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Teacher Tales Interview 5 - Anupam Siddhartha

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To call Anupam a “teacher” would be the same as calling Einstein a scientist. Technically accurate but missing the soul completely. Let’s just say when reel and real meet you get Anupam Siddhartha. This is his story in his own words. After all when Anupam talks you listen. And when he says “it was good to revise” after a detailed chat you go back and re read everything twice.

Teacher Tales is an inspirational interview series with teachers curated by Shreyanka Basu.

The goal of Teacher Tales is to be a witness to the passion that drives teachers to take up this profession. It touches upon the things that inspire teachers and how they bring the same to their classrooms. It focuses on the evolving narrative of what it means to be a teacher in the larger context of learning and education. . It’s ambition is to raise a toast to the great human beings behind the inspiring teachers. It celebrates both young and experienced teachers.

If you know a teacher who has inspired you and others like you please do write in to us at teachertalesinterviews@gmail.com with the subject line – Teacher Tales Recommend a Teacher.

To get inspired follow us @
https://www.facebook.com/TeacherTales
http://www.issuu.com/teachertales

Content Copyright @Teacher Tales 2015.

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Teacher Tales Interview 5 - Anupam Siddhartha

  1. 1. An inspirational interview series with teachers
  2. 2. To call Anupam a “teacher” would be the same as calling Einstein a scientist. Technically accurate but missing the soul completely. Let’s just say when reel and real meet you get Anupam Siddhartha. This is his story in his own words. After all when Anupam talks you listen. And when he says “it was good to revise” after a detailed chat you go back and re read everything twice.
  3. 3. The reincarnation given alongside. If you meet God feel free to ask WHY? Hint: Why not is a more productive question. Realized that I was good with analogies. It helped immensely to elucidate.
  4. 4. So how did you become a teacher?
  5. 5. Always wanted to be a journalist (against much opposition from the community, who would have preferred civil services) Freelanced with Hindustan Times for about 7 years apart from working on individual projects with AIR & DD . I also taught as a visiting faculty at the department of communicative English & Media Studies . Just before joining full-time at HT realised that I was enjoying teaching better than writing. The problem was that I was never satisfied with my write-ups and would keep touching it up. My editor kept getting flustered as the deadlines kept looming large .
  6. 6. With teaching I was more relaxed. It didn't matter if I didn't get it right the first time. I could keep re-touching my talk & the students would only benefit more.
  7. 7. Then one day the department decided that they will introduce a new paper in film studies the next semester. the HOD asked - who will teach the same? Nobody volunteered. I was the junior most so didn't have an option . For the summer break I was sent to FTII for a teacher training programme. That was possibly the most fruitful phase of my life . While most batch colleagues had fun I immersed myself in the programme and spent most of the time with the teachers and it paid off well. I have been teaching films since and nobody has complained so far.
  8. 8. ` And then one day the dots just fell into place and connected themselves. The signs were always there. It only made sense in retrospect as it is supposed to be. Poser…Dreamer… Dramebaaz…Teacher-film studies.
  9. 9. The first batch I taught. Yes , only women!
  10. 10. Just the fact that films can be taught as an academic discipline is a revelation for many. It is wonderful to know that one is working in that elusive space.
  11. 11. How do you teach? What is your goal when you are teaching? What does success look like?
  12. 12. I try to tell stories, anecdotes, I keep an eye contact It helps me unravel the expression Confused looks mean I need to slow down, use another example. A frown on the forehead means I need to move on.
  13. 13. Success is the spark in a students eye when they understand a complicated concept after much effort. The glint in the eye means -target achieved!` `
  14. 14. The goal is to share academic input of a high order while having fun. The student should learn while one teaches.
  15. 15. Tell us about a teacher who influenced you. Share a moment that impacted you strongly as a student.
  16. 16. Class XI. Chemistry class .The structure of an atom - a sudden realization that all the diagrams in the books were in reality three dimensional! Why did I even think for a moment that the, solar system for example, was two dimensional ? All the planets after all did not move in concentric circles. ~ Mazumdar Sir, as he was demonstrating the structure of an atom he moved his hands in circles but in random directions - the bulb lit. Life altering I would say!
