Thirty eight years ago, I began my journey as a teacher, teaching six periods a day, each period with a different class, each class alive with approximately sixty-five students. That meant interacting with three hundred and ninety lively individuals in a day.I began each day with a feeling of fortitude and ended it like a squashed tomato. Then a time came when I began each day like a squashed tomato and ended it with a feeling of fortitude.I learned on the job moving like a trapeze artiste, from one end of the day to the other. Today, much older but not much wiser, I am still a teacher, after having made innumerable detours, getting lost and finding myself again, learning to take each day as it comes, each moment as it comes, each breath as it comes, each feeling as it comes…with the uncertainty of a newborn. And this is my prayer that I share with you.
A TEACHER’S PRAYER
May I always be open to the immense possibilities of my students and encourage them to rise to their best.
May I never allow appearance, name, caste, creed, nationality, ethnic identity or inability to come in the way of my students getting the opportunity to feel equal, learn and become who they truly are.
May I respect the now-ness of every classroom encounter and be tuned to the experience in such a manner that nothing else is of any consequence at that moment in time.
May I always be prepared with all that I need to share with my students.
May I never be repetitive or mundane in the way I share experience, information and skills but may I be inventive, entertaining and stimulating.
May I share only what I know to be true, aware that a half truth is no different from a lie. So may I admit what I do not know so that I am honest with my students.
May I free myself from playing prosecutor because forgiveness liberates.
May I be a student – always.
May I always use the opportunity to nurture the whole beings of my students and not merely their knowledge and skills.
May I see my most troublesome student as my wisest teacher.