A New Day
by Sharmila Roy Ghosal
My first experience with teaching was just after my graduation. It was a primary school. I was appointed to teach class IV. I was both excited and anxious in equal measures.
On my first day of school, the principal told me that I had to take the Lower Nursery class since the teacher was sick and on leave. My own class would be managed by the class teacher of class V.
As I walked into my new class, I saw little faces with tears streaming down their eyes looking at me, having left the warmth of their homes, their parents and pets, surrounded by strangers, they felt at sea for it was their first day at school like me.
I decided to cheer them up. I introduced myself, most of them looked at me vacantly. I decided to ask their names afterwards, instead I drew an apple on the board, and asked them to identify the object. Most knew the answer, they sat and answered. Suddenly one child stood up and said. “I like bananas.” There seemed to be a transformation in the class, with each student trying to tell me what his or her favorite fruit was.
I was relieved, they were not crying anymore. Next I sketched a bird, which drew giggles in the class. My drawing wasn’t that bad surely, I then realized that the little ones were excited.
“That is Mithoo my parrot". One girl with a lot of curls on her head said.
Very soon the class was discussing their pets. Some had rabbits, guinea pigs even dogs.
I smiled as I looked at them.
During the lunch break, some of them came and offered me pastries and fruits. When I told them that I had brought my lunch and my mother would get hurt if I didn’t finish my lunch, they went back quietly and started eating their tiffin.
When school was over, they smiled and waved out to me, they would not dread coming to school tomorrow I was sure of that.
From tomorrow their class teacher would teach them the curriculum, designed to help the child unfold his/her talents. I just wanted them to relax, be happy and learn to love school, for me it was a new day. ***