Time and again it has been said that teaching is the best way to learn. Yet it is one of the most selfless tasks a person willingly indulges in. As I type this, I’m instantly reminded of the words by Thomas Carruthers:
“A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.”
This philosophy has been my driving fuel to pursue such a career. For someone who is deeply in love with astronomy and creatively loves to interweave the cosmos with different disciplines, this role is as ideal as it could get, for me. I feel honored and privileged to serve as an educator for SPACE India and be in a position to play a crucial part in a child’s intellectual and personal growth.
Moreover, delivering your first session is always important. And memorable. I was fortunate enough to give my first lesson directly under the late evening sky of Jim Corbett, away from the city’s disturbances, and beyond any classroom’s confinements. For an astronomer, nothing is more romantic than that.
The talk majorly revolved around the astronomer’s best friend – the telescope – its history, necessity, different types, working, present, and future endeavors followed by the night-sky viewing through telescopes. To see the look of astonishment on a child’s face when he looks at celestial objects for the first time through the telescope is gratifying beyond words. A motivating force within itself.
Since teaching is never a one-way street, it also depends on the kind of audience and its participation in the act. The batch of around 150 students of Sanskriti School, Delhi, who just entered the delicate age of adolescence (8th grade) was passionate, curious, intelligent, and so much fun to indulge with. A great learning experience, perhaps more for me than for them.
This 3-day journey was a wonderful activity to learn about other aspects as well. It was a great opportunity to hone my team working, management, social, and interpersonal skills by interacting with respective coordinators, teachers, students, teams, and fellow colleagues.
As first experiences are always memorable, I am certain that my first session will serve as a catalyst to indulge in a lot more and keep on motivating me to carry on this trajectory as I embark on my journey of becoming an insignificantly significant speck in the cosmic vastness.