“When the seeker is ready the guru will manifest”

Author unknown

It was about 6 months after I’d quit my job and I was beginning to get bored, wonder what I might do next. The mind was at unease and the questions around the meaning & purpose of life, what next, Mommy guilt were all fierce & furiously swirling in my head. It was at this juncture as I was on the cusp of turning 40 and quite likely going through a mid-life crisis, I learned about the “I am a Teacher” program being offered at the Heritage Xperiential School. I happened to be at the school to finalize my children’ admissions and getting impatient at the wait picked up the brochure looking for something to read – little did I know that I had taken the first step towards a journey I would not regret.

I am not a superstitious person, but I guess the universe does have a way of finding & guiding you when you need it the most.

It’s been about 6 months in and I have to say I am grateful! The instinctive reaction of almost everyone that knows me well was one of surprise & disbelief when I told them I was returning to school to pursue a course in teacher training of all things. There were friendly barbs around how I might cause more harm than good, to the genuine concerns around how I would cope with home & school and was I even prepared for the rigour & toil of such an intensive program.

It was not an easy decision and it has certainly not been an easy journey – I’ve had to read more in a week than I might have otherwise in a month, question notions & beliefs that I have held dear, sacrifice time with family to get an assignment done, worked on Saturdays, confronted my fears, phobias & dogmas, studied subjects such as child development, philosophies of education & the nature of the brain and its function in learning & more.

On the upside, I have also made some incredible friendships & connections with my batchmates, a motley bunch of 24 to 50-year-olds who have consciously stepped away from their prior lives as paediatricians, film-makers, stay-at-home moms, IT professionals, Psychologists, teachers with nearly a decades’ experience right down to fresh graduates – all kindred spirits drawn to the course for the love of teaching, making a difference & discovering themselves.  I have been pushed so far out of my comfort zone that I have gone from being a harassed mother of two to teaching a class of 32 students in the 6th Grade without once raising my voice in the 4 months I’ve been with them! I have forged new relationships with my loved ones at home who have had to step in and pick up the slack and made accommodations so that I may complete my journey.

All of this though, undertaken not because I fancied a career as a teacher, but because I was fascinated about the knowledge I would gain through this program and how I might use it to be a better parent. I did not realize the possibilities & doors it would open for me. Now, I see myself having the tools to be a better parent of course, but I am also excited at the possibility of teaching or designing curriculum or even facilitating school transformation at the grass-roots.  I could even return to my core skill set of communications & PR but use it in the context of education.

So yes, I am excited about the future and grateful for having had the opportunity to find the answers to questions I was unable to articulate. In the spirit of paying it forward, I’ve taken the liberty of speaking about my journey in the hope that it might be the answer to someone else’ unasked question.

“We awaken by asking the right questions. We awaken when we see knowledge being spread that goes against our own personal experiences. We awaken when we see popular opinion being wrong but accepted as being right, and what is right being pushed as being wrong. We awaken by seeking answers in corners that are not popular. And we awaken by turning on the light inside when everything outside feels dark.”  Suzy Kassem