As I walk past the classrooms, a few open windows and doors make me conscious of a new sound. It is an alive sound, a vital sound. Sometimes a steady, even drone: sometimes not unlike a radio or T.V. announcer and sometimes a vibrant, excited sound. Suddenly I am conscious that this sound is the very life blood of Manipal . . . the teachers are speaking.
It is not until late in the afternoon when the classes are over and the rooms are empty that I am aware of the absence of that sound issuing from the rooms, and aimed directly at the students filling the class in which the teacher is lecturing.
Yes, it is the end of another day and the students have all gone to their hostels, rehearsals, or places for relaxation. The teachers have also gone home, perhaps with a question in their minds—Did they hear?
Do they hear? That is, do they hear anything but the monotone, the voices, or the words? Have they heard the idea which is neatly or obscurely wrapped in the package of words? Do they watch the man or woman in front of them and merely think—“He wore the same tie yesterday” or “Wonder if they’ll get out early.”
Do they ever look and listen and say inwardly—Here is another human being just like I am a human being. This human has an idea and now he is standing in the middle of the room trying to communicate. And now and then the teacher communicated quite easily, and now and then his words bounced off our minds with the force of steel meeting steel.
Then they go back to the hostel at night and perhaps never think of him again until time for the next class. The teacher leaves the classroom, and lives and breathes and maybe does many things besides think about the students. Or perhaps he does, and he decided that Thursday or whenever his next class meets, he has something that they’ll all love to hear. And he may even look up some information on this thing they will love to hear. Who will hear the sound, the lifeblood? Will you? Will I?
Dedicated to all my Teacher’s across the schools and colleges I’ve studied and all the teaching fraternity. Happy Teachers Day.