Interviewing teachers is not a regular part of my job. Its something I do multiple times a week. I have found some interesting threads common to teachers in Punjab.1. Shakespeare seems to be the author of choice in Punjab. He is the one that the ladies seem to read before they sleep at night or whenever they have free time: in the bus, in their cars..wherever. Or that’s what they claim. In must have asked the question “Amongst writers of English, who would you favour for easy reading?” The response always favours the Bard. Not only do they show a preference for Willy, they are unconditional in their love for hem, eschewing all other authors. Having read most of what Shakespeare wrote, I am surprised when anyone mentioned Shakespeare as their favourite author. Maybe his being the ghostwriter for Maqbool and Omkara has something to do with it.
2. Geography is no longer taught in Punjab Universities: Three advertisements and many referrals later, I am yet to find a Geography teacher to teach at my school. With the imbroglio surrounding Pluto, this is when we need them the most!
3. Teaching is a female preserve. Sample this excerpt from an interview a few days ago.
My Colleague (one of a panel of 3 male interviewers): “Why do you want to be a teacher?”
Prospective Teacher: “It is a noble profession for women.”
MC(Ignoring the platitude about ‘nobility’): “You mention women. Are you saying its not a noble profession for men.”
PT (rolling her eyes): “No way. Men should be doing better work.”
Give it to the lady for her frankness. But not the smartest of things to say to a panel of 3 men! But here’s the kicker. Owing to the aforementioned deficiency of Geography Teachers, this lady got the job!