Tuesday, April 08, 2008

To All the Teachers...

The biggest challenge of teaching is how to explain a higher level concept using lower level ones. You can always explain lower level concepts by higher level concepts e.g. explain a triangle using a random walk model - you start from any node and traverse the edges with random probability. If you come back to your starting point in exactly three hops, then the figure is a triangle. Interestingly, the point to note here is that triangle is a kinder garden concept, whereas random walk model is a senior level or graduate level concept in stochastic processes.

But observe how challenging it was for our kinder garden teachers to make us learn math, arithmetic / counting or the language alphabets. We didn't have any sort logical background absolutely, and that made it all the more difficult! Teaching graduate level courses are much simpler. The instructor knows the people in the class are smart enough and have an inherent niche for acquiring knowledge and exploring things without much external intervention. And with easily available knowledge sharing paradigms like the Web, learning for grown-up people with certain logical look-out has become all the more easy.

The greatest of the teachers are therefore probably not someone who taught me random walk model in grad school. Rather it is someone who taught me plane geometry or arithmetic. It is not about whether or not I could understand the string theory in physics, but how did I learn the three laws of gravitation.

Teachers have a great role to play for a new upcoming generation - they mould them, trigger the intensity in them to acquire newer knowledge and think out of the box. They are responsible for inspiring and reaching a much wider array of inquisitive folks. And that's is the trigger for a civilization's progress towards a far-reaching utopia.

To me, knowledge is nothing unless it is shared - it is the only thing which if you give away, you get richer. And teaching, to me, is the most noble profession. My heart-felt regards and thanks to all the people who have played the role of teachers in my life, to all the people from whom I have learnt something so valuable enough, that it could attempt to make me a little better in life.


amit said...

IT is never that the complexity of the matter or the physical manifestation of what has been though t to us makes in way deciding the laurels of any teacher....for me a teacher is GOD if he/she can get the attention of whole into what is been thought in class...
arousing the interest of the whole class..no matter wheater it is Laplace transforms or mordern history

Puranjoy said...

KG=kindergarten(garden for children)

the captcha is 'jghpauxx'--sounds something very deep.