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Pushes and Pulls – Stone and Feather can co-exist

In the words of Langston Hughes

What happens to dream deferred?
Does it dry up?
Like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore
And then run
Does it stink like a rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
Like a syrupy sweet?
May be it just sags
Like a heavy load
Or does it explode?

I have dreams, I had dreams. From the moment we are born, we’ve been pushed and pulled. Pushed into the unknown and pulled out of the known. Later pushed into the known and pulled from the unknown. Predictability and uncertainty becomes something to fear. We are told what decisions are good and bad. We have no choice; our only path is to follow someone, try to avoid mistakes already made but in the end we will replace someone, we will sit where he sits, we will do what he did and we will be replaced just the way he was. And we believe that to change something is already too late; the only option left for us it to escape.

I did escape. My path so far hasn’t been any different yet it did make a difference. When I look back at the path, albeit short, I have traversed so far I realize that it was pathless. I had to carve for myself. Arrogant and optimistic then, I was told to embrace certainty. I felt heavy like the stone! I questioned its being. I weighed its pain and I escaped. I ran as far as I could only to realize that I didn’t move. Life is predictable just like the existence of this stone.

But I chose to take unknown turns and cross uncharted territories. You ask, wasn’t I petrified? Hell yes! I was scared. Afraid of the endless tunnel. Horrified of the bottomless spit. Yes, I was frustrated and I wanted to explode. I did explode. Not once but many times. I felt the heaviness.

My intuitions drove me. The meaning of ‘the call’ became clearer with time. It happened in 2011 when the opportunity to teach landed. I was apprehensive to accept the responsibility. Thirty pair of eyes staring at you! Gosh it was scary. There were instances when I broke down. Challenging, but it was an onset of a journey. Soon, there came a point where I felt the need to shed old feathers and grow new ones. The need to take a flight was felt by me. Just at that time ‘I AM A TEACHER’ happened. And even now my intuitions guided me.

Fearless, I took the flight to explore and discover. You ask what? There is a lot. You ask me when and how? It is happening now.

It isn’t that we don’t have a choice. We do. The choice isn’t between this that, either or, less more, fill pour. You ask who decides? You, I, We.

Pallavi Sharma, Alumnus, I Am A Teacher


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The Magic of the WEB

It had been 2 weeks since the beginning of the new session for the children. The transition, I felt, seemed smooth since they had not been shuffled. We were actually supposed to play this game in the first week after the session began but just helping the kids feel comfortable with the new class and new teachers took time.

Last week, since there was so much familiarity among the kids, they began to complain a lot about each other. So we decided, this was the time to help them connect with each other. Also, we had started to talk about being responsible for our own books, pencils, tables & chairs, etc.

We, my partner and I, moved all the tables and chairs to one side, sat down on the floor with the children in a circle and first waited for them to settle. Then, the teacher showed them the ball of wool and said,”We will be playing a little game today. We have been talking about this class as a family, so let’s see how we can all be connected.” She then went on to explain the rules to the children. “I will begin by throwing this ball of wool towards someone while holding one end of it and before I throw it, I will take a pledge. I will be responsible for one thing, be it in school or at home and will take care of that thing always and try not to break my pledge.”

The children were anxious and restless, awaiting their turns. The teacher held one end of the wool, took her pledge and threw the ball of wool to me. I, in turn, took my pledge, looped the string on my finger and passed on the wool to a student. This went on, of course not smoothly as the kids would keep raising their hands or prompting their friends to throw the ball to them. After 5-7 passes, they began to see the magic. The web was taking shape and the children let out gasps and “wows!!”.


It was surprising to hear the pledges they took. Some pledged to care for their younger siblings, while some pledged to care for their books. Some for their plants at home and some for their pets. Of course, parents, teachers and friends too were mentioned, but just to think of something like this, a responsibility like this at such a young age, I was amazed! We really do underestimate kids now-a-days.

The web got more complex but the children seemed more settled & calm and somehow, the vibes too of the class felt very positive. It was like we had just finished a very sacred and calming session of MPL (Mindful Personal Leadership).

Megha Jobanputra, Alumnus, I Am A Teacher

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Decoding Impossible

Muhammad Ali

The fear of inadequacy of your own self is what it makes things impossible. But is the fear based on incomplete realisation of self or just the fear of failure. If we have fear of failure but have never failed then how can we fear it and we have failed, then why fear it. Shouldn’t the failure be in itself be the spirit to work towards; turning it around and conquering that fear.

So what is impossible? Is it an attitude based on some unfounded fears? Why is impossible a huge hurdle that all billions of us have faced sometime or other and most of us have acknowledged it as well!

The setting and timing however are intangible items that are far more real than a complex mesh of mindset. We cannot have robots sitting in Mercury today. In today’s timing, it is an impossible task to achieve this mission even in the next 5 years. A grade 5 child in remote part of the country cannot read Grade 2 text. To have him learn calculus in the next 2 years is impossible. So is it really just a mindset problem?

To claim it to be possible maybe a very egalitarian  and optimistic view point but to make it possible needs reform in the structure which in some cases may not see light in his/her lifetime. So isn’t their claim of task being impossible real? It could be temporary in the large scheme of things when plotted over millions of people and their lives but for that child it is real.

Does that imply that, “Impossible is nothing” is like a speck in the cloud of motivational dust, perhaps like the pole star in the milky way that can provide direction for some and for some it’s a mere a bright star!

Sunayna Uberoy, Alumnus, I Am A Teacher