Guest AuthorPavan Soni

This Teachers’ Day

By | Dr Pavan Soni | IIM-B Innovation Evangelist

Of all the professions in the world, the most noble is that of teaching. Ever wonder that we don’t celebrate Doctors’ Day or Managers’ Day or Engineers’ Day or any other day as much as Teachers’ Day? It’s because Teacher has the power to shape not only someone’s career but also character. For me it’s a special day. Today I receive more messages and mails than what I do on my Birthday and New Year, combined. Needless to say that there are wishes that I send to my teachers from the workplace and academia. It makes be feel doubly humbled because hay there is a day which is deserved for a special few. It’s a privilege. 
After coming over to IIM, this day has become all the more special for me. For almost so many years, I haven’t really had a formal education going and most of ‘teachers’ were those from the professional world. After a long time I am getting taught in a classroom setup and the experience is really amazing. With so many bright teachers and researchers around, one just feels humbled and invigorated. Here’s my experiential learning – The lowest common denominator in teaching profession is Passion
In simpler terms ~ it’s the passion for the subject matter and the act of teaching that makes good teachers great and memorable. I can safely say that here at IIM every teacher that I have come across takes a lot of pride in teaching what they do and their subject. It shows in a 90 minute lecture when a 55 year old prof is  enjoying at the brim and beaming intellect.
A case in point is Prof. V Nagadevara, arguably one of the most celebrated faculty members of the IIM fraternity. He teaches us Business Statistics and taught the same to my former boss when he was doing his PGP from IIM Bangalore in 1991! Imagine the number of lives he would have touched over the years of his teaching, knowingly or unknowingly. For that matter, mine! Prof might not know about this post, may never read it even, but has surely made me write about him of all the faculty members! That’s what I mean by the power of passion and it’s alignment with profession. Imagine the satisfaction with which this gentleman will retire from active teaching. Any parallel in the corporate world? Naaa.
So Teaching is still relevant. More than ever. In this world of multiple options and chaotic pace, right direction is quintessential and teachers are (still) the guiding lights. But don’t mistake me for teachers coming only from pure academia. They are all around us, in corporate, in family, in communities and withing each one of us. We need to identify those and align. 
Summing up with the traits of a good teacher, as for my observation:


  • Humility
  • Discipline
  • Subject Matter Knowledge
  • Curiosity, and  
  • Creativity.
I am proud of my decision of having kicked the bucket (corporate world) and come over for studies here. Don’t know what time holds for me (or for that matter for anyone), but am happy so far!
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