Teachers and Tortures.


[This is a piece of writing that I found in one of my old notebooks. Though I wrote it in pain, distress and hatred, today, this teaches me an invaluable lesson as a budding medical teacher. Sharing it with you all  as it is. No offence for the words used. 
A note for the teacher in the context: If you haven't changed, and wish to change at-least now, do it, for you were a total failure then . Else stop teaching.] 



"Roll no: 7 - 6 out of 15 - as usual very poor."

My teacher was distributing answer sheets of a history test that I was sure to flunk.

I rose from my chair and hesitantly walked towards the teacher who by now was ready with a cane pulled out from the class cupboard. She has been famous in the entire school for her brutal cane lashings.

"You good for nothing moron, How many times have I told you to read my notes? Just two easy questions on Indian history and you still can't reproduce the dates that I have taught. Put your hands out if you want me to spare your back."...

It still pains.

...
My D E A R teacher,

I wish I could tell you that you are a big torture. If you want to boost your so called intellectual muggylectual students, please do so. But that doesn't mean you can strike on my weakness for it. You are here to teach me and not prove that I'm a waste. If you really care, please give me the freedom to chose my way, what I need to study  and assess me according to that.

You teach history and it is dates that matter to you. It's strange and funny at the same time.  I'm someone who calls up home to find my date of birth before filling a form. So how on earth would you expect me to remember the thousand and one dates that you mention as important.

Why should I in the first place? You are not convincing enough when you tell me, " People who fail to read history are bound to repeat the mistakes", because it's dates that I can't remember and not history. So I'd take the risk and face the consequences than having to struggle memorizing those odd and even dates that made no sense to me

To a below average performer in history, long note on Mahatma Gandhi and Non Violence Movement is all about the struggles a great man and a nation had to face to reject all physical violence on principle and concentrate on maintaining our own integrity. And it's on that I've written the entire eight paged answer sheet that you just threw on my face. Have you even bothered to read the whole thing?

If it's dates that still matter to you, go screw yourself up with it. I'm never going to read it. That's also a type of nonviolence- "passive resistance", in case you didn't know about it. It's not dates but thousands of selfless lives that are tagged to it.

My dear teachers! Please, for God's sake, sit back and introspect. Do you really need such amount of violence to preach this priceless principle of non-violence?

I know you'll never get to read this. But having written this much, I feel a lot better and my butt doesn't pain anymore.

66 comments:

  1. You have spoke the same things i always wanted to express..and as i read this i can feel the same thing u r feeling right now :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @AmitVele: Thank you Amit. We seem to share the same frequency of thoughts.

      Delete
  2. I can relate this post to the pages of my old dairies :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. ouch! this hurt!

    i am a teacher/trainer :( and though this has nothing to do with me, yet when the community is lambasted it aches

    having said that, i do agree that there are some of us who need a big lesson in teaching/guiding/motivating

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Sujatha Sathya: I'm sorry for that sujatha. I was really hesitant to publish it.
      I've been seeing this issue get repeated in one way or the other even now. Recently my nephew, who is in the upper primary went through an exactly similar phase at school.
      As you rightly said, some teachers really need to be taught to teach. Thank you Sujatha.

      Delete
  4. Everyone has been unfortunate enough to face this kind of situation some or the other time in life. Wish our teachers had a more human approach. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Varsh: Thank you Varsh. do they at least once think on how hurting their inhuman approach is?

      Delete
  5. Haha..Education has to change for the better, or else such history will keep on repeating :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Ana_treek: Thank you keerthana. yes, it must change. else our children might also end up making such entries in their notebooks for them to blog later in life. :)

      Delete
  6. I can relate to this post.

    Awesome writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Namrata Mahalingam~ thank you namratha.

      Delete
  7. It's sad and yet an ugly reality !
    And high time, we take some "real steps"..
    Stirs up quite a few feelings and happenings..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Kinara~ Thank you. we are already late. this is an experience say nearly 2 decades back. If you look around it's still happening.

      Delete
  8. I guess many people can relate to this post, I can. Exact same things happened to me with my Math teacher in school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Akshay Kumar G~ :) I had the opportunity to study in 2 different setups. A school in the rural village in India and one that was in par with international standards. on either side of the spectrum, this was a common scene. The worst part is, it's still happening. Thank you Akshay.

      Delete
  9. I don't prefer teachers who give up and take the to cane for everything. Some teachers have the power to get the best out from each student without the aid of these canes. Thats what makes a great Teacher. I really hope people sit up and take notice of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Ashwini C N~ I've had many teachers who inspire and bring the best out of students. Even in the company of these living examples of ideal teachers, the cane-bound ones didn't change. Thank you Ashwini.

