The Unsung Teachers

Now, this one post, I have been trying to do since time immemorial – which translates into three weeks precisely. (note: author’s still in the premises of the so-called writer’s block) 😛 Move ahead cautiously 😛

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. Five vowels, the rest consonants, although some people go a bit further in giving stranger names like semi-vowels.

But that does not matter when you read this blog post, or a much better reading outlet like a novel, or a worser reading outlet like today’s newspaper containing reports of murder sans mystery, bombing sans the thrill and crime sans conspiracy.

Well, whatever it is, the basic idea is always forgotten – and so are the people who taught us the very fundamentals of reading, writing, arithmetic and other ideas that education delivers to us.

I write here in the memory of people whose names I dont remember – sometimes, whose faces I hardly remember but whose mannerisms I can easily remember because that’s one thing we all imitate as good students. 😛

So who are these nameless, faceless but richly-gestured (or textured or whatever) people?

Nursery and Primary School Teachers. 😛

Yada, yada, I know. But please dont break your head, or the screen of the monitor right now. The expiry date on both is still far in the future.

The only reason I have churned out so much idiosyncrasy, and the only reason you have read this post so far, is because I know how to write – although not in the sense of a good writer – and you know how to read – definitely in the sense of a good reader.

When you are being interviewed for the post of an English reader in some college of good reputation, the panel does not ask you, “How many letters are there in the English alphabet?” If they did, we’d probably run away from the interview. 😛

But no matter in which rung of the ladder of life we are in, the fundamentals are what have helped us this far. A strong building that can stand for several centuries – hard to find these days and even if you found one, don’t reveal it to the public – needs one important ingredient first – foundation.

Now imagine a bunch of kids, pulling the loose ends of other kids, screaming, dancing around, some trying out their bullying powers on other kids with large scared eyes, and such a lot.

That was when we learnt to pronounce the alphabet, sing rhymes without mostly knowing what they meant and learnt to count at least till ten.

Next imagine a class with many groups. One, my favorite, the gangsta group 😛 The other extreme of this spectrum was the highly aristocrat-like, studious ones who were brilliant in studies and in keeping away from the gangsta group. The third group was the majority – average, below average and above average.

That was when we learnt our grammar, multiplication, division (the famous BODMAS method) and other fundamentals.

It was not until we left the primary corridors that we actually began learning things other than the fundamental stuff.

Till then, the primary school teachers had to manage us, teach us and feed us the fundamentals of education. Kudos to all those teachers, who, I imagine, would always have had a strip of Saridon, thanks to students like me and probably you, too (if you belonged to my favorite, gangsta group) 😉

In memory of these unsung teachers, let me please dedicate a rhyme I believe was the first one I learnt:

Twinkle twinkle little star,
how I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
like a diamond in the sky.

(the first stanza of an early nineteenth-century five-stanza poem, “The Star” by Jane Taylor) 😀

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