On my way to the office happened to cross a small ground where kids were playing, I was a bit taken aback 'coz it wasn't even half past 8 in the morning and they were already in the ground, if we can call it so b’coz it was just a basketball court. That reminded me of my school days, where we used to wait eagerly for our PT period--- a 40min window for playing in the ground...during THE school hours!!
The earliest of school times which I can recollect are I guess when I was in 2nd or 3rd class may be, they were the days of 'BIG FUN'....I remember begging, pleading n crying for ...wud you believe me, a 50 paise to buy one...all for the CRICKETING HERO within the pack! There was this shop within our colony near the school; fondly called as '4th line shop' it was THE buzzing place for all of us. It had stock of all the goodies which any kid would crave for the chocs every variety, chewing gums, Gooseberry, Guava, Stickers (He-Man, Spiderman, WWF..), biscuits and the necessary stuff like pencils, sharpeners, Pens, MAPS, Plain paper sheets... u name it they had it. All that one needed to do to reach this shop was..... just squeeze through the bars on the fence and there u were!!
And then there were promotional events for products aimed at schools, like- stretching the AASA choc wrapper to the maximum length possible, I don't remember HOW MANY of these I bought but I remember stretching one to 33cms only to be beaten hands down by my classmate Kumar who stretched it to I think 44cms :). AASA guys promised something...I don't think they gave what they promised. Ohh yeah there was also the competition of--- return 10 Maggie masala covers and get 2 packs or something free. I remember us kids scrounging through thrash everywhere just to find a few covers...:D.
Our daily routine begun with assembly which had a prayer, pledge, some other activity like news, a short note on great personalities and rounded it off with the National Anthem. Just can't express the pride in singing the Anthem. Everyone of us were encouraged to present one activity in the assembly daily, kids were elected by teachers randomly and the whole purpose being to remove the fear of public speaking and gaining a little bit of knowledge on what's happening. Ofcourse there were a few naughty guys who skipped the assembly ... to finish off homework of the FIRST PERIOD!!
I remember my first ever class teacher who I am sure was the favourite of the whole school, she taught us Social and Hindi when she wasn't teaching girls to be strong ---She was our NCC ma'am too. Another Ma'am who happened to be our Class teacher for 3years in middle school taught us science and later Biology too, she was my favourite. She taught science in such a way that I just didn't forget ANYTHING she told even today. Our whole class worried during assignments time, we don't our HW properly or don't write assignment in time --- She just took our PT period as punishment!! Then there's my Hindi teacher for seven straight years, she was very friendly until we screw up annnnnnd THUDDDD!! We all loved our Hindi periods 'coz we had to go to another room owing to the majority of class taking telugu as second language and us the minority had to move out in a single file.
Don't know why but I always loved the subject of English at school, maybe the simple pleasure of reading stories was the driving factors. We had very good teachers there too, our principal used to take this subject once in a while and damn he was good...naah the best at it. He loved to teach prose the best being "I wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth. We used to have these nice activities of Elocutions to hone our command over the language and MY CLASS had great orators at that-- Sasank (kept it so short n simple but darn he had amazing command and conveyed the message superbly), Anil Pappu (He was awesome, his script was the best and he was so animated that he could convey the meaning of every word literally through his actions), Sri Sri (His script had examples which conveyed the message), Krishnamohan Menon (loved his accent).
Hisstory...as the mis-spelt name suggests is a story and ought to be taught as such. We had great teachers who read us through - start of civilisation- Harappa & Mohenjadaro, Mesapatomian, the Incas, Mayans, the great Indian dynasties of Mauryas, Guptas, Chalukyas, Cholas, Marathas, Vijaynagar, Mughals, The rise of East Indian company, Battle of Mysore/Paniput and then the Independence struggle, the civil disobedience movements, the 2 world wars, the treaty of Versailles, the axis powers etc etc. Everything was etched in our minds because they taught us so and not because we read through them.
Maths was, for some reason an unknown devil for me. We had good teachers for that too, but I somehow was #@!& scared of that.... it was one subject that always pulled my grades down. And, here too there were a few guys in my class whom I wanted to emulate Vishnu and Kumar....damn they were just Genius at this subject. They ripped apart any problem thrown at them in moments.
All our teachers commanded a respect which everyone of us obliged by free will and not because they imposed upon us.