Why did you choose to be in the teaching profession and what are the inspirations behind it?
As a profession, teaching had always been a dream for me. I had this plan when I was very young. I used to think about my teachers and some of their limitations. It was very challenging to me and it still is. After having my M Phil and PhD, I joined at American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB). They helped me to build up leadership and gave me freedom to work. It’s a prominent university of our country and I got my own space there.
I also have served as the Head of English department for some years. Now I’ve got 15 years of experience from there. So, while teaching my students I always try to give them knowledge in different ways as they like.
And, just to have a variation in my profession, I joined at BRAC University. After joining here, I saw that Masters in TESOL (Teaching of English to the Speakers of Other Languages) is very renowned here. Sarwat Abed, the director of BIL, wanted me to be a researcher and she always tries to direct this institution by motivating the teachers. So, as a part of it, I’m trying to give my best.
Every teacher is innovative in their own ways. So, what is your take on teaching your students in a unique way?
Every student is intelligent and the level of understanding obviously varies between them. So, the classroom is not only the combination of four walls, it’s the universe in a room, and that’s why it’s called a university. Before entering a room I always have a plan to teach and I try to give them knowledge of the whole world. This is my style.
I also try to understand my students in every way I can. I also try to make them comfortable so they can share their opinions freely. I listen to my students for the sake of knowing their own values. I like how they share their ideas in different ways. And I also try to create empathy among them. The atmosphere of this institution is helping me to build all the things. I try to implement all these things in my classes and I am glad that I am getting the institutional help from here.
You have a hobby that you like singing. Would you please share what has influenced you to singing?
From a very early age my parents wanted me to learn music and I received some basic lessons in singing. I learned music from Ustad Shudhin Das. After that I had a music teacher named Ram Gopal Mahonto and at the age of 18 or 19 years I learned singing from him. He was the best teacher I had because of his flexibility.
Teaching and singing are two different things and they run their own courses in my life. I know when I want to sing and when I want to teach and when I want to do other things. So, I don’t have any problem in balancing between the two. Singing and teaching are both significant areas of my life and I enjoy doing both.
I also write articles for newspapers and I was a regular writer for Star Campus. I got the opportunity by one the senior journalist who was a friend of my father. And, I try to write in my own style in my writing.
What’s your contribution at the BIL?
I’m taking some basic courses under the TESOL programme at the post graduate level. Another challenging course is Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis. This course is about how the meaning of our day to day conversation changes over time. Then at the undergraduate level, I’m teaching Business and Human Communication which is also a very interesting course for me as well as the students.
A student usually likes to understand things from his/her own perspective and sometimes can also see few limitations of the teachers. As a student, did you think to overcome these limitations after you would become a teacher?
Definitely, I always try to be different and give my students the best. When I was in university, my teachers were very good in their professions, but sometimes we had to face problems in understanding the courses. This is when my friends and I helped each other out. So, to be a teacher, my idol was Professor Dr Syed Manzoorul Islam and I’m quite influenced by him.
What’s your next plan to make this institution better?
We have to find our own ways to make it better. We know that now India is no longer following the British/American way of teaching English. So to reach that level, we all have to try with our heart and soul. My dream is to have graduates who will be the pioneers of this society thorugh BIL. And research is in a very good stage for this, as we have some dynamic professors here. They are always prepared to help this institution to be better. Our director is always ready to give us opportunities for these.
The writer is working with the Bangladesh Post