“Life In The High School Department” By Yasmin Celestine Sengupta
LIFE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL DEPARTMENT
Yasmin Celestine Sengupta – French Co-ordinator, Bethany High
I can say without a doubt that the High School staff (or ‘Hi-Cool’ as we are referred to !) are amongst the fittest teachers in the school. Apart from the fact that our department is on the 3rd floor, we also do a lot of long distance running – to get notebooks for correction or to collect overdue projects.
Some of us have had the pleasure of seeing our students as cute tiny-tots in the
Pre-Primary Department transformed into strapping youngsters whom we look up to, as many are taller than us. These teens are super smart, super talented and super aware of what is going on around them. But above all they are super sensitive. Actually, a lot of our children are basically grappling with the whole business of growing up and the façade of bravado is just to cover up the timid adolescent inside. This makes our role as teachers, counsellors and mentors all the more stimulating.
As we teach them history and maths, drama and economics, they give us a sneak preview on what it is like to be a member of the post – Millenials or GenZ. We learn about trends in behaviour, fashion, music, language and career options.
What makes life in the high school department so exciting and motivating, is that no two days are the same. Our hectic schedules are packed with academics, cultural events, competitions, class assemblies, crafting bulletin boards and preparing for special events.
But a Department is just a physical space. It is its members who bring it to life. An eclectic group of teachers each unique in their own way. Some senior teachers have served long before the more junior ones were born ! When this group of people of such varied interests, background and skills come together, they have once common mission – to ensure that they give their best to the children entrusted in their care. Co-operation is the foundation to the functioning of the Department, whether it is when substituting for a sick colleague or helping someone write a script.
Time literally flies and all too soon we have to bid our ‘big babies’ farewell, as step out into the unknown. The Valedictory Ceremony is by far the most touching occasions of the year. Our ‘hip’ youngsters who are normally jeans and sneaker clad appear like butterflies – the girls all made up and salon-coiffed in their sarees and the boys in their suits, ties and gleaming shoes. I sometimes wonder what they do with the photos they take with us !
But it is heartening to see many an ex-Bethanite come back to meet the teachers of their Alma Mater. And what exciting stories they have to tell. We have met an officer in the Peace Keeping Force, a hi-end fashion designer, an actor on the New York stage and the brains behind an IT start-up. Often they come to shyly hand us their wedding invitation.
It’s then that we know in our hearts that the birds may have flown from the nest but that they like to re-visit what was once considered their second home !