“We are the sum total of our experience. Those experiences, be they positive or negative make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives.” – B. J. Neblett.

Knowledge comes from learning; but ‘experience’ comes from living. A life without problems and challenges is like a school without lessons. Teaching was not always my passion. Mrs. Kale my Geography teacher was the first to appreciate my skills and said that my voice was apt for a teaching profession. I doubted, but she believed. After my post-graduation I started my career in corporate world and worked in the industry for close to two years. But destinyhad its own plans and I chose to join the teaching profession and today being a teacher for almost a decade, here’s what I would like to share.

No matter how deep our knowledge of a domain is… no matter how many degrees we have…no matter how smart we are… no matter how fast we climb the ladder to leadership… no matter how good the infrastructure of the college is… no matter how impressed the peers and parents are… our students will NOT learn a single thing unless they know that as teachers we really care about them.

Mahatma Gandhi once listed the top three qualities that a teacher should possess – ‘MAMTA’, meaning love, affection and caring, ‘SAMTA’ – meaning equality and impartiality and finally ‘KSHAMTA’ – meaning ability and capability. As a teacher I have imbibed these values and practice them; making them an integral part of who I am as a teacher. And I must say that I have seen the impact that this has had on my students’ learning.

This brings a question in my mind – can I be the teacher that students expect me to be?The kind of teacher who encourages students to believe in themselves, to find hope in the classroom, to strengthen the roots and give wings to my students’ aspirations so as to help them follow their dreams, to believe and never give up.Every day, I believe that I can be better than what I was the day before.

Together with I2IT, I wish to nurture our students beyond textbooks and face the world and succeed in their future. Just like my teacher, I never doubt my students and their capabilities. I believe in them to experience life and grow.

The author of this blog article is Rakhi Wagh, Assistant Professor,Department of Engineering Sciences, Hope Foundation’s International Institute of Information Technology, (I²IT), Pune (www.isquareit.edu.in) (rakhiw@isquareit.edu.in)