My father was the teacher who changed my life. He was a retired headmaster of a government school in Thiruvallur and was the one who encouraged me to begin a teaching career. His words of wisdom spilled into my life and I wanted to be a teacher who would become a role model to children. Till this day, I strive to be an example for my students so that they can look up to me, just like how I looked up to my father.
In 2016, when I received the Dr Radhakrishnan award from the state, I dedicated the accolade to him. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. His down-to-earth approach while interacting with students and the guidance and support he rendered to students from marginalised sections of the society are a few qualities that I have inherited from him.
S Amudha Lakshmi, Chettinad Vidyashram
As a toddler, my kindergarten days flew away well enveloped in the warmth of motherly teachers and homely school. But my formal education began with class 1 at St Francis Xavier School. It could have been well remembered as another school, but for one lady, Mrs Claudy, whom till date I remember not just as my teacher, but as that anchor who helped me embark on my journey of education.
I was blessed in abundance to receive education not just as an education but as beautiful days and years etched to remain with me forever. My teacher had sown seeds of undemanding love and uncompromising affection on me that propelled me into the path of teaching.
Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy, PSBB Schools
I follow my mother’s example for all matters. She was from an orthodox family, but her thinking was modern. When I was younger, she would narrate the Ramayana and Mahabharata to me, and the moral values of those epics stayed with me. One of the values I learned was what I call AIR now — accountability, integrity and responsibility. Just as air is important for our survival, these three values are important for a teacher, a parent, and a mother.
Dipti Karnad, Clarke School for the Deaf
Miss Stella was my English teacher in classes 3 and 4. I, vividly, recall her face and the lesson plan notebook which she used to carry to class. Back then, we had a book called ‘Spell Well’. She used to ask us to read a page from the book every day and used to test our spelling skills. This activity boosted my reading, writing, spelling and communication skills.
She made me fall in love with spellings and thereafter in every test, I scored full marks. Today as a teacher, when I plan accordingly for my class, I remember her lesson plan. She used to schedule all the lessons for the class in advance and deliver it beautifully. Maybe it’s a quality that I have imbibed from her. If I am proficient in English today, it’s because of her and I can never forget her.