      Delete
  10. Some teachers are real tortures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Meghna~ while the most are real angels. :)

      Delete
  11. Thank god that the cane does not help in remembering the dates and students see much less of it:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Rahul Bhatia~ if it did, I would have topped that subject. Thank you Rahul.

      Delete
  12. Hahaha, what a pained butt can come up with.. I hd teachers I still hate n wish I cud return the favor nowadays :)

    Good one man.. cud really empathise with u .. been der myself :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @R-A-J~ In my case, it's not hatred. It has grown from that to a feeling of pity for how big a failure they were as teachers. thank you raj.

      Delete
  13. hahaha...man I'm telling you...its one of the best read that I ever had...too good...and so true... :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @CYNOSURE~ thank you cynosure for those encouraging words.

      Delete
  14. Times are changing so is the method of teaching & expectations from pupils. During our time, canning by teacher by freshly cut branch were very common. Students/parents used to take the caning as punishment for betterment and neither hue & cry were raised any time nor any student committed suicide under depression.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @S.R.Ayyangar~ Its alright if the caning was for a valid reason. but i dnt see one in this case. thank you S.R.Ayyangar.

      Delete
  15. Dropped in to Say Thank You! for the wishes... Was busy and could reply only now... I hope you had a wonderful Vishu too...God Bless!

    PS: Comment on this blog will follow sometime later...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Nisha~ Vishu went gr8. It was the one celebrated wth family in the last 7 yrs or so. thank you nisha.

      Delete
  16. History sucks !
    Whatever you mentioned here are the words of almost every student..
    Even me too don't like History :P

    Enjoyed your post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Simran~ I like history. but those innumerable dates of battles, treaty, era, et al: I cant even imagine.Thank you simran.

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. @Satish Mutatkar~ Thank you Satish Mutatkar. Glad you like it.

      Delete
  18. Leo, I remember having written about it in a comment somewhere. We had a Physics teacher who loved to toss esoteric questions at us and whack our palms with canes if we were not able to answer him exactly the way he wanted. Few were shocked when his son committed suicide one day. Do I need to tell you he never even spoke in a higher than necessary pitch after that and resigned from his job soon?

    Your reminisces pulled out from the old notebook beautifully showcase the futility of violence in schools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @umashankar~ that's sad. what makes them chose then cane and why on earth do we have such eccentric people in this noble field? Thank you umashankar.

      Delete
  19. I wonder such teachers know what their role actually is. And you said this which is very apt and meaningful but alas! they will never understand.

    "It's dates that I can't remember and not history."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Saru Singhal~ looks like they don't seem to understand. If you look around, this is still happening:It did recently in my nephews school. Thank you saru.

      Delete
  20. even in my childhood, my teachers scolded me too much...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Ruchi Jain~ in my case too. to a few I was like their enemy for the last few births. But there were also many wonderful teachers who really inspired and cared like my own mom and dad. Thank you Ruchi Jain.

      Delete
  21. Hi Leo

    Your post kind of spoke what has been nagging me for quite some time.

    The problem in our country is People do not become teachers because they want to teach. Its just a profession they ended up in.
    Unlike medicine its not a big deal getting a B.Ed in our country and anyone can become teachers.
    Other professions where only adults are involved its okay being an incompetent member.
    But teaching where tender hearts are involved its simply not fair. I do not know when our nation will change in this aspect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @jaish_vats~ true, that were the actual problem lies. Teaching is a field that needs a lot of dedication, skill, patience and empathy. That will never come to a person who by chance ended up in this field.
      It's teaching that I see as the noblest profession on earth. And so when it get ruined this way, it really hurts.

      Delete
  22. gr8 one indeed :) everyone has dis kinda experience once in lifetym i guess :) gud wrk ..keep blogging !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @palak~ It really looks like that and this is hence a bigger problem that we actually think. thank you palak.

      Delete
  23. Oh boy reminded me of my maths teacher he use to have this sudden urge to beat someone and who was the scapegoat always .. FOr after all i was OUTSTANDING student .. oh yes always STANDING - OUT of the class that was me ..

    but then i also beleive that I am what I today because of my teachers , in my days teachers beat us but they did take pains to teach us also , maybe its fdifferent now .. But I will never say my teachers did wrong .. although I have been beaten and all that but i also know when the same maths teacher spent hours trying to make me understand the pythagorous theoram or the right angle from obtuse angle ..

