We learn by teaching.

“Akka, what do you want to do next?” she asked me.

The gleamy eyes of a eleven year old waited for a reply while I was setting the video playlist in the science exhibition organized by our department for the government school children of classes 6, 7 and 8.

“I want to go out and eat something; I’m hungry.” I told her.

“No no, not now. What do you want to do after studying?”

Whoa! A eleven year young girl wanting to know my life plans! Even my folks haven’t asked me this question yet. I wanted to tell her something that she could comprehend easily.

“Oh! Erm, I’ll be an engineer in one year…” I thought out loudly, still thinking of something appropriate to tell her.

“So you will work at a company?” she stopped my thought process.

“No no, I will study more…”


“So that I become a good teacher and come back to teach…”

The reply was spontaneous and almost came instantaneously. Maybe sometime in the future, given the opportunity and right circumstances, I wouldn’t hesitate a bit to be a teacher. I understand that there is still a long way to go for me, but it is one of the noble ways to give back and gain a lot more in return.

Our college has adopted many government schools across the state. Students help them out during the weekends by teaching english, computers, science and mathematics. I learnt a lot of things yesterday while teaching the children some basic physics experiments involving temperature measurement and thermometers. These kids had never seen any practical experiments before. I felt that the teachers in these schools need more help than the students. They are unaware of many concepts and in turn, misguide the students. Many kids were really smart and interested, and asked many questions too.

The kids viewed microorganisms through microscope for the very first time (Oh, The Joy!) , saw different metals flame up in different colors and awed while white light dispersed into rainbow colors from a prism, to name a few.


11 thoughts on “We learn by teaching.

  1. Nice post Priya! Teaching is one of the most noblest things to do and its true value is realised only after a long long.

    Its amazing teachers influence the course of life in a way no one else can. I can pretty muuch map my choice of career, interests and hobbies to the teachers who taught me in school and college

    I hope you get to be a teacher sooner rather than later. Looking forward to relearning someof the BT stuff from you soon :-)


    • Thanks Rohit. You are absolutely right when you say that teachers influence the course of life’s choices sometimes. I hope I am able to fullfil my dreams in this lifetime.

  2. Teaching is an excellent profession Priya. It is very rewarding to be able to be a positive influence on the development of the next generation. (I have two of them in my family, my younger daughter is a primary teacher and my wife teaches at high school.)

  3. Hey Priya,

    You’ll have a lot of people telling you why shouldnt be teaching… And you’ll have many more times when you’ll doubt if you can get there.

    Just remember Steve Jobs’ Commencement address :-) I hope it give you the courage and strength to follow your chosen path.

    Its taken me 5 years after my engi degree ( and i am, by no measure, sucessful enough to be preachy) to get started on my passion.
    I can tell you… It gives a sense of purpose like nothing else in the World.

    I honestly look forward to reading about your experiences teaching some wide eyed freshers and impish backbenchers (like yours truly!) really soon!

    All the very best!!!

  4. Enter the profession only if you have the passion. If you don’t know yet, then try teaching for one year. If you are not saturated and happy at the end, then you will do just fine. Do not go for the salary because it is bad. Many people take up this for the wrong reasons and are very dissatisfied and frustrated and thus harm the students. Also a teaching instinct is a must. Some are so educated but just cant transfer their knowledge. Also teaching school students and young adults is very different. One needs a personality and the voice too!

    “Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the “naturals,” the ones who somehow know how to teach. ~Peter Drucker”

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