Teacher to the Last

Rakhshinda Shakir
Posted March 1, 2021

The reminiscent of a warm memory from the coldest winter vacation back in Chitral, takes me to where I fell in love with the idea of teaching.

My house, those days, synonyms to hub of academia would be filled with the laughter of students in the very early morning coming to study various subjects with my dad. Not one, two, 3 or 4 students, but so many. My mom would say it's not a house, but a high school in absolute anger at times.

I remember my dad was only a science teacher by profession, but he was a genius in mathematics, so almost every student in the community would be so fond of studying it with him.

It still touches as a fresh breath when I think of how I learned plus and minus in a very young age from my dad. He used match sticks to teach me addition and subtraction. For example, he would bring out 3 match sticks and add two more and ask me to count. It equals 5, I would quickly answer.

Of many reasons why students loved him, one was how interesting and easy he would make learning for them. Later then, when I grew old, many parents would look up to me helping with their kids studies.

Not just students in my own village, but those coming from other places near by the town would also find academic hope at my place and in me. I also, like my dad would teach them, but my inclination would be towards English unlike mathematics for my dad.

So, teaching became a genetic profession at an early age I volunteered my leisure time spending on.I have taught and led students to qualify admission tests like the AKHSS kuragh, I have guided students to avail foreign scholarships like the Youth Exchange and Study Program, The Asian University for Women scholarship, many internships,fellowships, mentorships internationally as well.

Upon my return to pakistan in 2010, after an academic year in the US , with my college friends, I established "Reading Club Charun" that would meet every weekend and teach kids the love for books, and mesmerize them with the ever lasting aroma of making reading a habit.

My four years of life in Bangladesh, I came across an institute called " English Language Center". I was hired as a part time English teacher assistant there. Those three years of part time teaching job made me realize that, if positive change is ever possible, that would only be through classroom.

Education, for more than just one reason is so dear to me, and when my students in Bangladesh, even today tell me to go back to Bangladesh and be their teacher because they haven't found another teacher like me yet, I melt in utter joy.

Not just that, I also feel the dire need to connect back to school, and give back what I can in my full capacity because to me teaching isn't the last option, but full priority. Ever since I have returned back to Pakistan, my quest to connect with schools has never ended.

Once there was an opportunity of English teaching in Pamir Public school Booni, my ex school in Chitral. I applied and was also short listed for the interview. On the interview panel there were three of my seniors, and a few foreigners as it was a project from the USA.

The interview went  well except for one question from one of my seniors whom I always really much admired. She said, "would you be able to adjust in Chitrali culture once you are sent there ". To me, it felt, as if  asking a fish "can you swim".

Even though after the interview,  I was waiting for the results, but  deep down, I knew, they wouldn't select me. Sometimes, you just get the vibe already.

A few days later, I got a text from their consultant who happened to know me and my work very well, also my senior again , telling me " unfortunately, you couldn't qualify for the third round of interview". I asked, what were my shortcomings? It is confidential, she told me.

I laughed at this response by questioning on my head " how com my interview shortcomings can be kept confidential from me".

Well,  The next day I left for Lahore because God had other plans for me. I became part of a project managed by Oxford policy Management as a consultant. Many days later, I came to know they hired two people for the position that I called in the interview my dream job and it really was.

One of them was my very very junior from Asian University for women, who recently graduated, later refused to join and work with them, and the other my own classmate, my friend.

May be experiences, passion, dream doesn't matter here. Sometimes, we don't get what we deserve and I think that is okay, but with power comes great responsibility, so may be, we all should play just with our roles.

My love for education and the love for students is beyond the politics of someone liking or disliking me, so never in lifetime, I will ever self reject. That day was the turning point in my life and i wrote " Today, I realized my power" and that day I really did.

Today was my first day at Pak-Turk Maarif School, which is a chain of Turkish government led schools, as an academic counselor, and when I reconnected with students as a teacher, my heart melted with utter joy of relief.

As I entered the school I saw a quote from Rumi, a great saint of all time and a sufi painting which made me cherish the inner faith that some spiritual journey took me to this school and previous rejections for whatever reason were only redirections to this place. 


Today, for me a dream job came true and from now on I will bring to you more real life stories to read of change,  gratitude and enlightenment. 

Comments 2

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Jill Langhus
Mar 03
Mar 03

Oh, wow, Rakhshi! Everything always happens for a reason, even if we can't see the future. Congrats! This is amazing. I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes.

I love Rumi, too, and the omen:-) Thanks for sharing, dear!


Beth Lacey
Mar 03
Mar 03

Congratulations! I love Rumi's words, too