Thursday, November 17, 2011


While writing my business school applications last year, I came across this question so many times “Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma?” And I have faced one in truest sense recently. I have enrolled kids in my classroom for NSTSE exam to be held on 4th December. I kept it open for all kids in my classroom and told parents that I will try to be as helpful as possible but please do not expect results in this first year and pay only if it is not a burden on you. 23 Parents enrolled their kids by paying Rs 200/-. When the material finally arrived for preparation; I realized that only few kids in my class have real shot at it. I had a choice to make – choose those few students, increased their chances or instead take all the kids along who have enrolled. I have taken the middle path. While I am creating scaffolded worksheets for all students who are participating but I am giving individual attention to only 15 students out of 23 who enrolled, taking their extra classes and finding out what objectives they have not yet mastered.

 I wanted other 8 kids to earn that attention from me – to know that Didi will choose them only if they are committed. Today, mother of the naughtiest child of my class came to meet me in middle of school hours. She couldn’t meet me during my community visit. She never showed in two of previous parent-teachers meetings. She even sent the money through someone else. She never showed after repeated mentions in Diary. She never showed up when her child beat the other child in the class while I stepped out for administrative work . But she showed up today because she wanted to know when her neighbor’s daughter has been enrolled in extra classes for NSTSE preparation, why is not her son? I gave her my reason but wrapped up the discussion quickly to get back to my class. I asked her to call me after school gets over. She called before I expected but at that time I was taking an extra class. She called after an hour again with a simple request “Please retain my son for extra classes. I will make sure he studies”.

Bull’s eye! I thought and said “Why not!” I was glad that it vindicated my decision of choosing to teach the chosen few and making others serious about it by that choice. I hope I didn’t let down one value of my class . “ACT RIGHT!”. What do you say?

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