Being a mentor

Published: July 31, 2010

Teachers should give students maximum time to participate in lessons and always welcome feedback

I never realised teaching could be so much fun and provide so much satisfaction until the day I got in touch with one of my old students. In fact, I would rather call myself a ‘mentor’ because as soon as you hear the word ‘teacher’ you cannot help but imagine an old woman whose face is half hidden behind spectacles, screaming at the students.

I wanted to remove this picture from the students’ mind and wanted to give them an experience of not being bogged down with homework and class work. But things can turn the other way round too, where students don’t feel afraid of the teachers and don’t experience the theory of relativity when time feels to have halted and pupils feel a desperate need to take naps during lectures.

With this thought in mind, I started my career as a teacher and soon found out that students had fallen in love, in a way with me, as the method I used was interesting for them. I always gave them the maximum time to participate in lessons and always welcomed feedback. This way they felt that their always-suppressed-thoughts got an outlet that helped me enormously in determining the way they need to be taught.

This is one of the reasons that even after having left school my students still remember me, respect me and compare my teaching with the way other teachers taught. I still remember how one of the students commented and others affirmed, “Ma’am, 40 minutes are not enough when you are teaching”. That used to put a smile on my face and a sense of satisfaction in my heart.

Today, four years after I quit teaching, when one of my students was talking to me and discussed his study and career plans, he was all praise for how I had impacted his life and felt indebted for my contribution in his grooming. I hope to witness a day soon when our teachers break through the stereotype and start considering themselves as mentors who can influence their students for good!

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2010.


Madiha Shah

A sub-editor at The Express Tribune website. She is interested in world politics, womens rights and writing

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Saadia

    Great piece Madiha……:) Truly, such a relationship between a mentor and a student is always one that is most satisfying for it is always unrequited. Recommend

  • faryal

    very well written…

    i spend the early parts of my life in UAE, and the one thing that i did learn there was that teachers are the second mothers and a school your second home. while a child learns how to talk and walk at home, a major part of his/her life is spent in an educational institution- school/college/university….teachers are indeed mentors… and if a teacher is good, its very natural that his/her students would not only take interest in that subject, they may well excel in it and may make a career out of it in their future.

    our teachers unfortunately only treat teaching as a job, a way to make money.. they forget that they have in their hands the lives of children who are waiting to be molded into gems of the future…our teachers need to realise that they are in a noble profession as doctors.

    thank you madiha for highlighting this … and may i suggest you should return to teaching??? :PRecommend

  • Lovita

    hey! madiha u reminded me of my school days..i met many great teachers thoughout my schooling and wish all could have left good impression on my mind.
    But i remember the others too,it’s just that they still haunt me..lolz

    i like your piece and hope to see more from you.Recommend

  • Murtaza Ali Jafri

    Hope you got a nice ego boost out of that. Recommend

  • Absar

    What we know as scolding,terrifying ladies, are not teachers, those are such few who are lucky enough to earn by ruining the future of a nation,family,individual.I hope they remain lucky without ruining anything….Recommend

  • Hassan

    very well written and expressed :-)
    Hope this would inspire many teachers to be more of mentors than just plain ol teachersRecommend

  • Hira Shah

    i so agree with murtazaRecommend

  • Muhammad Asim

    Very well said Madiha. Its more Mentors like youself who could convert mobs on the street into Human Resource. Lets rise to the occasion, we owe it to Pakistan.Recommend

  • zulfiqar ali

    Great….well said…Madiha Shah…I like this first sign of ice broken.I don’t know which style of teaching is imperative that please the student or the style that accomplish the task of a real teacher??….but the question is that either our education system is fulfilling the need of our society or not…..If our education is not satisfying our needs of society then what style matter to be….It is first time here i got a post relating to something change that is positive in our society relating to edu….anyhow lot of songs are stilling waiting to be sung….please sing in the way that society may got its real way to glory….A SONG TO GLORY.? A duty of a teacher. A SONG TO GLORY…ONE SONG TO GLORYRecommend

  • Winner

    @Murtaza Ali Jafri I think this is a very noble and simple blog and it should be taken as it is…

    But I think that after seeing that you have criticized the writer in this way the same can be said about you and that is “Mr.Murtaza Ali Jafri! we hope you got a nice ego boost out of that”.*Recommend

  • Zuhaib

    Interesting, well written and message well-delivered as opposed to many bloggers using intensive and alienate vocab (as if only they know how to use thesaurus) trying to make an impression out of nothing.

    Wish to read more on the subject so keep ’em comingRecommend