I hope this letter finds you hale and hearty; if not then give me a chance to ask your forgiveness on behalf of the utter disrespect that we showed to you in the previous class. We are informed that your heart has broken down to tatters and that you are no more willing to take our classes. The authority has become stricter on us, and has taken steps to reprimand us for the indignation meted out on you. Nevertheless Sir, I would not dither from stating that your wisdom is being consumed by your sentimentality. I might not be supported by you on the grounds that I will certainly highlight in this open letter; may be after reading this letter you turn cold-hearted towards me; maybe you take help of the authorities to throw me out of the institution, or might fathom the core incentive of it and love me afterwards, but I will not budge placing before you your weaknesses that don’t add up to the ideals that made you up as a teacher.
Sir, we are evidently students of yours, but it is your misconception that we are ‘vacuum heads’ that one feeds anything into us and we grant it indisputably. If you consider the right of a teacher to stand unmistakable on his pedagogy, then as students we have the right to question incessantly and keep on questioning unless our quest of comprehension is well satisfied. If you boast of your academic years that surpass ours, then we can boast of our academic years that are far more vigorous and competent in today’s world of global championship. To be more perspicuous, you need to curb your faulty education practices and stop dishing out things that you are not sure of. We would have been gratified had you accepted that there are areas where you have not well-researched and that you will take your time to look into them. But you boastfully, said, “Do you know who you are questioning?” To that question I would answer, “If we very well know that even the President of our country stands open to impeachment, we definitely know who we are questioning.”
Sir, to fuel your remembrance, one day you stormed into our class, hot-heated, and fury on your brow, and rebuked everyone unreasonably and even upbraided the ones who surfaced their doubts that day. Is that what you call your professionalism? A teacher’s essence lies in his adherence to patience – the spirit to put up with a student’s unintelligible doubts and to explain to him clearly with skills that he can approach, amicability – the chance of free-flow of ideas from students and to be temperamentally accessible to them; endless learning- the spirit to keep on keenly learning the very subject and not being complacent of what has already been learnt. To be strict to maintain the decorum is well justified but if that prevents your students from fearlessly approaching you for help, then this contaminates what you deem to be your charisma.
Sir, we have seen situations to which you have overreacted, especially when you release the corrected exam answer papers. When we vouch for the reason why you have deducted our marks, that is rightfully what an examinee should do, you have in many instances paid deaf years to our innumerable voices, instead of being answerable to a student’s concerns. In some papers, you have sparked off your personal friction with the students. Does a teacher take up an inter-personal matter and reflect it on his marking criterion? They say a ‘Guru’ is far above such petty considerations, then how does your reverent position allow such stuffs in? You have built up stern rules for the late-comers, but have you really dealt with our matters, when you have personally chose to come late for three consecutive classes? Or would you a say a teacher has his discretion in such cases? Thankfully, we might be late-comers but we are not truants!
Sir, having said that, I would urge you to retrospect your days as a student. Were you never displeased with any of your tutors? Didn’t you ever wish that had you been in his position you could have taught far better? Should we not by the virtue of being students get a chance to exploit these opportunities? If so then you should not have taken them as humiliation. Sir, a teacher becomes more well-liked if he sees himself through the lens of his students and always strives to make himself the ideal for his students to emulate. It is hard to be a teacher, but even harder to be an ‘idol’.
But, it never means that a teacher can do this all alone, he should muster the strength from his students. Sir, keeping the whole matter in the back-burner, we never defy the hardships that you might have faced in your journey hitherto, and we do equally respect your decision to be an educator and to prepare the budding citizens of tomorrow. But this can be feasible if you allow knowledge to flow from either side. We understand that a teacher’s position is indispensable and infallible in the life of a person who has ever been a student. Being bonded in a spiritual relationship, we have to share each other’s strengths and weaknesses and create an ambience conducive to wholesome education. But this has to be properly envisioned and enacted by a teacher, and not let the wrath of the administration fall on his students. We are after all your students, Sir. It’s not too late, our strained relationship can still transform into a time-tested one; if we forget our differences and start falling into each other’s empty spaces. With this we look to your presence the next day, with utter dignity and respect. And yes, we will all be in time. Because we still want you to teach, this time more differently, as ‘our beloved teacher’.
Yours loving students