The Teacher At Home

Arshid Malik
Arshid Malik

Today I am writing about someone I respect and adore more than anyone – my wife. I am doing this because I feel that I owe her this much. But why should I write in a newspaper about someone I love, as the issue happens to be quite personal? Well, that is because I am writing about this person from a very unconnected perspective; I am writing about her because she is someone who is a rarity in this entirely corrupted system. She is downright honest, absolutely committed to her cause and won’t leave a single stone unturned to serve her calling. I believe that people need to know about her and her likes for she is not cunning but intelligently na?ve; she is not a workaholic but consistently devoted to her profession; she is a person who is way selfless to commit her whole life to a certain social cause.

This person I am talking about is what she likes to call herself, a mother-teacher-writer but in all practicality she is a teacher – a very good teacher. She is in the teaching profession, not for the money, which actually is the least of her concerns, but for the apparent cause of teaching children what they need to learn. “Teaching” is a hackneyed and grouchy term these days as far as I am given to understand. Every other man or woman chooses teaching as a profession because it so obtainable. People always get adjusted somewhere or the other if they are meaning to get into the profession of teaching. I don’t mean to offend anyone but the teachers I have known in the present times are hardly inclined to the actual meaning of teaching and most of them are there for financial benefits. It is a reality and I hope people don’t have qualms about acceding to this. These people I am talking about who land up teaching in schools and other educational institutions as an “act of fate” are the ones responsible for the terrible state of the educational system these days, as teaching has metamorphosed into an activity which is akin to a manufacturing process. Yes, almost all schools are manufacturing units and the teachers thereof are mechanisms, flow charts, databases, machines, wheels and bearings and this whole system rolls out “educated citizens” who have almost no practical knowledge and are void of values and virtues. And there are other people who are in the same profession and they are trying to make a difference. These people, like my wife, are neither concerned about fame nor fortune but rather about “what actually becomes of a child who is admitted to an educational institute”. They are there to make the best of their students and not just to help them gulp down concepts as if they were maple syrup.

My wife is a teacher in every possible sense and she has dedicated her life to it. When I say she has dedicated her life to the profession, I am not bluffing. She actually has. and she has taken the whole concept of teaching to the deepest core of her heart. After having been in the profession for what seems like ages, there are no matching benefits. And on the other hand, there are hassles enough to break her spirit every day. Even though my wife specialized in English Literature, she is more of an encyclopedia and that’s actually what her students call her. She is a walking, talking library by all reasons. She never ceases to read to the core of everything she gets into; history, current affairs, literature, cultures, customs, psychology and what not. When I return to base in the evening, I find her engrossed in a book or reading something off her laptop and she occasionally giggles or frowns between the lines while hardly noticing me and all this because she wants to learn more to teach her students better.

Her daily life at the school she teaches at is filled with arguments, jealousy, back-biting, snobbish attitudes of co-workers, poor management, low dividends and commercialization of the entire system. Yet the smiles of her students who feel acknowledged and noticed – each one of them – turns her life around. She speaks to me about all the negativity floating around at her workplace in the evening and going by the amplitude of the stuff she tells me, I am filled with “pity” for her and I ask her if it is so bad out there, then why does she do it at all to which she replies, “I have to be there for my students or else the system will eat them up.” End of the discussion. So while every day at school is a nightmare for her, the next morning is the start of a brand new day filled up with challenges. She never gives up and she conducts her routines pertaining to her profession as if it were needlework.

The greatest credit she gets for all the energy and resoluteness she had put into her profession, despite the hardships, comes her way in the shape of emails, messages, phone calls and stuff. Her students whom she taught in the past send these emails and all, praising and thanking her for turning their lives into the right direction. The young boys and girls she taught only a few years ago narrate their tales of success to her and tell her that had she not been there they would never have made it. Her ex-students are pursuing passionate careers across the world today, stationed at some of the best educational institutions the world has to offer. It is not only about books but about their lives. My wife takes her students as good friends and she discusses their lives threadbare and then helps them get out of the rut into the open world arena, all equipped to face the world as brave, confident, meritorious and diligent citizens. She has really changed lives and that is actually what counts. We could have countless teachers teaching our children today but there are some who are special for they care about our children as if they were their own and these special ones are those who eternally strive to make the world a better place.

I have learnt from my elders that when they were kids, teachers were the most humble and honorable people who changed the lives of the children they taught for the better. That is why I wrote about this person whom I genuinely respect and adore for what she is. I believe that if most of us could strive ahead in our particular professions with passion, we could make this life worth living for each and every citizen of the world.



  1. This is an essay on a perfect teacher, human being, guide, mentor or a philosopher and she happens to be your wife. I applaud you Arshad for letting your mind flow to the fingertips to move at a natural ease. I can feel the truth that exuded.
    I enjoyed this trip to know a person who deserves the best and I am sure she is as vibrant as her students turn out to be !!

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