“So, what plans after masters?” asked a relative, more than ready to help me figure out.
“I’m going for a job at a school. Going to be teaching the kids drama. I’m basically going to be their drama teacher.” I replied, haven’t been able to digest the idea of being a school teacher yet.
“Well, is that all you want to do with your life?” she asked with a hint of shock on her face.
I instantly fell silent. I did not know how to respond to her question. There were already a lot of questions running through my mind, and the bomb she had dropped on me took me a while to register.
I had been in a similar dilemma for as long as I had decided to be a drama teacher. I’ll accept it wasn’t an entirely well thought out decision. But neither was it one made in complete haste. I was rather just too tired of the all-that-that-comes-with-a-shift-in-life. Looking for a suitable job that pays well but also offers the work that you enjoy and wish to go further ahead in, shifting to an area close to your place of employment, sending applications to all the jobs that seemed suitable, and at a particular point receiving a response from none. This and a lot more had completely exhausted me and I gave in to the idea of taking up whatever comes my way and decide what to do with life, later.
Well, this reaction of shock wasn’t really the first. Every time I shared the idea with a friend or relative, I’d get a similar response. I had my own apprehensions of being a school teacher. I wasn’t sure if this is the job that I really wish to settle down with or not.
School teaching isn’t looked upon as a very glamorous profession. And while each person who ends up teaching at a school is deemed as someone who failed to get a corporate job, or one who has other priorities, the fact that private schools in India do not pay their teachers well, remains. Despite my doubts and apprehensions, I was filled with pride with the idea of teaching something I am in love with; ‘drama’. Maybe, that was my only consolation.
I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get along well with my colleagues since they would all be older and in different phases of life. What scared me even more was the thought of dealing with kids. Every time I thought of a bunch of them surrounding me, asking me questions, all I could think of was losing my patience and running away with my arms up in the air, crying for help, quite literally. But with all my fears and concerns, I entered the school where I would be ‘Ma’am’, with absolute confidence. And that one decision changed my life for the better. I had never known I could love something so fully.
While the pressures of a job, hectic schedules, managing personal and professional life dilemma did hit me right away, what made me fall in love with my workplace was the kids at the school. Each one of them filled with all the innocence and love of the world. Every time I walked through a corridor, one of the tiny ones would come and embrace me. The ones growing up, made me nostalgic about my life as a teenager. With them around, I became a teenager again.
Be it the corporate world, or the offbeat professional setups, politics runs in the veins of each workplace. And schools are no stranger to office politics. I didn’t want to indulge in politics, and guess what? My kids saved me through and through. Just a glimpse of their smiling faces and ‘good morning ma’am-s’, made even the most rancid of my days bright and happy.