Why is it that we remember certain teachers vividly and are unable to remember most of others? Was it their fund of knowledge? Was it their communication skills? Was it their sense of humour? Or was it all this and much more? Yes, while I cannot put my finger on that one quality I admired most in my favorite teachers what I know for certain is they all had one thing in common – they were able to ignite the fire of ‘outrageous ambition’ in me. I have long forgotten the subject matter they painstakingly taught, I do not even remember whether I was their favourite student and how many marks they gave me in their subject, but what I do remember is their single minded dedication to make me a better man.
I remember an incident which happened 51 years ago when my father took me to a prestigious College in Lucknow for admission. While conducting an informal interview with trivial queries which one can expect a 6 year old to respond to, the Principal, Mr. H.N. Kashyap suddenly asked me “so son what is your father?” I don’t think I understood the question very well and so I replied, “Sir, he is a man.” Mr. Kashyap exclaimed “Good! And that is exactly what we intend to make one out of you, a good honest and sincere man” then turning to my father he said “Sir, Colvin does not guarantee you an outstanding scholar or a batch topper but it certainly promises you an outstanding human being who will bring pride and joy to his parents, his friends and relatives, his teachers, his Institution and his Nation.” My expectation from an educational institution and its teachers has never ever been less than that.
The teaching profession is dynamic and constantly evolving, it involves continuous learning and re-learning, thereby placing demand on teachers to upgrade themselves or else they would face the risk of becoming irrelevant. In the era of globalization, the challenges for teachers to upgrade their skills were demanding especially with the evolution in teaching methods and academic content brought about by information and communication technology.