Dr. Marker – You will not be forgotten by the likes of me.
Year 1989. I had just joined as a teacher with Leelavati Podar school, Santacruz and Dr.Mrs. Marker was my principal. There was a need for a Hindi teacher and she wanted me to exchange classes with a teacher of grade one who would come to my class to teach Hindi and I could teach Maths in that class.
It was a nightmare. I had not anticipated the problems that I would face in distributing books in the class. The books had to be kept in the school so, l had to call out the names and hand over the books to the children. By the time I had done that, there was barely 10 minutes left for the bell. The other division teachers had no problem for, they were home room teachers. I had to also keep pace with the other divisions so that the parents don’t complain and the portion is equally dealt with.
After a week, I mustered up courage to knock on the doors of the principal’s office. She asked me in and politely asked me what the matter was. I told her that I could not possibly teach mathematics in grade 1. Now what I saw was a different principal. She pulled down her spectacles to the bridge of her nose, looked at me from above that and asked me in a no nonsense tone; “You can’t teach Hindi, you can’t teach Maths, what can you teach?”
I walked out absolutely crestfallen. I knew she was right. I had no business to say I can’t teach Maths to grade 1. This led to a technique that I developed – Teaching Maths through Fairy tales”. Chapter 5 of my book – From Chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching deals with it in detail.
Soon, the children loved Maths and it was easy to teach them. They would refer to me as Math teacher. Dr. Marker, you made me find out my hidden talents. I ended up writing a book dealing with teaching methods and techniques, thanks to you. Rest in Peace Dr. Marker.