    As someone mentioned above in those days teachers took the job to TEACH and not make money as is the trend now ..

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Bikramjit~ I've had teachers like that too. Someone who would resort to the cane for my good and point out a valid reason for punishing me. I still hold them very close to my heart for I'm all because of my teachers.
      True, with this job comes a lot of responsibility. So only those who really wish/love to become teachers should take up. thank you Bikramjit.

      Delete
  24. Leo..that was an awful experience you had and yet you have done so well in recovering and healing from that traumatic experience. Kudos for writing the article--do send it to that teacher with fresh manure from the farm.
    I loved this sentence "People who fail to read history are bound to repeat the mistakes", because it's dates that I can't remember and not history."--fantastic sentence--I wish more students read this piece, not merely as a criticism of teachers but of how we learn and what we focus on!!! Great post Leo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Bhavana~ I really wish I could. Most of us (including her favorites) didn't bother to be in touch with her. And so none of us know her current contacts. :)
      The credit for the sentence goes to her for it was her modification of a famous quote. Thank you Bhavana

      Delete
  25. Along with individuals it's a problem of the system too. Teachers should undergo mandatory training in child psychology and behavioural science.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Ashwini~ Yes, that is a very important point and a practical solution for this problem.. Thank you Ashwini.

      Delete
  26. awesome post...loved it...especially the birthday dates part!!!

    archiving it in my mailbox !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @rahul aggarwal~ Thank you rahul for the comment and archiving it. glad you like it.

      Delete
  27. Caning by the teaching was the most painful and shameful experience of student life. Thankfully, such occasions were really rare for me... But a certain incident during the school life, by a thoughtless teacher has left its scar on my mind for ever... It was then that I realized how teachers do really make or break a child!!!

    Thought provoking post from you... Loved it, especially the pic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Nisha~ True, teachers can make or break a child. And so we need really skilled people who are empathizing, patient and responsible people to take up the job. Thank you nisha.

      Delete
  28. Hi Leo

    Pls check

    http://jaishwrites.blogspot.com/2012/05/versatile-blogger-award-hip-hip-hurrah.html

    Regards
    Jayashree(jaishvats)

    ReplyDelete
  29. This post made me remember a similar experience i had as a child, though there was no physical torture involved with me personally!!
    there is still something wrong with many of 'those' teachers..

    ReplyDelete
  30. I remember one such teacher throwing the book back at me. I had written an English essay. I was so furious, I took the book and got the essay checked by some other English teacher. She gave me 9/10 . I took the book to my principal, told her my problem.
    She was a fantastic lady. She motivated me and told me to forget the incident. She said she would talk to the teacher.
    I am sure she did. Cause every other lecture after that, the teacher threw me out of the class...

    ReplyDelete
  31. http://smilingpritz.blogspot.in/2011/09/rants-of-student.html

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nicely written. I can see the pain you held when you wrote this. I've had a lot of experiences in that field in my primary school years. And I share your emotion here. I down-right detest teachers who physically abuse students for scoring low marks. There are many other ways to motivate kids. Brandishing with a cane would only inflict fear and hatred towards the teacher and the subject alike.
    Teachers should behave more responsibly.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Our teachers never used to strike. Barely one or two incidents I have witnessed in my entire school life. I think its deplorable. Your note made so much sense...
    [ps: Hopped in here from someplace! nice blog :)]

    ReplyDelete
  34. The problem is much bigger. it is the education system that is at fault

    ReplyDelete
  35. I was never beaten up :D bt always hated my hindi teacher who dialy conducts some surprise tests or asks que from prev lesson and then is ready with cane to beat some ppl who dont ans at all :( I HATED IT

    ReplyDelete
  36. Teachers who resort to hitting or caning need to be suspended. That's just no way to discipline a child.

    We had an insane teacher in Class V, who would punish boys by calling them to the front of the class and pinching their backsides hard in front of the whole class. Freak case, he was!!

    Well written post, though...

    ReplyDelete
  37. I too hated dates/periods in history. I loved the story and the concepts though. So, I write only about them and I was given fairly decent marks after reducing a fraction for not mentioning dates/years. Fortunately my teachers were fine with it. I was also lucky to have studied in schools that did not propagate the 'cane' method of teaching. I remember only two teachers who ever hit students. I was lucky with one, and got a few lashings from the other but since one student got very much sick (after one of his lashing), he stopped. We escaped :)

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
  38. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

    ReplyDelete