A anonymous quote reads: “Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.” This adage would find resonance with most of us, not matter what time and age we live in.
Neha Chauhan has been one of the trainers, for the General Duty Assistant course, at IL&FS Institute of Skills, Okhla, since almost two-and-half years. She recounts many instances, during her journey as a teacher, which have left a deep impact on her too; one particular incident that Neha recounts, almost instantaneously, is of a young student, who was divorced, with a baby two-and-half months old, attending class every day, along with her child for fear of her husband; the focus, recollects Neha left everyone deeply moved. Says the young teacher: “In a classroom, we welcome students from different backgrounds, and it is up to us how we introduce the element of equal opportunity to all present. Sometimes, language is a challenge, sometimes the mindset, and still other times, the background; we work together with the students on these challenges – a learning lesson for them, and for us.” Neha lists skilling as an important initiative, for she thinks that the platform provided by acquiring a skill not only helps face financial, but also other challenges.
Sometimes, the journey of a student acquiring a skill through sheer hard work and no formal training can metamorphose into the journey of a trainer, like in the case of Deepak Rithaliya, who is a trainer for would-be CNC operators. “I started my career as a helper, learning on the job, and with the support of seniors. One thing led to another, and I grew in my field. However, the wish to impart what I had learnt was always strong,” says Deepak. He talks of his dream of training 18,000 students through his journey as a trainer. Why this particular figure? He replies that this figure is ten times his first salary. The young trainer, who has been teaching since 2013, feels that motivation is the best tool, with which someone can be trained. Deepak also mentions the use of his own life’s experiences to make students understand challenges better. He elaborates: “There are different types of students; some are serious; some come to pass time; the key lies in motivating them to see the broader picture – the future that can be theirs, the impact they can make on their own lives, their families and their communities; and they understand, even when sometimes the process is gradual.”
For some teaching is an inspiration, a calling, like the case of Bhanupriya, who despite being an MBA, having worked for many years in the corporate sector, decided to change professions and become a professional trainer under the Skill India mission, which, she says, inspired her to take the step. “Acquiring a skill is not only about financial independence, but also about developing one’s personality – from not being able to express oneself, to being able to confidently conduct oneself in public, the leap is huge,” says this go-getter. Bhanupriya, who trains in the field of retail, believes that everyone is born with a skill set, and feels that brushing the same up is what’s important. “The tools I use in my class are all targeted towards people skills, as that is the main attribute in the retail sector; so, I include role plays, group discussions, team work, real-life scenarios, you name it…it’s all there…practice, practice, and practice is what polishes the skill set,” adds she. Recalling the case of a student of hers, Priyanka, whose husband had been/was ill, and who was the sole earner of the family, Bhanupriya narrates this student’s journey with pride in her voice: “She earns, along with incentives, Rs. 40,000 per month; this is a great achievement for someone, who just did not know where to pick up the threads of her life from.”
The journey of a teacher and student is not limited for just the period of the class, but it forms a bond, way past the four boundaries of the classroom, simply because each learns so much from the other, facilitating unimaginable growth – be it mentally, emotionally or socially.