Journey as a Teacher

Class rooms were a good place to learn but I invariably found myself thrown out of them. It happened more often than I can remember but I found some interesting people to strike a conversation with. Thus my interactions evolved which were largely with people who did not have the privilege of attending college and had to sink their elbows in full time work due to circumstances. I saw them struggling yet quite content in doing their work. My true learning has come from interacting with these people. They have honed my perspective towards life.

With passage of time I realized that everyone has something useful to teach, provided one is willing to learn. The one line that epitomizes this philosophy is “You teach best what you are willing to learn”.

Little did I realize then, that one day I would stand on the other side of the table. I went back in time to deliberate on which teacher stayed with me and whose teaching I still carry in my stride. This was essential in order to understand how and what to teach. Thus my teachings were more about sharing the experiences of my life and what I had learnt from them. They were about having a hunger to seek, to discover and somewhere about being open to the process of learning from anyone and anything.

Good teaching, I guess is about being “you” rather than fitting in a pre specified role, it’s about being natural. I follow my instincts as the need to share comes spontaneously. Having no benchmarks or pre determined parameters that I need to follow, the neutrality of teaching helps in connecting with the students.

What is very beautiful is the journey of learning from each other as we go along. Classroom ceased to be a stereotyped four wall room and instead it became a place for activity which evoked ideas that allowed all of us to learn through our experiences. It is about collective memories that one gathers and the courage that one finds behind the edges.

It has been a remarkable five years as I treasure the moments of learning and togetherness that I found. A handful of good friends, many eager eyes, a few painful smiles and countless laughter’s, all held together with the trust and respect for each other.

Together we nurtured and realized that none of us should be one-way streets but rather be the little off beat paths that lead us to the main road.

I am taking my learning beyond the scope of four walls in the shape of workshops for the eager minds where one can go beyond conceptual theories and let focus and direction emerge organically.

In these workshops, the discovery of “Me” in “We” is achieved in interactive spaces that allow collaborative learning through imagination and perception

My learning continues…

all images and text © 2012 Rahul Gupta