I recall when I was a student.
Life seemed so care free. The only storms in the tea cups were exams.
They would come to put me into disarray – I cannot say that. They however did cause some discomfort.
I have a mother who from day one insisted on disciplined fun-filled study. She had mathematics tables in multi colours with inspirational quotes glued all over walls in my bedroom. Essay writing came to me naturally as since a child her stories engaged me intensely. I grew up reading newspapers, autobiographies and classics.
I have a father who has made me dream super high. As a seven year old I wanted to be Indira Gandhi. My parents never questioned the achieving of my dreams and I was so absorbed in them that for me they were a reality that only time was preventing from achieving.
So why were exams storms?
The chalk still hurts. I was only explaining the question to my friends. Sir, they could not understand you and would have been lost in the class. You thought I was as usual talking. Did you ever think why I talked in your class-because my mother ensured I learn basic concepts before coming to the class. She had guessed that I was getting lost in the class. Instead of making you fall in my esteem, she made me do some work before the class.
The taunts still torment. You knew my mother’s written Urdu was poor so was mine. Pathans do struggle with Urdu grammar! Then why did you ask me to take my mother’s help? I did work extremely hard for those full marks in Urdu exams but you always thought I cheated? My mother told me you were joking but were you? In retrospect I pity my English teacher. She was up against a student who whatever she did could not be excited by her teaching. Her frustration came out in exams when she would never let me have the highest marks.
Thus exams results rather than exams were a nightmare.
Teachers willingly or unwillingly have left a strong positive or negative footprint on my life. I still remember many teachers who contributed to my creativity, learning, development but importantly inspired my dreams.
I often wonder what makes a good teacher? Definitely knowledge but perhaps also willingness to facilitate learning through energetic engagement and inspiration to dream and face life beyond exams.
Good luck to all taking exams. Enjoy these exams which are taken with preparation. Many exams in future life are to be faced and excelled at without preparation!