Unlike most, my memorable moments of an unforgettable teacher are from the B.Ed college. It was the year 1985. I had decided to focus on my career after a hiatus of 15 long years. It was the time to write an entrance test. I was nervous. While others were busy writing, I was busy pacing up and down. That’s when I first met Mrs. Usha Bhatia. She asked me if I nervous. She chatted up with me and made me feel slightly relaxed. At that time, I was neither aware of her name nor her credentials.
I cleared the test and joined the B.Ed college amidst a lot of apprehensions – how to learn after a gap of 15 years. I need not have worried. There were many more students of that category in that batch. Soon enough we formed a group.
Mrs. Usha Bhatia addressed all of us and informed us that she would teach us Educational Sociology. For a science student this was a night mare. She made it interesting. She was a bubbly enthusiastic, teacher who gave innumerable examples to explain the concept. Illustrating with examples was her forte! Soon enough I developed a liking for the subject. After B.Ed I did a Masters in Sociology!
There were several moments during the B.Ed that she took care of us. She was the ‘Practice Teaching’ guide for my group. She was with the students every moment of the way – be it lesson plan writing, making the teaching aid, to console the heart burns, to motivate you when you are down.
The first time I felt her warm touch was during the practice teaching session. She was there to wipe the tears, go through the entire lesson and helped me in planning the next lesson albeit amidst tears. The helping hands stayed right through the academic year.
We stayed in touch after the one year B.Ed course. After 3 years when my husband had a health issue, she visited me and offered a shoulder. A few years later, when I had a few hard decisions to make vis-a-vis my career, she was by my side offering critical advice. The good Samaritan continued to be a guiding light to me through the years. Finally I end with a quote ‘Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, calibre, and future of an individual…’ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
Mrs. Bhatia, You have touched many a heart. God bless you.