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Friday, July 20, 2018

A day in the life of a science teacher

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instil a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

March 19, 20185:43:30 pm

Among all the subjects, science is one of the trickiest. It can either be extremely boring or highly interesting. It all depends on how well it is taught. In order to ensure that the students take a liking to science, it is imperative for the teacher to make the subject interesting, interactive, and fun. Teachers teach us the basics of a subject, and in a way, the basics of life. Their schedules are super hectic and they do much more than they are credited for. Carrying out professional duties while maintaining a constant connect with the students, while also juggling personal life is as difficult as it sounds!

Let us take you through a typical day in a science teacher’s life. The following text is taken from the journal of Mrs. Chaudhary, a chemistry teacher in a public school. Is her schedule more hectic than yours? See for yourself:

My alarm went off at 5 AM as usual, but I put it on snooze. After snoozing it for the third time I finally gave in and woke up. It was 5:30 and my day had begun. I woke my son and daughter up and got ready while they fought their grogginess. My husband came back from his morning jog as I prepared breakfast for everyone. The clock struck 7 and we all were ready to take on the world.

I drove my children to their school and reached mine just in time for the morning assembly. Bhumesh Ji, the PTI was trying to get the students in a single file at ‘one-arm-distance’. I suppressed a chuckle when he called out some naughty kids saying “Both of you three come out of the line.”

I kept my stuff in the staff room and rushed to take my first class of the day. I was with the students of 9th A in the Chemistry lab when this mischievous kid, Ishan, made a stink bomb. The rotten-egg smell was unbearable and as a result, we had to evacuate. I could’ve punished him, but it was an opportunity to teach the children something new. So, I supervised the preparation of another stink bomb, but this time, I familiarized the students with the characteristics of Hydrogen Sulphide. As long as they remember the stench, I don’t think the kids are going to forget about H2S!

My second class was in 7th C, where I distributed test copies to the students. Kashvi topped as always and Vikas, as usual, scored a big zero. Third period was free, but Mr. Gopal was on leave, so I had to teach as his substitute. Teaching physics to class 5th may sound easy, but trust me, it is not! Uttam pulled Nainshree’s hair and there was a ruckus all around. I almost felt like shouting to shut the children up. But that is never a good option. Instead, I calmed the students down by telling them a story about a certain scientist and an apple that fell on his head.

The questions these kids ask can sometimes make you laugh out loud! Today, Sakshi tried to prove Newton wrong by citing an example from ‘Looney Tunes’ – the fact that the Coyote walks in the air for a while after falling off a cliff. Convincing children that cartoons aren’t real, requires some serious effort!

Took three more classes in 10th, 8th, and 6th after a short lunch break. Board exams are near and I try my level best to ensure that the kids aren’t under any unnecessary pressure. I tell them, “Each one of you has an immense potential. Some of you can become artists, some can be engineers, writers, and much more. Remember, everyone has a different skillset. So, if you don’t score exceptional marks in your boards, fret not. You are made for something else, something much bigger. You just have to find your true passion!”

School got over at 2:30, but we had to stay back till 3:30 to check the answer sheets for the pre-board exams. I wanted to nap for an hour after reaching home but had to help my daughter with her science project. Taught her how to make a non-newtonian liquid and she was fascinated with the result. It was now time for my special evening class. For the past one year, I have been teaching the basics of science to my housemaid’s kids and their friends. I have also arranged for their admission in my school.

I completely forgot to have my evening tea, but thank God for my husband who made it for the both of us upon returning from his office. We chatted for a while and I wanted to talk some more, but I had to prepare my notes! I always study Chemistry for an hour and a half every day. I can’t afford to make a mistake in teaching. My students’ future depends on me and I cannot let them down.

I have just finished cooking and eating dinner with my family. It is 10 PM now and it is time to sleep. My days go by so fast that I barely have any time for myself! But as long as I am able to make a difference in my students’ lives, it is fine. I hope to have a fun-filled tomorrow as well!