  17. 17. And your special students?
  18. 18. Richa from the university, she would never be satisfied with my examples. While others were fine she stretched me to expand my own horizons. Devdoot from Symbiosis - I rubbed my passion onto him and he kept re igniting my own.
  19. 19. Who is Anupam?
  20. 20. Tough administrator . Liberal teacher . Personal traits not shared hence unknown Could also lead to misconception. I am in fact very compassionate. The amount of pain that one human can cause another shocks me every morning when I read the newspaper. But that compassion cannot tolerate sloppy work. Unfortunately students confuse the two aspects. So whenever I'm tough on non compliance they see me as an unreasonable person. Unfair but true. The image is not the real me.
  21. 21. Once my daughter had accompanied us on a study tour. I couldn't help notice the surprise on students' faces when they saw me in a loving avatar!
  22. 22. I am a very emotional person. While I am overjoyed by the bounties of nature (even the sound of a bird outside my window can distract me completely from the most important work that I may be doing) I am also pained immensely by people's insensitivity. The way most of my students treat their parents for example (or for that matter even their friends) unnerves me. Not to talk of mothers killing their daughters. I turn my face away whenever I see an injection. I can't imagine how people behead others
  23. 23. I like stories taking control of me like I desire my stories taking control of others.`
  24. 24. I'm happy with my acute sensitivity. Helps me enjoy subtler aspects of life. Any work of art natural or man made Colours of a butterfly. A musical note. A dolly shot The expression of an actor Half a piece of dialogue The mastery of an artist. Keep wondering - how did one think of that? I still cry while watching most movies. I am not ashamed about it either.
  25. 25. How do you see the future of teaching?
  26. 26. Teaching will give way to learning. Earlier we had to disseminate information. Internet can do that now. Now we need to be facilitators and guide them along the way, clear doubts, give them work, observe, comment In 10 years from now the facilitation too may evaporate as a requirement. We may only be needed to inspire. Hmm the future?~
  27. 27. Is there something I should have asked but did not… Something that you want to talk about …
  28. 28. Something that I dislike in some teachers I have observed ... the courage to say that I don't know the answer to your question but I will get back to you tomorrow. Also the inability to instil the confidence in others to ask anything without the great fear of retribution.
  29. 29. We have a series of additional screenings here focusing on popular American films. These are in the evenings and are optional . Every now and then there are very few students to attend the same. We get demotivated but the next week I for one go back with the same passion. At times one needs to motivate oneself There is this student from 2003-05 Abhimanyu. He would still call me after every film he had seen and then we'd talk.
  30. 30. I want everyone to see those classics. They won't know what they are missing if they don't see them and then we can all talk about them passionately. Yes I fear that if they do not see it now they wont see it ever. Any number of students have confessed that they don't get the time to watch movies now . They wished they had while they were here. The magic of a movie is unrealised till you have seen it.
  31. 31. An inspirational interview series with teachers
  32. 32. Teacher Tales is an inspirational interview series conceptualised by Shreyanka Basu. The idea of Teacher Tales comes from Shreyanka’s personal belief about teaching.
  33. 33. The goal of Teacher Tales is to be a witness to the passion that drives teachers to take up this profession. It touches upon the things that inspire teachers and how they bring the same to their classrooms. It focuses on the evolving narrative of what it means to be a teacher in the larger context of learning and education. . It’s ambition is to raise a toast to the great human beings behind the inspiring teachers. It celebrates both young and experienced teachers. If you know a teacher who has inspired you and others like you please do write in to us at teachertalesinterviews@gmail.com with the subject line – Teacher Tales Recommend a Teacher. To get inspired follow us @ https://www.facebook.com/TeacherTales https://twitter.com/Teacher_Tales http://www.issuu.com/teachertales Content Copyright @Teacher Tales 2015. Image Source – Facebook Timeline- Copyright with respective owners.

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