A Book of Hope for Teachers

By Dr Kalyani Akalamkam, Dept of Elementary Education, Lady Shriram College for Women, University of Delhi

1101

A female teacher walks miles everyday on a hilly terrain after bus journey, yet reaches school on time,  A male teacher contributes money every month towards school resources, a teacher manages all the primary classes simultaneously in remote Karnataka as she is the single teacher in the school and so many other stories…..’. These are not imaginary stories or fictional incidents but true incidents and cases from the pages of the book ‘Ordinary People, Extraordinary Teachers by S. Giridhar.

This book is based on author’s conversations and field visits which captured the insights of their lives, hopes, difficulties, perspectives. The book encapsulates the experiential journey of many teachers for whom teaching is more than a vocation and has become a passion. This book captures best practises of both male and female teachers in Govt schools in the interiors of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

The journeys and experiences of these teachers offer great hope and solace that there are hundreds of teachers who heed the call of their vocation and transform their profession into a relationship of care, nurture and commitment.

At these times, when quality education is equated with private schools, this book offers hope and reaffirms our faith in the potential of a teacher working in resource poor government schools as a change maker or catalyst of change.

The author has rightfully referred to teachers as unsung heroes as the case studies and stories of teachers reflect their commitment, and portray a wide range of struggles like accessibility, basic resources like water and toilets for children and community participation.

The author also traced the remarkable progress of teachers in a decade from teachers’ disinterest in reading and pursuing academic engagements to writing reflective journals and publishing articles.  

The case studies of teachers can, not only be used to provide motivation to pre-service teachers but encourage them to take up jobs in government and remote schools.

This book definitely is a refreshing change from the routine academic publications with jargon of research terminology and should be read by every person who is passionate about education and engaged with beauty of teaching.

However, it would have been more useful to research scholars, if the research methodology and analysis framework is described.

Kalyanikrishna13@yahoo.co.in

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