By Life Positive October 2012 As a child, I was never interested in going to school. However, things changed when I reached seventh standard. I came across Miss Britto whose name I still remember even after 45 years. She taught us English prose and poetry. She took much trouble to prepare her lessons and taught with such passion that I never lost concentration in her class.She taught us to critically appreciate poems, giving us many interpretations of the philosophical aspects of the poems. I began to enjoy school and especially my English literature class. Inexplicably, this encouraged me to take interest in other subjects too. Slowly, in the course of that year, I started scoring good marks in other subjects as well and was ranked first in my class in the final exams.During the terminal exams, when I wrote a critical appreciation of a poem assigned by Miss Britto, I realised that I had written more than she had taught. I had poured my whole heart out into that piece. Miss Britto liked my answer so much that she read it out to the whole class.One day, she said, “Rashida, you really write good critical appreciations. Will you write them all in a notebook during the vacation and give them to me?” I was delighted. During the two months of vacation, I wrote and rewrote the critical appreciations, making them as good as possible. I edited my work carefully and wrote in my best handwriting. When my collection of short essays was done, I dressed in my best clothes and went to Miss Britto’s house with a cake and my notebooks. I gave them to her as though I was making an offering to God. From that day onwards, there was no looking back for me. I learned to express my feelings through writing. And I went on to score the first rank in my class every year until my SSC exams. Even today, whenever I write, I loop my ‘g’s and ‘s’s like Miss Britto used to. A good teacher can really do a great deal to impact the life of a child. - Rashida Jiwani
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