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Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Commitment to one’s profession is not serious especially in teaching profession.
In the past few years students have come to me for Coaching in CBSE English for classes seven to twelve. Irrespective of the reputation the schools have, SOME teachers are the same from KV to International private schools.

The students have common problem of fluency in spite of the medium of instruction being English. The experience in evaluating the CBSE Board papers for class ten has equipped me well with the answers to be written.

Whether any teacher has undergone the evaluation exercise or not they should be thorough with the answers to be written as per the requirements.

A majority of the teachers have randomly verified / checked the writing tasks of the students of course with regular negligence in the quality of correction like spellings, word order and structure. After November, none of the written tasks were checked, though the students have written the answers. What is the authority doing with the teachers handling board classes, turning a blind eye?

It was surprising to see a class x English language teacher circulating a guide to the students to copy the answers for the literature and poetry sections instead of explaining them in detail especially metaphor, simile, and alliterations. How can she presume that children will be thorough by reading the notes given in guides? Is it not the duty of teachers to guide the students to success? How can anyone be complacent? Some of the tasks in writing sections were made as self study thereby students were left in the lurch to fend for themselves.

Come revision time, some lessons have the first vision and they are given as self study just before the model exams. It is not always parents would help them in studies. I was asked to explain two lessons because the student has not understood them, when asked for the reason- the teacher gave –time constraint, result- students in dilemma.

Some writing tasks like letters, article writing, report writing, advertisements need to be explained with the format, style and the purpose in mind. The students needed an exposure to understand them. But it was not done so. They lacked the general briefing.

At any given time the students have to think in terms of the topics in question. First they have to be led to think in lines and jot down the points; here the main thinking is not generated. Discussions were never held in the class room. A good, intelligent child can swim across well, leaving the others to struggle.

A student showed me his note book and it was a shock to me to see his handwriting; oh God, the letters were so big and it was an eyesore! He has crossed seven classes with this horrible handwriting and surprisingly no teacher has corrected nor told him to change it. The child has never understood the importance of the neat legible handwriting. Parents the less said the better. Both DIWK [double income with kids], they hardly have time to take care of their own kids.

One parent came with his son to me for guidance and I have done so on two occasions, the third time the child came with an agenda. He has to do a project – ‘highlighting a mother’s role’ by writing about a movie review. I told him I do not know about this and if he has seen, he could very well write and I would guide him. He immediately took a couple of photocopied sheets from his bag stating that his mother has downloaded from the net and I can help him in writing. The father was seconding his opinion.

This task was like a guided composition –the questions are given in the text like... what is the name of the movie, the name of the characters, lyrics by, music by, actors in characters etc. It needs no clue, it was Mother India.

I told as a matter of fact to the child that I have not seen the movie, but I know the synopsis of it. There I sat with him explaining generally with the sheets and the questions, thinking that it is over
I went ahead with reading comprehension, grammar and paragraph writing. The time came for closing the session; the father asked whether I have helped him write the project and I coolly said in affirmative thinking it was over. He was shocked to find that his son has not written anything casually but expressing his disappointment said that his main purpose of bringing his son all the way from his place some 15 km away was to finish his project. Suddenly I had the question in mind whether it was his child. His wife has sent them to me solely for this purpose- that was the limit. My husband was just watching my reaction to this statement.

I, keeping cool, replied that I have marked in pencil the points to be taken from the photocopied sheets and he could read them and put down on paper with the mother’s help. The irony is, it is to highlight a mother’s role in a family, here one mother washing off hands, to another mother to help her child!

Is it because I do it free of cost? I am told by my family to charge for the classes so that they know the worth. I want to spend my time the way I like to do without getting any monetary benefit due to my passion for teaching but people cannot take me for granted. Whether it is regular English coaching or even for that matter teaching Tamizh thro English I equip myself well with the preparation for the day.

At the end of the day it is COMMITMENT.


  1. I don't agree with you completely... What needs to change is not the diligence to work aka, correction! What is more important is to teach students how to learn their subject... We (educators) very often end up becoming ring masters and seldom educate!

    Every time a teacher tries to do that, there are cynical passes. I have never been diligent in checking the answers... If the foundation in junior classes were laid correctly, am sure they will get better!

    The blatant example is the language and content taught in junior schools in India is far more than any US school of the same level, but when we try to sit for GRE, I know how many months it takes to memorize those thousand words, which we seldom use :)

  2. Ramjee,

    I read your immediate response, since this has been posted in our group also, I have given my feed back in that. You can read and respond.

    Thanks for raising this in our forum.