Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ruminations before the beginning of a new academic year

My college on a rainy day

My college reopens in three days. It will be my third year in this college and after spending two years with the various departments and people, one feels that one has seen it all. In spite of my two years here, I feel a certain anxiety coupled with anticipation when I look forward to the coming year. I will be teaching the same subjects albeit one and more or less familiar with the students as well. The introduction to new energy levels and slightly different goals and aspirations gives me the feeling that a thousand butterflies are preparing to take flight from the pit of my stomach.

I wonder whether every teacher has this feeling of an anxious anticipation. Perhaps they might or they would have become comfortably numb carrying on their business like a robot which is devoid of any tingly pre-academic year sensation.

The path leading to the main entrance again, on a rainy day

Alongside, I also wonder whether I will be like this after ten years. Will a new academic year make me feel giddy with excitement and anxiety. Will I look forward to the raging adrenalines of young students as they burst forth with tireless hormones and shiny smart phones. Will I be able to cope with the information overload that my students seem to possess, challenging me with news of the latest gadget or the selling price of an IPL team. Will I smirk at them when they say that FC Goa has won over Chennaiyin even without me having watched a single match.

Although I complain to others and the students themselves that the ought to shake off their susegaad attitude, I like their company better than the whiny adults who lose no time in making lives miserable for those around them. Well, this is not a sweeping generalisation and all students/adults do not fit into that description. There is a lot of trust and sense of belonging when I am in the company of students. To cite an example, once a senior member of faculty happened to be a bit rude with me and immediately the students started showing their solidarity by vocally stating their position on the rudeness. Even though that incident warmed my insides, I am careful not to take sides or even show a minute iota of affirming their actions. Well, sometimes I tend to romanticise the student-teacher relationship.

The lovely triangle campus with glistening rain

Now, standing at the threshold of a brand new academic year, I cannot wait to find out what kind of students I will be meeting for each class and how they will respond to my theatrics and eccentricities -- They will either take to it or brush me aside as another old soul who tries to be in line with the young minds of this generation.

Ah, well! I hear the pitter-patter of the raindrops as I write, diverting my attention to the beautiful weather. I shall pause to revel in the rain and leave ruminations of my new academic year to be soaked by the smell of red earth and pouring rain :)

Picture credits: Author's own


  1. I can understand the butterflies in your stomach . Each academic year brings its surprises.
    Nowadays,teaching - at all levels- is a tough profession. Lack of discipline. low wages, disrespect - are only part of the issues most teachers have to face. It wasn't always like that.
    Anyway, I wish you Good Luck in the new academic year!

    1. Thanks DUTA for the wishes. I hear what you say. But I do enjoy the moments that I spend with my students.

      Have a lovely month ahead.

  2. The students showing their solidarity with a teacher also shows that you are accepted and their favourite. It used to happen in our school days, though in those days we could not be vocal in our resentment when injustice was done.

    1. Thanks Joe for the lovely comment. I am smiling from ear to ear.

      Hope you are well and happy.

  3. Hey Susan,

    It is when I read this post I realized teachers aren't so different from students when it comes to feeling nervous and curious and excited about a new academic session. Hadn't really thought of it in that light before. Good to know and it would be really interesting to read about the kind of students you engage with, the problems you solve that may not be academic but can be impactful on a student's overall growth and your thoughts on what can make a difference to the teacher and student relationship if A,B and C were in place....would be interesting to read.



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