous! Why such rules or thinking?
    Even our school had the weekly rule- we can borrow only for a week! As we finished reading within a day or two, we used to exchange books with those who have read!
    Books in a library are meant to be read, not displayed!
    Hope all librarians & schools understand this…

  37. That is terrible! The lady has clearly chosen a wrong profession for herself! Good that you took it up with her and made her see sense, Rachna. Cant bear to imagine how it can stunt a child’s growth if he/she is not encouraged to read!

  38. I don’t know – somehow even in my times, I never considered the librarian a teacher – I tended to view her more as one of the admin staff. I have had a few inspiring teachers but by and large I have tended to give teacher a short shrift. I remember my Maths teacher in my Standard 12 asking me openly – “What? You of all people made it to IIT?”

    • Yes technically librarian is not a teacher in the sense of teaching. But they have their own qualifications which include handling and encouraging children which is very different from admin staff. I think good teachers have a great role in molding a child’s interests and personality. Very sad how your teacher reacted. Imagine the prejudices they harbor! Good to see you hear after quite a while. Hope your son is doing well.

  39. Guess so. Except for one Physics teacher about who I have written a blog post few years back and one or two others, I hardly have anything to really remember about any of my teachers.

    Life’s become too crazy for me. Not able to follow blogs much anymore. Even I hope my son is doing well. Been ages since I have seen him.

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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