How difficult do you think it is for a 12-year-old girl to come into a totally unknown environment 6,000 kilometres away from her home without the ability to speak the local language and with no one familiar around? If there are people willing to help you with any kind of problems you might face, such experience can turn into the best time of your life. My Indian teacher and mentor, Vandana Sudhir, proved to be the most caring, loving and understanding person I could have wished for when I needed support. That is why I was very pleased to have an opportunity to ask her several questions, even though we had not seen each other for the past five years.
It always seemed to me that Vandana was never afraid of anything. As a reply to my question about what her greatest fear is, she says: “Our time on this planet is limited. When I was young, many girls around me wanted to become singers or actresses, they longed for fame. I only wanted to be strong. I have always admired my mother, who was the strongest woman I have ever known. She supported me all the way. So now, if you asked me what the only thing I want is, I would say one word: legacy.”
“I have always wanted to help young students, to encourage them. Many students I taught had a great potential but they stopped working on themselves and ended up as ordinary officers,” says Vandana, who has been a teacher for 21 years. Before joining The British School in New Delhi, she spent almost 5 years teaching in Geneva, Switzerland.“I love when students come and talk to me, not only about their school welfare, but also about their personal accomplishments. We try to solve their problems and I am happy if we are able to work things out.”
Vandana had studied to become a lawyer. “Women professionals are not as respected as men, so I experienced bullying and disregard. Then I started contributing to a local newspaper and I found out that it really fulfilled me.”
She started organising extra lessons for students who wanted to take part in administering the school newspaper, and as an English teacher, she also helped students who were not able to speak the language and were therefore excluded from the society. “It was all about motivation. Those students were smart and hard-working but they needed someone to encourage them to come out and do things differently. I believe that one day they will pass the experience and knowledge I gave them onto someone else.”
Text vznikl v rámci kurzu Angličtina pro žurnalisty pod vedením Mgr. Aleny Proškové.
Foto: HR News