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An Interview with Ms Azmin

What did you want to be when you were our age?

At your age, I was as confused as probably some of you are.

I always wanted to be an actor/teacher/radio jockey/news reporter. I think I finally chose education so that I could share all that I had discovered with children. I realised it was my strength when I peer taught my best friend who the teachers had given up on and had tagged a 'failure' in school who scored as much as I did in school in the board exam.

What was your favourite and least favourite subject?

My favourite subject was HINDI and my least favourite was MATH. Both, my love and hatred towards the subject can be attributed to the teachers.

Did you like going to school?

I totally loved going to school. We had a fabulous time. In fact, our basketball coaching would begin at 6.30 am and our 'HOUSE GAMES' would end at 4 so I perpetually LIVED in school.

What is your funniest memory as a teacher in BIS?

What a perfect time to answer this question. It was during the shooting of a video for our IGCSE Drama Board Performance, although it didn't sound funny at the time. I say it's a perfect time to answer this question, because my former drama kids and I just met up this morning and laughed about it together. So we were recording a very intense murder scene from Shakespeare's Macbeth for a board perforamnce. It was a shadow sequence. We had very limited resources and so we had tried to be creative. Two students held together a white bedsheet as our screen and had organised light to suit the shadow scene. Poor guys, held that screen up manually for 14 minutes and when we were nearing the end, the 4th floor watchman just entered to use the washroom and his mobile phone rang with a PUNJABI TUNE after Macbeth had been murdered and this forced us to re-shoot the entire thing again. We were so agitated on that day but laughed about it in retrospect.

Do you have any unexpected fears?

Yes, I fear loneliness. I don't want to die a lonely person with no one by my side to mourn my loss. That's probably also because I'm all for love, happiness, compassion and affection in life and so most likely expect that these stay with me in death too.

What’s your favourite book, movie, and song?

My favourite books (I hope you don't mind the plural;-) - 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell, 'The Lord of the Flies' by William Golding in classics and 'Flyaway Boy' by Jane De Suza in contemporary fiction and 'Poetics' by Aristotle in non-fiction.

My favourite book (play) - 'Dance Like a Man' by Mahesh Dattani

My favourite movie - 'Zindagi na Milegi Dobaara,' 'Chak de India' in Hindi and 'Split' (recommended to me by my student, Aditya Narayanan and a must watch for every actor after the age of 15) and 'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Freedom Writers' in English

My favourite TV Show - 'The Bold Type'

My favourite song - 'Take on Me' by a-ha

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I think I enjoy teaching because I enjoy everything to do with children and education. I have learnt more about life in the 10 years at BIS as an educator than I did in all my years before schooling. I think I enjoy teaching because I genuinely love learning. Also, I learn a lot from my students - they expose me to a range of books, films, plays, music that I alone couldn't have ever discovered.

I get bored of routine and teaching in the 21st century fortunately doesn't allow me to get bored. I cannot imagine teaching now, the way I did 10 years ago. So, thank you BIS students for being so vibrant! Learning with you has been very empowering.

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