Eons ago when I was a fifth grader, I had this amazing teacher named Mrs. P.V. sunitha. She was the one who rekindled my lost interest in natural sciences. I was never the person who could mug up facts & then puke them all over the sheets in the examinations. I always tried to understand the concepts, sometimes I could & sometimes I couldn’t but nevertheless I chose to write what I felt rather than copy – pasting every god damn thing printed on the prescribed textbooks that I had no clue about. I was a curious kid & Mrs. sunitha appreciated me for that. Later on when I passed and went one class further, I still maintained contact with her. I paid visits to the teacher’s room just to wish her a good day & spent all my recess breaks talking to her about stars, constellations & galaxies far and beyond. A year later she suffered a neural spine injury and changed school. I never saw her again.
She was and still remains my best teacher. It’s quite taxing to find good teachers nowadays. In a hurry to complete the given syllabus, the teachers end up compromising on the quality of teaching. Seldom do they stop & ponder over to clarify the very basics of a concept. Let us take this one example..
Any student who has studied high school level science is familiar with the concept of ‘logarithms’. But can any one of you tell me what exactly is a logarithm, like, when I ask you to calculate log2(8) , what am I asking you basically?. In simple words, a logarithm answers the question ‘how many of one number do we need to get another?’ So simply put, log2(8) means how many 2’s does it take to make an 8.Nobody taught me at school about the very basics of logarithms & so I ended up fearing and loathing math. We were asked to find log values of gigantic numbers but we were never taught the very basics. It’s like dreaming of constructing the empire state building on a six inch slab, with no solid foundation, it is doomed to fall. Likewise in education also a solid foundation is a must. Clear the basics before going any further. This is the irony of the situation; we know the hard stuff but have little to no knowledge about the simple ones.