This year Class 12 Board results were declared all of a sudden…We were in school and there was a surge of excitement in the air. Some of my colleagues started calling their friends and relatives to know the results of their near and dear ones!
And I, on the other hand, got 4 missed calls from a student…noticed them when I picked my phone just before the dispersal of students. I was occupied and couldn’t leave fort but I was intrigued too and somehow called him back. The words he spoke are etched in my mind for eternity, “Ma’am I have secured an unbelievable 84% in boards and the credit goes to you!”
Yes, I teach students only from the primary wing and I do not take any tuitions, so how was I instrumental in the result of a class 12 student? Well, this young adult was with me when he was a naughty little boy in class 3. I was his class teacher then and probably taught him Maths till class 5. Though as teachers we are not supposed to have favourites but yes, he was one of my favourite. Later, we stayed connected through ‘fb’ and met once in a while in school.
Around mid-Feb this year, by a matter of chance or you might say destiny, I came to know that he was barely passing in his pre-boards and had lost interest in academics. I was shocked to hear this because I knew him to be a child who was above average in studies. Since I was fond of him, I decided to talk to him personally and support him in whatever way I could.
I spoke to him and his parents. It was evident he had mental blocks which were coming in the way of academics. The Board Exams were fast approaching. We barely had 40 odd days left to prepare so that he could perform well in exams. I got down to work immediately. I could not tutor him because I did not teach any of the subjects he had. I could only support him with his work schedule and revisions. I insisted that he make his own work schedules, did written practice and talked it out whatever was stopping him from giving in his best. Very reluctantly he started with written revisions and started posting his notes in my WhatsApp window, sometimes into the wee hours. Things seemed to take flight. I was elated thinking that my strategy had worked and he would perform well in exams. I forgot that I was dealing with an individual who believed in procrastination and being difficult.
Soon he was back to his irksome behaviour. For a few days he broke every promise and didn’t write or report at all. I tried to encourage him but my words fell on deaf ears. There were times when I questioned myself, “What right did I have to intervene in his life? He was neither my student (presently) nor was he personally known to me? Would his parents feel offended with my intervention?” The answers were not clear. I stepped back but always kept him in my prayers and gave him the power to decide about the course of action to be taken in future. Surprisingly, he always chose to work under my guidance. Maybe the reason was that when everyone had declared him to be a failure, I had not given up on him and continued to have faith in his potential.
The days flew away in a jiffy. With the efforts that I saw him putting in, I was confident that he would easily clear his boards. He faltered every few days but in the end, he put in extra efforts. The exams were over, my task was over and I got busy with my life and a new session in school.
I almost forgot about him…and then one fine day those 4 missed calls…84% and the acknowledgement that I made the difference… It is a feeling so difficult to describe or to write about. Nonetheless, it has given me a high and boosted my morale! I celebrated the occasion and why not…this event has helped to reinstate my faith that a good deed done is never lost!!