How often do you come across a teacher who reaches out to students beyond the realm of a classroom? Or one who encourages students to follow their dreams.
P Rashmi, Headmistress of Manila Metha Girls Higher Secondary School, Park Town who was conferred with the prestigious Kulapathi Dr S Balakrishna Joshi Best Teacher Award for the year 2011 is one such inspiring mentor.
P Rashmi is the recipient of many illustrious awards, including Best Teacher Award from Blossom Educational Trust in 2005, as well as Lions Club International Award in 1995, 2004, 2006 and 2010.
She has also served as the president of the Sri Gujurati Shikshak Mitra Mandal for the past six years.
From creating awareness on socially relevant issues to being instrumental in helping her students garner academic laurels, she successfully juggles it all.
Reminiscing about the jubilant celebrations that followed the award ceremony held on January 30, she gives us an insight on what shaped her journey, the need for inculcating a value-based education system, and the joy of following her passion.
What was your initial reaction? What makes the award special?
I was really excited and thrilled. I was overjoyed to receive it in the midst of an eminent crowd. I am a student of the same school. I have served in this school as a teacher for 17 years and as a headmistress for 12 years. I cannot express my happiness in words.
What motivates you to teach?
Teaching is my passion. I become completely engrossed in it when I am around my students. I also like to step outside the boundaries of the curriculum and connect with them. I enjoy what I do and forget everything else.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe we should think beyond the exam-oriented system. Teachers should be able to foster creativity in classrooms. Creative thinking is the need of the hour.
What qualities should a good teacher possess?
A good teacher should be able to teach children about values, and encourage them to be compassionate and learn values that will stand them in good stead. Having a profound knowledge on the subject, and not just what is in the textbook is the key to being a great teacher.
Can you tell us about your other interests?
I am an active member of the Lions Club of Madras Thirumangalam. I discovered my passion for social service after becoming a part of this club. I often participate in eye donation drives. I encourage my students to participate in local rallies on various relevant issues like creating plastic-free environment and AIDS awareness.
Your take on teaching as a profession?
It’s a noble profession, but unfortunately a majority of students do not opt for it these days. I feel those who are genuinely interested should definitely take it up. The joy of being a teacher knows no bounds.
What is your advice for students who will write their exams this year?
Just don’t learn by rote, try and understand the concepts thoroughly. Revise as much as possible. A systematic revision plan will definitely help you score.