Teachers are the most valuable asset to any civilised society since the education of its future citizens rests in his/her hands. That said, every teacher in the world will demand an end to their service, be it a nursery-school teacher in a rural school or a Professor in the biggest University. But not Padmaja Ramamurthy. This 60-year old Teacher from Bengaluru refused to give up her passion for teaching post-retirement. Although she spent a greater part of her life teaching tirelessly, her enthusiasm for her work refused to diminish even after reaching her late years.
This Teacher just doesn’t want to stop Teaching!
Padmaja is making waves in the educational community for going above and beyond her retirement period to teach abandoned and trafficked children. When Padmaja first joined as a Teacher at a school in Bengaluru, she didn’t know that her Profession would become so deeply ingrained in her and would be transformed into immense love for her students.
Although Padmaja’s husband worked at a transferable job requiring her to constantly move home, it actually led her to develop deeper passion for teaching since she was able to obtain a B.Ed degree. But when she had to move to Kolkata, she was inspired to let go of the age-old teaching methods mostly based on rote-learning and switch to smarter, more interactive methods like Projects, Activities, Modern Technology, etc.
Padmaja’s work as a Teacher really accelerated and she gained widespread media attention and acclaim from the public eye when she joined the APSA Dream School in Bengaluru. APSA is a school that offers a one-year programme for the education of the trafficked and abandoned children of India.
Padmaja Ramamurthy’s Stellar Career as a Teacher
Padmaja has had a 13-year long career as a Teacher in more than a few government as well as private schools. This work experience helped her to teach in a unique, modernised way to the impoverished children who rarely get an opportunity to learn from such a skilled and affectionate teacher. Let’s listen to Padmaja’s journey in her own words.
“After Bangalore, we went to Chennai and there I worked in Padma Seshadri School, which is one of the best schools of India. I developed a strong bond with my students. I wasn’t taking it as a job. I loved teaching and there was nothing else I’d have liked to do.”
Padmaja’s unique teaching method involved the use of various audio-visual as well as multimedia tools to enhance teaching and to keep the interests of the students alive.
The students who attend the APSA Dream School mostly come from a Kannada medium schooling background. Since they haven’t had much interactive learning in their lives, Padmaja realised the importance of teaching them with great care and focus.
The school has a dedicated learning programme for trafficked/abandoned children as well as for child labourers. There is also a course designed for the children of construction workers. There is tremendous focus on encouraging minor children to take up a course at the school and to inspire them to continue their education further.
Padmaja had plenty to say about APSA,
“This, by far, has been the most satisfying and enlightening experience for me. These students come from a very different background. There cannot be one single syllabus that can be made for them. So, we design it according to the requirements of individual students. The children are often neglected or are orphans so we need to be very careful with them. We cannot be too harsh as they will not be able to learn and we cannot be too soft either, else they will take us for granted”.
Choose a Profession that Touches your Soul
Padmaja has shown us that when you love your work, the energy to keep going automatically presents itself even after retirement. She is contributing a great deal to society by shaping the future of destitute children. She will prove to be a role model both for her students as well as to anyone who reads her story.
Written By: Anju V. Nambiar