With the departure of a few members of staff from the science department, this trimester, the school welcomed three new teachers: Ms. Louise Du Toit, Mr. Anthony Hyde, and Dr. Mayukh Banik. With many decades of experience in teaching, the new teachers are all looking forward to their Woodstock experience.
Mr. Hyde discovered Woodstock “way back in the 90’s” when he first met Mr. Darab Nagarwalla in the Doon School. He describes physics as a “grand passion” of his which he has been teaching for the past 53 years.
“They needed a physics teacher to cover for the rest of the year, so they asked me to come and cover the need,” Mr. Hyde said. “Even though I come from a cold country, I feel quite cold all the time,” he added.
Ms. Du Toit agreed with Mr. Hyde’s sentiments over the cold weather. “I took six months off and I was having a nice time in Cape Town and he [Mr. Robin Carter] called me and said he needed someone to fill in” she said.
The first thing that really struck her about Mussoorie was that it was “freezing cold” when she came here from South Africa. However, she does really appreciate the mountains and the “very steep slopes and the amazing forest” that surround the campus, make her “forget about the cold.”
Ms. Du Toit started teaching Chemistry, which was her major, as well as Physics after having kids; she said that she “always loved being a teacher” because of her constant need for wanting to be creative as well as the holidays. She had no intentions of becoming a teacher but she ended up loving her occupation.
Aside from the hectic trimester, she is most looking forward to “getting warm again” as well as exploring the south of India.
Dr. Banik, on the other hand, was brought to Woodstock when he discovered it in a newspaper. Location played a major role in Dr. Banik’s choice to start teaching at Woodstock, since he wanted to live an “outdoor motivated lifestyle” as he has taken courses on the outdoors in the past.
He had been a private teacher for 12-15 years but never found a suitable school to teach until he discovered Woodstock.
The fact that outdoor learning is one of the core values of the school intrigued him to join. In the past, he has not taught at a formal and school-like environment before; hence, his main intentions are to get more accommodated to formal teaching.
His other goal for the trimester is to reach “the best and the weakest student,” at the same time, in order to provide knowledge to each and every one of his students.
Nalin Mahajan is a staff reporter.
Edited by Janvi Poddar.
Photo by Knema Gardner.