The process of teaching is a unique one. It’s that of continuous learning and research. In my humble opinion a profession that requires the most R&D is that of teaching. From a kindergarten to a post graduate teacher, for teaching you must not only be aware of the evolving trends and techniques or teaching methodologies but also the ever revolutionary matter of your subject, the stakeholders involved and the various parameters that affects it.
For me the past 3 decades which actually spans my entire lifetime has been based on either learning or teaching. From the very early years of my life I juxtaposed both aspects and gradually adopted teaching as my sole profession. I always believe that teaching and learning are two interlinked concepts and to deattach them from each other is abnormal. Hence all these years have been a wavelength of teaching and learning, at times ensuring the students spend sleepless nights while at times it was me studying history of Pakistan for months to bring out the historian in me, to educate, affect and actually make the students love the subject and retain interest in it.
Similarly I never fathomed as a student of business administration with an inclination towards marketing, studying finance and dealing with numbers would lead me towards a learner and teacher of English Language. However like everything else, I always threw myself whole heartedly to everything life put me through and hence likewise took up the challenge of teaching English Language to the secondary classes.
However the point of all this detailed preview is that learning has been a significant aspect of my journey in this field of education. Of course all of us understand its not only the knowledge we get from books and the internet but the life experiences which we attain and offer and that these experiences undoubtedly leave the most significant marks in our lives.
The domain of photography is one such arena which interested me due to my students. I still remember the day when Husain Mansoor Mandviwalla told me about how his interest involves around being behind the lens of the camera and capturing the world around. It was an unusual art, a logical scientific one involving the most creative eye to be able to capture with precision what should and must be cherished that a normal eye seemed to miss. Looking at Husain’s work amazed me at how beautifully and naturally he did so! Though a not very language person, his expression through pictures and images was stunning.
Day after another my interest in photography deepened, I started to many times capture and look at the world, the way my student did. I attended a few sessions of Tapu Javeri and a few other renowned photographers, not only out of curiosity but also with a mission to be able to nurture the ambition of my student.
When we initiated the venture of “Descriptive Photography” I was amazed to see the number of students who actually had a natural creative eye and just turned the most ordinary tales into extraordinary ones with a simple click. Hence this club of “Descriptive Photography” turned into an online blog where along with pictures we posted captions and articles, serving the purpose of expression through both Language and Arts. Groups were formed. There was a bombardment of pictures with words, which for me to manage singlehandedly became a strenuous challenging job. So we had my friends from media come to rescue which included alumnis like Huzefa Hazari, Shabbir Hazari and the renowned Mehlum Sadriwala. We had Mujtaba Paliwala to back us up as well for his wide experience in story telling and media made sure the words with images provided the aimed fine balance and instigated critical thought process in the young minds.
Photography has been one distinct venture which I developed a love for, a good blend of words with images brings out life in your work. It makes it exciting, relatable and interesting.
Even after the students graduated we would meet to discuss our photography aims where we would invite the notable practicing ones like Mehlum to review our work. Our group initiated with the batch of 2015 and 2016 and later minimized to a few members like Mufaddal Lakdawala, Tayeb Giani, Khadija Hazari, Shabbir Kapasi, Husain , Alifiya Malirwala and Ajab Shabbir.
Along with photography there have been novel experiences each year. Each year has provided me an exposure to the unique world of students. I have with them read new books, newspapers, watched Sc-Fi movies, developed products, sold them, recycled stuff, played games, earned money, drew, pasted and glued stuff, wrote articles, designed captions, learnt management, practiced leadership and made many many reports. I with them have lived my life and with the grace of Allah continue to do so. In my ambition to enlighten them and educate them I have done a great deal for myself. So in the words of Bryan Adams I shall end my piece with my honest dedication to my beloved students:
“Everything I do, I do it for you…”
Your teacher, mother, sister, student and most importantly a friend,
Amate Syedna TUS,