Doubting a Learner

The English teacher came to the class. Every student was surprised to see the English teacher. It was supposed to be the History period. The teacher announced that History Sir has not come today, so he will take the English class in lieu of the regular history class. “No, No, Don’t take out any books from your bag. Today we shall discuss some translations”, he said in an emphatic thick voice. All children started having mixed feelings after hearing the word, translations. Some were good at it and many others were really afraid of translations.

The teacher wrote a sentence on the blackboard, in Hindi. He then walked up to the fourth row and asked a small boy, “Can you tell me the translation of the sentence written on the blackboard?” The boy stood up and translated the sentence with perfection. Every student in the class was satisfied, that at least a good beginning has been made. Suddenly, something no one expected happened. A slap from the teacher on the cheek of this small boy made a thunder like sound and after that there was a pin-drop silence. In few seconds came the weeping sound from this boy. Every one could notice the red lines on the face of this boy that were certainly the marks of the fingers of the teacher. By this time, the interval bell started sounding loudly. Only the boy could hear the teacher saying to this boy, “Why, you saw the copy and then told this translation?” The boy could not tolerate this charge, and started weeping even harder. How the boy could have seen this answer from the history copy on the desk. He wanted to explain this to the teacher, but the teacher had already left the class. Friends gathered around boy and tried their best to console him. After some time this boy stopped weeping, but for sure, he was deeply hurt from inside.

Forty years later, this boy is narrating this story to you who has himself become a teacher by profession. His principles of teaching do include the point that never distrust your pupil. One can win the trust of others only by beginning it from their side. Somehow, this principle has always worked for this boy.

Dr. Sunil Ji Garg