The Good, the Bad and the Teacher

It was just another day, another morning. At least I was not feeling like not going back to work. These days, I have come to terms with my job in a splendid manner. Anyway, that is not the point I am about to tell you. You see, that day I was listening to music on my favourite radio station Fever 104 FM on my way to work. Since many days they have been airing ads of It is a firm or even can be called as an institute which provides personal tutors to students. As a regular listener, I was used to their first ad with a man’s voice explaining about how taking tutorials from a personal tutor of would help students. That ad never sounded wrong and offensive.

Two days back, as I was listening to the same radio station in the morning again on my way to work, they aired a new ad of This time, it was with two women discussing about how one’s daughter was finding it difficult to understand what is taught in school. First one is sad that her daughter is not grasping lessons and another suggests getting a personal tutor from for the daughter saying that teachers in schools are not good enough. This ad was enough to start a whirlpool of memories that took me back to my studying days.

I was good at studies except in mathematics. When I reached 10th grade, my parents decided to get me a tutor. He was a good man who used to wake up at 4am to teach me mathematics lessons from 5am to 6am and leave for work by 6:30am and commute for 30km to reach his office. I must say that because of him I scored well in this subject of numbers. He taught me that every problem could be solved by more than one method and I learnt it the hard way.

There was a teacher in our school who used to run private tuitions after school hours. He intentionally didn’t teach well in school so that student would join his private tuition classes. He taught one method and my tutor taught another, but both were right. When internal assessments were done, my school teacher noticed that I had solved the math problems not by his method, but some other method. With that, he also understood that I was taking math lessons from somebody else instead of joining his private tuitions. So, what did he do? He gave me a big zero though my answers were right. My mother was petrified and ran to my tutor asking what went wrong. The cool guy my tutor, instantly understood what my school teacher’s intentions were. He assured my mother that no matter what happens in the internal assessments, I would score better in the board exams. And without any concern, I scored good marks to my own amazement. That school teacher of mine was the bad guy at a crucial phase of my student life.

When I reached 12th grade, yet another board exam year, I still was not willing to study science in any form. But there I was already with physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology subjects handed out to me so that I can later opt only for math and become an engineer of anything. I mugged up things just like majority of Indian kids who are forced to become an engineer irrespective of job availability in the future. We had a lecturer for the subject of biology and she taught both zoology and botany. While my parents were dreaming big that I would score extraordinarily in mathematics, I picked up an interest in biology all due to this lecturer who used to explain everything in detail. She was so good in her subject that she never said “I will answer your question in next class” and always clarified our doubts on the spot. She was against the concept of sending students to external tuitions and strived hard to make her students understand the subject. And she succeeded, at least in my case. I never felt that I needed to attend extra biology classes privately to pass that subject. All thanks to her. She was a very good teacher.

After spacing out while listening to this ad on Fever 104 FM, I had to snap out of it. This ad had generalized all teachers and shows even the good ones in bad light; doesn’t show in good light either. Anyway, I hope at least the new age parents stop freaking out for good grades of their children and let them find their calling on their own.

0 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad and the Teacher

  1. Vedantu

    Hey Shwetha, It felt great that the ad was able to take you down memory lane…. we really appreciate your feedback. We also want to let you know that it’s never our intention ever to suggest that School teachers are bad……infact, in all our ads we regularly stress on the fact that there is a need for a personal teacher. We believe in the power of teachers and all founders have been teachers themselves.

    1. shwethahs

      I liked your old ads in which students or parents explain their concerns and then a person tells them about Vedantu. In the new ads, especially the one in which two ladies are talking about one’s supposed to be cute daughter’s learning difficulties, one lady says something like school teachers se kuch nahin hota i.e. school teachers can’t do anything. That ad got to me. My intention is just to let people know that there are school teachers who teach very well and are really good at what they do. Of course there are bad ones, but generalizing on media doesn’t help.

  2. ev4ngelf

    I completely understand your story. When I was a student I Had tutor at home too for ancient Greek. Now, I am a teacher. I am a home tutor too,but I always respect other teachers’ work. Teaching is a magic way to understand not only knowledge but also behaviours and personalities. The way someone teaches shows a lot about his character.

    1. shwethahs

      Thank you, ev4engelf, for understanding. Teaching is a noble profession, especially teaching toddlers since they will form an early impression about teachers.

  3. navasolanature

    Sounds like a very competitive system. In India? And in so many places now the real love of learning and finding your own passion for a subject seem to be losing ground.

    1. shwethahs

      True. It is very competitive for all the wrong reasons. Instead of letting children do what they want to do and make it big in that field, parents are filling children’s brain to choose a field in which it is easier to make money and then make it their passion.