Friday, July 31

a time to celebrate !!!!

Excuses are the only explanation to why I haven’t been able to write anything on this space and my school, is the only explanation for this excuse.A lot of people scoff whenever I say this,but I have no other way to convince them, except pray that someday, when they make the difficult choice of being a‘ teacher’ ,they’ll agree .The new session has started in school.WELL, it started almost a month and a half back, but the pace at which it’s moving, I won’t be surprised that it’ll be over before we can say ‘start’. Usually new sessions have a slow tempo to them, which gives both the kids and the teachers enough time to snap out of the holiday mood. But, this year is different. It’s barely been a month and a half, and everybody just seems to be running at a maddening, hectic pace to finish portions,projects,exams,workshops..sometimes the kids. The number of teachers switching over to sneakers,just proves it so.

Our school is spread across three floors,with classes never close enough to take a gossip break with the 'teacher next door',and in spite of all the complicated and time consuming time table scheduling,the co coordinators spend numerous hours on,there are always a unlucky few who have their classes all across the three floors(it’s a great excuse I give myself whenever I skip exercise).Our staffroom on the third floor, like our students in class, is the nosiest and the most notorious of the three. We often thank our stars for being the canopy of the school, because we know that, thanks to ‘high noise levels’ ,the principal would have needed an extra pair of hands to keep the teachers in check. In happier times, last year ,we even had to shut the door of the SR most of the time, to seal the sound of guffawing and peals of laughter(in spite of the elevation). This year,however the staffroom resembles a railway station cloak room,when it should ….a waiting room. People use their desks more to park their luggage than themselves. The chairs are never occupied and lunch time has suddenly lost its flavour. Teachers come in with a huge payload of books, check a mountain pile of notebooks and go back home with yet another huger consignment.Some ….actually most of us carry a bigger and a heavier bag than our students.

The only time(these days) you hear someone speaking loudly is, when they are making an announcement. The announcements too, are never about cheerful events, like a sudden holiday or a staff picnic or ‘you can go home early today’ news(teachers are simple creatures).They are always about impending doom i.e deadlines..notebook checking deadlines,assignment deadlines,event deadlines,exam deadlines,question paper deadlines and thereafter correction deadlines. Not that these deadlines didn’t exist last year,but they were always booed,commented and cribbed about.At least they were commented on.This year its more of resignation.


( IN HAPPIER TIMES )


You know for sure that people(teachers) are awfully busy when they don’t comment on each others sarees.Comment doesn’t always mean compliment.The fact that no one in the staffroom has time to even criticize confirms the fact that women are unwell,blind,busy,stressed or (people like me)have no taste for good clothes. Even if they can’t see eye to eye,they’ll always keep an eye on who is wearing what. Right from the necklines to the mismatched petticoats. You can’t escape a teachers eye.Once a teacher always a teacher,even though theres’ a colleague on the receiving end.
And then, suddenly there was a whirlwind of enthusiasm in all three staff rooms. The energy and chatter was infectious.It’s the same kind of energy that is witnessed when either Kumble or Dravid or both of them, come visiting or to pick up their kids or for a school event(at such times there are no prizes for guessing why so many of us opt for the VIP reception duty).I remember making the mistake of mentioning, that I saw Dravid at the school reception, (standing at the staffroom door). I nearly got crushed by the stampede.Oh ,I digressed.So,suddenly,all the teachers(most of us) who leave at the stroke of three thirty,were in no hurry … they strolled and walked out .The coffee wending machine, was working overtime and became a gossip exchange server. It was time for the annual increments to be announced and we were under a strict professional oath, (that was the first line and the last line of the fine print) not to disclose any details to each other,to maintain professionalism.Easier said than done.Teachers are the worst ,when it comes to following rules. You(I) suddenly became an identity and my raise was part of that identity, which everyone was most curious about.

The raise is a boon, coz something is definitely better than nothing especially when a majority, are fighting to get their salaries into their accounts and I know, that ,the fact that our salaries were raised ,would naturally make us a subject of envy, discussion,awe in short demi gods.Had these been unrecessioned and happier times,this raise would have competed with peanuts and lost sorely to them.For as long as I can remember WE have always been content with the nobility of our professions' than with the pay packets.It has always been that ‘last things on my list ‘during interviews.The truth is that teachers need the moolah as much as any other ‘real professionals’. They love the children they teach ,but they also love to have a cup of that Jamaican Coffee at Barista.WE love our jobs but we can’t survive on love and fresh air alone. So,once in a while WE get greedy and talk money instead of morals.
So,while we bask in the warmth of this raised status, we do know and hope that it’s not long before, time, money and salaries will catch up with us.After all,WE are the ones preparing all the future economists,in our laboratories called classrooms.Till then and even after that we shall be celebrating.

