“Bangalore happened because I wanted to graduate from a good college. I studied at St Joseph’s. I don’t think I was an excellent student, I just about managed to get through. We didn’t have a lot of pressure to study too hard or become high achievers. We had a very casual approach to life. After graduation, I realized I could make a difference in a student’s life and there is more to a student than classroom education. That’s when I decided to take up teaching.”

“I joined FAPS in 1993 when I was 23. I have been there since then and taught there until last year. Before my first class, I was definitely very nervous. My mother had worked in FAPS, so even though I was familiar with a lot of teachers there, standing in front of so many kids, it was a little frightening. That batch of students still reminds me of that sometimes. Whenever I go meet them, they would tell me how scared I was, standing in front of them, shaking like a leaf about to fall off a tree.”

“I feel like one of the most important things that I learned as a teacher was to treat everyone fairly. Irrespective of where they came from, what religion/faith they followed, what gender they were. It was something that I learnt from my teachers and the principals there, and maybe something that I started using in my personal life, as well.”

“After parents, the most influential people in a child’s life has always been teachers. Even as an adult. How a teacher has treated the child, inside and outside class, affects the way the child grows up, and how the final adult is formed. One of the things that a teacher shouldn’t be doing is being biased. We as teachers may not be as smart as we think we are, because the students figure that out. For us, staying humble and unbiased is really important.”

“Looking back, I wouldn’t want to change anything from all these years, as it has been a learning experience for me. But there have been days when I’ve wondered why I chose to teach. But the students have made it easier for me to realise why. I am Eslyn Hart.”