Not without my teacher: Here’s how entrepreneurs and celebs remember their favourite instructors

Teacher’s Day is a good time to remember the incredible work done by our instructors. Here’s what founders and celebrities have to say about the teachers who influenced their lives
18 CLAPS
0

Most people look back fondly on their teachers as the patient instructors who taught them the 3Rs — reading, writing, and arithmetic, and some life skills too. But recent studies done by some universities show that the relationship goes much further. According to them, the teacher is the only individual outside of the home who can dramatically improve the well-being of children long after they become adults.

Teacher's Day is celebrated on September 5 and for most people, it is the time to reminisce about their favourite teachers and the most memorable moments of their formative years.

As another Teacher’s Day rolls around this year amid the pandemic and with students attending online classes and viewing their teachers only via electronic screens, how will the dynamics of their relationship change? What were the best aspects of the teacher-student relationship in the past?

YSWeekender caught up with entrepreneurs and celebrities to find out their views about teachers and online classrooms, and the best advice they have ever received from their instructors...

'Failure is never the end of the road'

Nikhil Ranjan

Nikhil Ranjan, Managing Director, William Penn

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student’s life?

Nikhil Ranjan (NR): Teachers are only next to parents in terms of importance in a child’s life. Sometimes, children take the teacher’s words more seriously than that of the parent!

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

NR: You tend to value what you don’t have a lot more when you don’t have it. And it is no different with school and teachers.

With children confined to their homes over the last few months, they have come to value the physical interaction with friends and teachers a lot more.

I see my own kids missing going to school so very much.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

NR: “Failure is never the end of the road as long as you learn your lesson from it.”

'Gel Alpha is extremely adaptable'

Malini Agarwal

Malini Agarwal, Founder and Creative Director, MissMalini Entertainment

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student's life?

Malini Agarwal (MA): Teachers are a child's first mentors and play a huge role in shaping young minds. I am definitely a product of my most inspiring teachers!

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

MA: I think Gen Alpha is extremely adaptable, and while day-to-day physical interaction between teachers and students is missed, teachers are making every effort to connect with their students online and keep them engaged.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

MA: Always read and then write things down in your own words.

It makes all the difference to how much you absorb, and how you learn to express yourself.

'Listen to everyone, but do what your heart says'

Veena Ashiya

Veena Ashiya, Founder and Chief Energy Officer, Monrow

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student’s life?

Veena Ashiya (VA): Teachers are the first set of people apart from the family you spend the most time in your formative years. They are like parents in our early years; just that we can have nine of them for nine subjects.

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

VA: The expression of appreciation has to evolve in online education.

YSW: Kids learn best with compassionate gestures like a congratulatory handshake or a pat on the shoulder.

So, teachers and online education entrepreneurs will have to explore how they can recreate a sense of appreciation, which will motivate students to study.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

VA: The best advice I have ever received is: "Suno sabka, karo apne man ka," which means, “Listen to everyone, but do what your heart truly calls for.” Every time I am in the decision-making mode, I use this beautiful blend of feedback and introspection.



'A teacher can change your life'

Anubhav Singh Bassi

Anubhav Singh Bassi, comedian

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student's life?

Anubhav Singh Bassi (ASB): Outside the family, teachers are the only adults that a child spends the most time with. Even a single good teacher, at any age, can truly change your life for the better.

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

ASB: A lot of things seem to be drastically different from every generation nowadays.

This cannot replace in-person, in-class interaction. Some of my best memories and life lessons have come from my classroom shenanigans with friends and teachers.

Also, with online learning, there is no recess, no principal's office, no punishment as such, nor any real school life enjoyment. I hope things will go back to normal soon.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

ASB: My teachers led by example and not just words.

'Teachers help us become the best version of ourselves'

Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj, Director and Conceptualiser, Out of The Blue and Deli by The Blue

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student’s life?

Rahul Bajaj (RB): Teachers guide us, mould our childhood, and help us become the best version of ourselves. They help us discover our talents and enhance them to the best of our ability. Apart from this, they also support us in building our own space and perception from the lessons we learn.

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

RB: Given the pandemic, learning institutions have adopted the mode of technology and are running online classes.

As this method will require the teacher to spend more time on the students individually, this will build stronger and deeper teacher-student connections.

Online classes will definitely help in bettering the relationship between teachers and students.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

RB: There were times when I used to bunk classes just to go and eat my favourite dish at the canteen. One time, my teacher caught me sitting in the canteen and eating, and she told me, "Make sure what you are eating is worth bunking the classes for. And if it is that tasty, don't hesitate to invite me as well next time!"



'Follow your passion wholeheartedly'

Rishab Joshi and Prayag Mehta

Rishab Joshi and Prayag Mehta, music producers, Lost Stories

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student’s life?

Rishab Joshi (RJ): Be it inculcating simple but important habits such as reading or inculcating the habit of believing in one's self, teachers do it all.

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

Prayag Mehta (PM): These are unprecedented times, and our lives have changed drastically.

But my respect for teachers has grown manifolds in this period because even if the world is at a standstill, teachers are ensuring that learning does not stop.

I believe this immense respect and understanding for teachers will ensure that students, too, will feel more responsible for their own goals and actions.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

RJ: One of the best pieces of advice I received from a teacher is that no matter what I do, I should give it my 100 percent, and be best at it. Be it an engineer, a doctor, a music producer, or a hairdresser, she advised me to follow my passion wholeheartedly, and give it my all.

'The heart is always right'

Chef Aditi Handa

Chef Aditi Handa, Co-founder and Head Baker, The Baker’s Dozen

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student’s life?

Aditi Handa (AH): A child unknowingly understands the relationship with his or her teacher. Hence, from a very young age, he/she knows the importance of a guru in life.

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

AH: I honestly don’t think this pandemic or online learning is going to impact the student-teacher relationship.

It may temporarily impact our way of learning, our mental well-being away from peers, etc., but in a few months, schools will reopen, and a lot of it will come back to normal.

My children haven’t physically met their new teacher this academic year. They have only seen her in videos, and have already developed a liking towards her. This is special, and no pandemic or stop-gap arrangement of teaching can change that.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

AH: My chefs in New York taught me how to close my eyes and feel my dough and hear what it says to me. I extrapolated this principle to most things in life. Whenever I am confused, I calm myself and listen to what my heart says, and it will always be right.

'Don't give up, no matter what happens'

Nimish Sethi and Rishabh Bhola

Nimish Sethi, Musician, Zeus X Crona

YSW: Why are teachers so important in a student’s life?

Nimish Sethi (NS): Children spend a large proportion of their day listening and paying attention to teachers.

As a result, teachers nurture children as water nurtures a tiny sapling to a mighty oak tree.

YSW: How do you think the relationship between teachers and students will change due to online learning?

NS: I would imagine there is not as much face-to-face interaction with children to form a strong and warm bond as it would have been earlier. Because of this weakened connection, children’s learning will be affected. As a result, any association children have with their teachers and learning will be weaker.

YSW: What is the best advice you have ever received from a teacher?

NS: Don’t give up no matter what happens.

(Images credits: Founders and celebrities)

Edited by Suman Singh