38 comments:

Showa said...

Good blog post. In case you have female celebrity parents then let me know so that I can apply.

By the time, I will learn to subsist on Love, Air and Jamaican coffee.

satish said...

so wen is the treat? jamaican coffee in barista??!

Prats said...

Its so much fun to read the other side of the schooling bit....its always 'my teacher did this, or that' ...and now to hear we have a noisy teacher ;)...
but teachers are human too and they need more pampering than the other professions...
Hope this year goes well for you and you have loads of fun and memories to carry forward

Sangfroid said...

Congratulations on the raise :-)
Teachers are of course 'real professionals' and deserve more that just a cuppa coffee at Barista!

Where / What do you teach by the way?

Aside, this post of yours will make for a very amusing read for a student of yours :-P

--xh-- said...

congratz :) the news of getting a rise is a much welcomed one, no matter how much the hike is [:)]

and yeah, now i know firsthand about the staff room gossips and all [:)]

Shruthi said...

I have always been curious about staff room gossip you know. Always wondered what goes on inside the dreaded staff room :) now I know :D
and you have met Kumble? *wail* I also wanting to meet him :( I will come off to your school one saturday, what say *wink*
I did meet Kumble. some 12 years ago when he was unmarried and I was just a stupid kid :( che life is so not fair.
btw congrats on the raise. will join your Jamaican coffee party :)

Gazal said...

@showa
haven't come across any as yet.btw you want to apply as a teacher or a parent or a student??

@satish
at lal bagh when you turn up for the walk.

@prats
We do and since we are with kids all the time..we have grown to love noise.when you can't beat them ...join them.

@sangfroid
thanks.My students are 6-9 yr olds.It will take them some more time to reach here.But my ex students do read the posts.Are they amused I don't really know?

@xh
yeah.and i had to edit quite a lot of SR gossip.

@shruthi
I happened to just brush past by Dravid and became a celebrity.:))
hope to catch you at lal bagh soon.

Swaram said...

Congrats! Its gr8 to c a hike when there are pay-cuts all around!

N thanks for that peek into the staff rooms ;) Feels like I hv found some long-lost thing :P

Whenever I used to see teachers chit-chatting in the staff room, I used to yearn for the day I can start working n have a gala time :P

I yearn for school days nw though ;)

अर्शिया अली said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
{ Treasurer-T & S }

अर्शिया अली said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
{ Treasurer-T & S }

Suma said...

good post gazal!
i think teachers are highly underrated and it is not fair!

hope you have a noisy year ahead :)

Sara said...

You can’t escape a teachers eye- This is so true and so funny!

Mampi said...

aah,
ask me the tricks these 'raises' have played even with us sarkari teachers,
bah!!
Punjab Govt is sleeping while the whole of the country is getting the new revised scales.

padma said...

nice post!! Took me back to our godol days of VVS staff room! :-)
Btw I stil havent the treat for the raise???

dharmabum said...

the hurrying bit is sad - we seem to want to 'manufacture' a certain type of humans out of children, and we are giving it the name of education.

teachers certainly ought to get paid more. many a time, it is one crucial elements that fails to attract talent into the teaching profession. but again, sometimes i wonder if it is the chicken and egg story too.

education is quite a complicated thing! Hhow have you been?

Parul Gahlot said...

hey came here after a long time and as always its been a pleasure :)

Guruprasad said...

hey! its been ages since i came here... i've been terribly busy too... same set of excuses :P

6-9 year olds are a safe bunch to teach i guess. i remember when we were int the 6th-9th grades... i don't think our teachers remember the students very fondly during that period! :P

JudeTheObscure said...

I've blogrolled you for my readers. Hope you dont mind.

Regards,

J

http://judeunleashed.blogspot.com/

satish said...

why????

Shruthi said...

Gazal, Chinese spammers are missing you and so are we.. write soon :)

airborne said...

Hey!
Would recommend to you that you don't put up high resolution photographs on the internet unprotected.
I learnt the hard way with someone using my user pic on their Facebook profile.
Liked the post, btw.

S said...

Hi Gazal,

I work with a social media agency in Mumbai (India) and represent an IB school here.

Since you write on kids and education, I thought it would be great to connect.

With IB schools in India, kids residing in India or parents looking at relocating to India or sending their kids to study in India for education, can now expect the same quality of education that they would get anywhere in the world.

If you could share your contact details (email id), I could write to you in detail on this subject.

Look forward to your reply. You could write to me at vibhuti@windchimes.co.in

Regards,
Vibhuti

Gazal said...

thanks a lot everyone.Still giving excuses as answers.But promise to write soon.

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dharmabum said...

hey, you stopped writing kya?

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