Yangchen Gatshel School, Dakarla, Thimphu
I resourced a professional development (PD) session today on the invitation of Lopen Sonam Dendup, a teacher at the school. Hate to admit but we met on Facebook. He invited me through FB too.
I shared my short journey in teaching- filling in as an adjunct professor in Sherubtse College where I stayed for three semester followed by a short stint as a Dean at Royal Thimphu College. And now as a PhD candidate (where I am also a teaching assistant) and researcher at the University of Macau.
I added, “They say teaching is a thankless job. For me, having been in more ‘prestigious’ jobs, professions and positions of power, my two and half years in Sherubtse and RTC are the only ones where I am remembered, thanked and cherished. So I disagree with that statement. These days, even after years that I have not seen them, I have my former students who visit me or are very thankful. But I never had a former employee even make a mention. Some are now even embarrassed that I helped them secure a job or a skill. They would to believe they are self-made. Nor has there been any contractor who is grateful for the millions made from my projects. So as teachers do not feel so cheap. You will have smiling faces come up to you as you age. That’s worth more than anything money can buy. But you have to do your job well. ”
After a two-hour discussion on demystifying terrifying words like research, Masters, PhD, and talking about my works on Buddhist communication and middlepath journalism, I concluded with where I started off the day,
“However, for those of you who are young, I do not wish to dissuade you from dreaming. We all have dreams and aspirations to be better off – financially, intellectually and emotionally. Go for it but stay around this area of education and research. Trust me, it is a field that provides you the most fulfilling life. And it only gets better with age. However, whatever you plan to do, just do not chase money, though. Work hard. Work smart and get your priorities right and let money follow you. It does, believe me.”
For the content of the interactions on how to be a good teacher, I will detail them in my blog. Because what I learnt from the teachers of this school merits some careful analysis and a blog entry each.
So stay tuned.