My Valedictory Speech on “officially” becoming a Teacher

As a student with an Engineering background and my choice of career after completing my B Tech in Computer Science and working for a couple of years in the IT field I’ve been told is not a conventional one. Nevertheless to all those people who ask me about it, I tell them there has not been a single moment this entire year when I have regretted taking this decision.

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Every time we complained about the course and the amount of work that was being piled upon us, our teachers reminded us that we would in fact miss the whole busy atmosphere when we reach the end of the course. Now I know that they were right. That I would in fact miss even the trivial things that I never thought I would miss. Today, I feel that the University nurtures a generation of students with a certain culture that gets imbibed in them and remains with them in their years to come.

Teaching has always been a passion for me, something I knew I wanted to do at some point. What held me back all this time was my stage fear, fear and self consciousness of having to stand in front of an audience. And well, that’s precisely what I’m doing right now. At this point, I would also like to thank my teachers for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of significant events during the year. For this and a lot more, I am forever indebted to the University, my teachers here and my fellow students who have helped me overcome my fear. Today I know I can confidently stand in front of an audience and that I actually enjoy it.

Unlike many technical professions, teaching and B Ed is not just about studying a list of prescribed subjects and having the necessary knowledge. It is also about having the skill to communicate that knowledge to the target group in a way that they are able to comprehend it. And believe me, this is not as easy as it sounds. In the course of this year we have been given so many opportunities, some voluntary and some forced upon us (of course for our own good), along with constructive feedback from peers and teachers that has really trained us and helped us improve and gain more confidence. This is what is called experimental learning. I don’t think any of us need others to tell us of the tremendous improvement that has come upon us, all thanks to the expert guidance and numerous opportunities given to us.

Again, unlike in many other streams and courses ours is a diverse and versatile group. We have people from different backgrounds, age groups, interests and strengths. I bet each of us got to learn a ton of new things, and I don’t mean only academic, just by interacting with each other. Hats off to all the married women and mothers who have shuffled so efficiently between their household chores and college work.

I still remember the words I was told on the day of my interview when they warned me that this was going to be a crash course and asked me if I was up for it. When I said a yes, never had I imagined in my wildest dreams that this was what they meant. The course has kept us on the tip of our toes throughout the year, with assignments, activities, programs, presentations and of course exams. It has taught us to work hard, not just work hard but also work smart. It has taught us to manage time effectively. Assignments and presentations which we never thought was possible to complete within the allotted time have been completed successfully. The course has been a perfect balance of curricular and co-curricular, theory and practical activities. It was more of a training for real life. It has equipped us with skills and abilities much needed to face the little brats and to train and sharpen their young shrewd minds to help build a generation of leaders and responsible citizens. This in itself is a huge responsibility as these kids would be the future of our country and the progress and development of our nation would depend largely on them. For this reason, it is important that we teachers train them, not just academically but also instill moral and ethical values in them. One of the ways of doing this is by being role models ourselves. I have learned this from our teachers who have been perfect examples and have indeed found their spots in our hearts. We, as teachers must put these examples of our teachers and the values imbibed in us in our daily lives and spread these values on to others.

For many of us, a full time course like this might have been something we are doing after a considerable gap. It might have been a few years since we last went to college, did assignments and wrote exams. Sitting for 3 hour exams and writing page after page after all this time might have been a task. Come to think of it, it’s not just exams. It might also have been the first time after a long gap that we had a sports day, went for a class trip, had to stand for assembly and had culturals in which we all participated. In short we let ourselves loose and freaked out the way we had done years ago. Weren’t we all reminded of our good old school days?

Before I conclude, I would also like to say that I, honestly have come a long way this year and have seen growth both personally and professionally. There are a lot of people amongst us here today who have a major hand in it. I take this opportunity to thank each one of you, teachers and colleagues alike. For everything I have learned, achieved and imbibed, I sincerely thank the University and each one of you. In the last one year, I have relived my school days, learned to let go off my fears and apprehensions and had fun, learned that it is alright to make mistakes and learn from them, learned to prioritize things and manage time. Most of all, I have understood the importance of giving back to the society what I get from it. And in the years to follow, that is what I intend to do. Thank you one and all for all this and more!

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One thought on “My Valedictory Speech on “officially” becoming a Teacher

  1. Let me start off by congratulating you on being the valedictorian. You’ve done a wonderful job on the speech, balancing thanks, and a vision for the future.

    Cheers!

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