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'Teaching is my elixir!'

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

From a research professional in Microbiology to the Principal of Jai Hind College, Churchgate, Dr. Ashok Wadia claims to having experienced the meaning of life in his 35 years of teaching career. Wadia, who was accidently selected as a lecturer, now cannot imagine a life without Jai Hind. In a conversation with Aishwarya Iyer, he shares his journey and thoughts...

A sweet accident!
"I never wanted to come into this line, it was a accident; A sweet accident," shared the Principal, with a smile on his face. "Today, I am crazy about teaching, children and Jai Hind college," he added. When asked about whether he has plans to go back to his research work in Microbiology and quit teaching, he said, "How can anyone think of leaving Jai Hind? Research was and will be my passion, but I will take it together with teaching as I did till now."

Definition Of Teaching
For Wadia, teaching is all about interaction. “An everyday interaction with the students”, that's how Wadia describes teaching. He feels that teaching is not preaching. Instead, it's a give and take process wherein students give the teacher inputs from their mind and gain from the abundance of knowledge that the teacher has."Such kind of teacher-student interaction develops the thinking process of the student," he said, “Teaching is my elixir! It is important to keep going.”

Open Door Policy
Wadia applies the open door policy in his college. He said, "My cabin door is always open. Any student, teacher and parent can come and talk to me." He further added, "Some days, I randomly call my teachers and we sit and chat in the college library. During such interactions, I make sure I am not disturbed with any other work." Wadia believes that his teachers, students and parents, are the ones who take the institute to higher level. "Without this trio, this college is nothing," he said. He takes special care of his non-teaching staff, as he sees them as someone who helps the trio to take the college to greater heights. Wadia believes in equal treatment for every person in the college, from watchmen to the Vice-Principal, adding that he respects them all because he respects their individuality.

An interesting aspect about Wadia is, that unlike other Principals, he did not point out any negative factors about today's generation. Rather, he shared positive aspects about them and expressed how happy he was seeing and interacting with the new generation that is feels are high on dynamism and positive vibrations. Adding to that, he shared with Afternoon D&C that he is still in touch with his first batch of students (1981) and how they hang out. "I want my students to see me as their buddy and not a cruel Principal, who doesn't listen and just talks," shared the Principal.

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