DR. ASHA PORAYATH- EDUCATOR FOR LIFE
Dr. Asha Porayath for the longest time, I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. But circumstances were such that I couldn’t. Life had different plans.
The management at my son’s school was looking for a substitute science teacher, who could join midterm. The principal asked if I’d be interested in helping out. I had never planned on becoming a teacher, but it was my ultimate love for biology and nature that made me say yes.
And the next thing I know, I was walking through the corridor on my way to teach my first-ever class. I had no plan of action on how I’d start and pick up from where the previous faculty had left. All I knew was that I loved the subject and I wanted the kids to feel that magic as much as I did.
My class was never limited to the textbook. To me, biology was much more than the human body; it was about the way we feel, the way we connect with life, the relationships we share with everything around and within us. It was about being in a matrix of compassion, and communicating. My students and I would sing, enact, have conversations, share our thoughts, and learn at the same time! We’d discuss everything from human heartbeat to current affairs. And, there was one kind of objective we’d rarely prioritize–and that is studying for the sake of exams.
Often I’d say to my students “Life has a way of showing us a direction. Failing in an exam is one such way. Often, it’s divine feedback redirecting us to our true calling, to our path of passion and success. We need to use that opportunity and look with fresh eyes.”
Weeks before the board exams we’d leave on adventure camps. There, we would leap from heights into the river bed, rappel down, climb freehand, go on night treks, face our fears and experience unimaginable possibilities, learning to trust the universe around us. We would return back to school with immense confidence, pumped up to face any challenge and win it; the board exams too!
It’s been 25 years since I took my first ever class as a teacher and the journey has been nothing short of magic. Indeed, a lot has changed over the years, but the reason for this everlasting magic has been the same since day one – ‘Be true to yourself. Trust the inner voice.” I now work with teachers guiding them to become educators empowered with self-awareness.
The key to becoming a better teacher often lies in the hands of students. Listen. Connect. Teach from your heart. Feel every concept. When you enter an institution believing ‘I’m going to learn way more than I can ever teach,’ that is the day you start living your best life as a teacher.”