This is the one person that most of us have in our life.
She is a mentor. The first one, in fact, in our life, excluding our family members.
She cares for us selflessly, but, enjoying every moment of it thoroughly. She teaches us life values and gives the first lessons on how to equip ourselves for the game called ‘life’.
She is the sweetest person but, helps us get through the bitterest of our kindergarten experiences. She is soft-spoken and polite but, persuasive.
She is honest, straightforward, innocent, similar to the children she is mentoring and gives us the security that we so desperately long for.
She is our teacher. Our very own kindergarten teacher, who we very often don’t respect as much as we should.
This piece is about one such kindergarten teacher, who deserves an applause.
This piece is, on a small scale, also on the other side of her, a mother, a wife, a daughter, and the likes, that we often fail to notice.
Her day starts at 3.45 a.m. (while some of us many think that is night, she calls it early morning) and like most mothers, she hits the kitchen immediately. She makes breakfast and lunch for herself and her family and packs food for herself. She then leisurely finishes off the rest of her chores and gets geared up for school. She leaves early so that, she can spend time with her parents, who live on her way to school.
Once she reaches school, she immerses herself in the pool of tiny tots. She teaches them alphabets, names of colours, shapes, fruits, vegetables, animals, all of which will, in the future, help them to string sentences together.
Apart from this, she also helps them develop important basic life skills, that include speaking with people, proper toilet habits, cleanliness, hygiene and proper eating habits.
And while a few of us many think of this as a not-so-attractive job, she tells me that she is passionate about her work and ‘loves spending time with the little ones’. So much so that she refused when she was promoted to a higher class because the institution felt she was overqualified for this job. This is probably the reason why most of us think that kindergarten teachers and people who haven’t reached the so-called greatness in their academic life but, most of these kindergarten teachers are, at a minimum, graduates. In this particular case, she holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and a post graduate degree in English. She is qualified enough to teach until 12th grade but, feels that her ‘heart lies with the kindergarten children’.
She holds so much respect for the job that she gets enraged when people tell her that teaching would be their last option, the option that they would go for, if all else fails. She believes that passion is the most important aspect for someone to become a great teacher. And when this passion exists, the pay scale doesn’t matter.
It only matters if these teachers can kneel down to the level of those children. If they can help them grow as a person. Mentor them through their paths. Be a role model for their preaching.
She has checked each and every one of these boxes.
Amirtha Varshini , B.Sc Botany, Women’s Christian College ,Chennai