IT is that time of the year again. The days are shorter and there is a chill in the air … it is the end of the school term.
The school corridors are abuzz with excitement. The little ones have a glint in their eyes as they count the days for the much awaited winter break without the dreaded holiday homework. The enthusiasm is infectious and one can’t help but remember the joy that the thought of vacations always brings to our faces.
On the surface it seems like just another year. But while I walk along the corridors I can’t help but look at the outgoing batch: the class of 2014. Yes, they face what is probably going to be the most difficult examination of their lives; one that will clearly establish the career paths that they will follow. But they are also standing at the edge of something remarkable. They have the world at their feet and it is good to see the happiness, enthusiasm and excitement that this feeling generates. The enormity of the board examination has not settled in yet and the rough draft of the date sheet looks like it is meant for someone else or for some other time. They are busy building a bank of memories of school life for themselves. One sees students taking photographs in the classrooms, some asking their favourite teachers for a snap, with the shy ones spending the entire day mustering up the courage to do the same. This is an attempt to hold on to the last remnants of a childhood, which seems to have gone by way too fast. It will be many years before they realise that what they really remember about school are moments that could never be captured on a digi-cam. And there will be millions of these moments that will light up dark moments and lift their tired souls.
As a teacher and a house master I experience great pride seeing my boys and girls leave the sheltered environs, but there is a tremendous sense of loss too. I catch myself wondering what I will do without Nehmat, Karanbir, Aman, Amrita and Sukhmani … my wonderful prefects. Besides all the work they did, I realise I will miss their affection and unconditional love. I will miss the implicit trust that they placed in me, making me aware everyday of the immense responsibility I had; I could never let them down. They were ‘teachers’ to me as I learnt to better myself as an individual and as a teacher because of them.
Like always, students will pass out and new batches will take their place. Like always, they too will develop close bonds with us teachers and leave us with ‘staffroom anecdotes’ to share. What they will never know is that they all leave us richer from the experience of having them in our lives. They leave us enriched, loved and valued -something that teachers rarely receive from the outside world. For that I will always be grateful to my boys and girls. Thank you and God bless.
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